John Byng-Hall is a British family therapist and psychiatrist. Born in Kenya to an old aristocratic English family, he worked for most of his active professional life at the Tavistock Clinic in London, where he was instrumental in developing a systemic clinical service for families, as well as training courses in family therapy. A person of genuine kindness and gentle authority, as a clinician, his work was characterized by authentic engagement with the families, and, as a teacher, he was most inspirational. His role in introducing family therapy in the UK has been considerable.
John Byng-Hall’s first encounter with family therapy was during his early work as a psychiatrist with severely disturbed adolescents at the Hill End Adolescent Unit in North London (1969–1972), when he saw adolescents with their families for therapy with his more experienced colleague Dr. Peter Bruggen. Subsequently, when he moved to the Tavistock Clinic, he was exposed...