The Caspari Foundation exists today because of the creativity, imagination and determination of Irene Caspari. She took her professional interest in children who struggled to learn to read and developed it into a distinct method of working with children.
This method combined psychological insight with teaching in order to address the emotional blocks which can get in the way of learning. Over the years, others have been inspired by her work and have developed the method into the version of Educational Psychotherapy we practice today.
Irene Caspari arrived in this country in 1935 aged 20, having fled the Nazi persecution of Jews in Germany. With her status defined as ‘enemy alien’, her life’s journey took her from her first job - as an assistant school matron, in exchange for board and lodgings - all the way to the Tavistock Clinic. Here, she trained and by 1961 became Principal Educational Psychologist.
Irene Caspari was an original thinker. Her work, outlined in her 1976 book Troublesome Children in Class and in her Collected Papers (posthumously published in 1984) marked the creation of what would become Educational Psychotherapy: a unique and much-needed approach to working with children, families and school staff who struggle with emotional barriers to learning.