The story starts in the department of psychological medicine of a large London teaching hospital.
As a senior psychiatrist, our founder, Dr Jack Dominian, worked hard to treat his patients who were often from areas of the capital that had high levels of social deprivation. Over the years though, he noted repeated incidences of maternal postnatal depression, links between depression and relationship problems, and the detrimental effects of parental conflict on children.
Dr Dominian could see that marital discord and family breakdown were prominent features of the distress he encountered on a daily basis. With this in mind, he set out to improve services and the lives of thousands of individuals, couples and families.
Dr Dominian founded a small charity organisation to research the causes of family breakdown and deepen his understanding of the increase in divorce rates. The charity was named the Marriage Research Centre (now OnePlusOne) and was formed on a shoestring budget in 1971.
From the outset, Dr Dominian created a culture that ensures everybody who works with OnePlusOne is committed to putting research into practice. In recognition that academic reports only take things so far, it is important to use the evidence to find ways to help people in their daily lives.
It is this practical approach that means evidence is still used by OnePlusOne to create effective support, programmes, courses and products for individuals, couples and their families.
Our interdisciplinary team of researchers, practitioners and information specialists set out to collaborate across four strategic activities:
· Monitoring and evaluating evidence;
· developing good practice;
· sharing learning and information; and
· delivering quality training and resources.
We have continued to apply this strategy throughout the decades and it is still effective today.
The determination to constantly learn how to build and sustain strong family relationships in modern times was also established in the early years of OnePlusOne. In addition to our thorough evaluation of evidence from around the world, each member of staff also brings their own perspective and expertise on relationships. This all helps the organisation naturally refresh and keep up to date with the needs of society.
Our work continues to make a difference because:
Therefore, while the world has changed, incredible technology now influences how we communicate with people and families are living fast paced lives - strengthening relationships is still important, maybe even more important than ever.
We love our history, our mission and our work. We hope you do too.