Director of the Child Study Center from 1948-1966
Dr. Milton Senn and Dr. Grover Powers, circa 1959.
Senn was appointed as Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Yale in 1951 (while maintaining his CSC appointment) to succeed the respected and beloved Grover Powers on his retirement. This joint arrangement lasted until 1964 when Dr. Senn resigned the pediatric chairmanship. Senn was devoted to broadening the concept of the pediatricians role to include psychological considerations in the science of medicine.
Edith B. Jackson, M.D. (b. 1895, d. 1977)Dr. Edith Jackson was a true pioneer in the fields of behavioral pediatrics and child psychiatry. Between 1946 and 1953 she directed the rooming-in project and made Yale the center for the concept of humanizing hospital experiences surrounding the birth of a baby. Rooming-in after birth is when a baby stays in the mother's room, as opposed to spending the majority of the time in the hospital's nursery. It is because of Dr. Jackson that both mothers and fathers of newborns began to have free access to their child while still in the hospital.
One of the major ongoing characteristics of the Child Study Center was established during the period of Dr. Senn's leadership. He was strongly influenced by his experience with child psychoanalysis, and he encouraged junior faculty to consider psychoanalysis as one of the basic sciences for research and clinical care. Almost all the faculty members of the Child Study Center at that time received training in psychoanalysis and moved to leadership in the field of child psychoanalysis.
An important consequence of the Child Study Center's interest in psychoanalysis was its close relationship with the Hampstead-Child Therapy Clinic (now the Anna Freud Centre) in London, England. Miss Anna Freud worked with children in wartime London and established a center in Hampstead that became the world's foremost clinic specializing in child psychoanalysis. Miss Freud visited Yale a number of times beginning in the 60's and spent considerable time with colleagues in both the Child Study Center and the Yale Law School.