The Stone Center for Developmental Services and Studies at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) was founded in 1981 at Wellesley College, with Jean Baker Miller, M.D., as the founding director, dedicated to the prevention of psychological problems, the enhancement of psychological well-being, and understanding comprehensive human development. Founded with a generous grant from Grace W. and Robert S. Stone, the mission was carried out through education, research, and community outreach. Particular attention was paid to the experiences of women, children, and families. Over the years, innovative theoretical work and model programs were developed, including Relational-Cultural Theory (RCT) (initially known as the Stone Center Model).
RCT continued to be developed collaboratively by Jean Baker Miller, M.D., Judith V. Jordan, Ph.D., Irene Stiver, Ph.D., and Janet Surrey, Ph.D., who had begun meeting twice a month in 1977. This group, later named the Stone Center Theory Group, and then the Founding Scholars, was trying to break free from what they felt were the damaging effects for women of traditional therapy. They found an institutional home when the Stone Center was established. By then they were writing papers and presenting at conferences; they were literally coming into voice.
In 1995 the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute (JBMTI) was created as a program of the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW), the single organization established when the Stone Center for Developmental Services and Studies at Wellesley College and the Center for Research on Women (founded in 1974) joined together.