History of Family Counseling

By: Kristi J. Blakemore

Main

Study

1920

Social psychologists studied small group dynamics in order to enhance their understanding of political problems and group structure and boundaries.

General

1920

Social psychologists studied small group dynamics in order to enhance their understanding of political problems and group structure and boundaries.

Marriage Counseling

1930

The first institutes for marriage counseling were established as clinicians recognized the advantages and efficiency of treating married couples in conjoint sessions.

General

1930

The first institutes for marriage counseling were established in the early 1930's as clinicians recognized the advantages and efficiency of treating married couples in conjoint sessions.

Nathan Ackerman

1937

Nathan Ackerman joined the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas, and became the chief psychiatrist of the Child Guidance Clinic

Nathan Ackerman

1937

Nathan Ackerman joined the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas, and became the chief psychiatrist of the Child Guidance Clinic

Nathan Ackerman

1938

Nathan Ackerman published The Unity of the Family and Family Diagnosis: An Approach to the Preschool Child, both of which inspired the family therapy movement.

Nathan Ackerman

1938

Nathan Ackerman published The Unity of the Family and Family Diagnosis: An Approach to the Preschool Child, both of which inspired the family therapy movement.

Don Jackson

1943

Don Jackson graduates from Stanford University School of Medicine and strongly rejected the psychoanalytic concepts that formed the basis of his early training.

Don Jackson

1943

Don Jackson graduates from Stanford University School of Medicine and strongly rejected the psychoanalytic concepts that formed the basis of his early training.

Carl Whitaker

1946

Carl Whitaker served as Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Emory University, where he focused on treating schizophrenics and their families.

Murray Bowen

1946 - 1949

Murray Bowen studied the symbiotic relationships of mothers and their schizophrenic children at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas.

Carl Whitaker

1946

Carl Whitaker served as Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Emory University, where he focused on treating schizophrenics and their families.

Murray Bowen

1946 - 1954

Murray Bowen studied the symbiotic relationships of mothers and their schizophrenic children at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas.

John Elderkin Bell

1950

John Elderkin Bell began treating families.

Ivan Boszmormenyi-Nagy

1950

Ivan Boszmormenyi-Nagy's emphasis on loyalty, trust, and relational ethics -- both within the family and between the family and society -- made major contributions to the field of family therapy.

Ivan Boszmormenyi-Nagy

1950

Ivan Boszmormenyi-Nagy's emphasis on loyalty, trust, and relational ethics -- both within the family and between the family and society -- made major contributions to the field of family therapy.

John Elderkin Bell

1950

John Elderkin Bell began treating families.

John Elderkin Bell

1951

John Elderkin Bell discovered that John Bowlby, a well-respected clinician, was applying group psychotherapy techniques to treat individual families.

Virginia Satir

1951

Virginia Satir began treating families.

Jay Haley

1953

Jay Haley was studying for a master's degree in communication at Stanford University when Gregory Bateson invited him to work on the schizophrenia project.

Don Jackson

1954

Don Jackson had developed a rudimentary family interactional therapy out of his pioneering work with the Palo Alto group and research on schizophrenia (Nichols & Schwartz, 1998. Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods. 4th ed. Allyn & Bacon).

Jay Haley

1954 - 1960

Jay Haley developed his therapeutic skills under the supervision of master hypnotist Milton Erickson.

Murray Bowen

1954

Murray Bowen became the first director of the Family Division at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

General

1955

The practice of treating psychological problems in the context of the family begins.

Carl Whitaker

1955

Carl Whitaker left Emory to enter into private practice

Virginia Satir

1955

Virginia Satir established a training program for psychiatric residents at the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute

Nathan Ackerman

1955

Nathan Ackerman organized the first discussion on family diagnosis at a meeting of the American Orthopsychiatric Association to facilitate communication in the developing field of family therapy.

Gregory Bateson

1956

Gregory Bateson and his colleagues introduced the concept of the double bind to describe how schizophrenic symptoms could be explained in the context of families.

Ivan Boszmormenyi-Nagy

1957

Ivan Boszmormenyi-Nagy established the Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute (EPPI) and served as codirector and cotherapist along with social worker Geraldine Spark.

Nathan Ackerman

1957

Nathan Ackerman established the Family Mental Health Clinic in New York City and began teaching at Columbia University.

Don Jackson

1958

Don Jackson established the Mental Research Institute and worked with Virginia Satir, Jules Riskin, Jay Haley, John Weakland, Paul Watzlawick and Bateson.

Virginia Satir

1959 - 1966

Virginia Satir served as the director of training at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto.

Murray Bowen

1959

Murray Bowen began a thirty-one year career at Georgetown University's Department of Psychiatry where he refined his model of family therapy and trained numerous students, including Phil Guerin, Michael Kerr, Betty Carter, and Monica McGoldrick, and gained international recognition for his leadership in the field of family therapy.

Salvador Minuchin

1960

Born and raised in Argentina, Salvador Minuchin began his career as a family therapist when he discovered two patterns common to troubled families: some are "enmeshed," chaotic and tightly interconnected, while others are "disengaged," isolated and seemingly unrelated.

John Elderkin Bell

1960

John Elderkin Bell publishes his ideas.

Nathan Ackerman

1960

Nathan Ackerman opened the Family Institute.

Salvador Minuchin

1962

Salvador Minuchin formed a productive professional realtionship with Jay Haley, who was then in Palo Alto.

Don Jackson

1963

Don Jackson's model of the family involved several types of rules that defined the communication patterns and interactions among family members.

Carl Whitaker

1965

Carl Whitaker became a professor of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin

Salvador Minuchin

1965

Salvador Munuchin became the director of the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic, which eventually became the world's leading center for family therapy and training.

Virginia Satir

1966

Virginia Satir began serving as the director of training at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur.

Jay Haley

1967

Jay Haley conducted research at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto until he joined Salvador Minuchin at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic

Don Jackson

1968

Don Jackson died by his own hand at the age of 48.

Jay Haley

1970

A brilliant strategist and devastating critic, Jay Haley was a dominating figure in developing the Palo Alto Group's communcations model and stategic family therapy, which became popular.

Phillip Guerin

1970

Phillip Guerin became the Director of Training of the Family Studies Section at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Bronx State Hospital, a family therapy training center originally organized by Israel Zwerling and Marilyn Mendelsohn.

Nathan Ackerman

1971

The Family Institute was renamed the Ackerman Institute after Nathan Ackerman's death.

Phillip Guerin

1972

Phillip Guerin's pioneering efforts and exceptional leadership resulted in his establishing an extramural training program in Westchester and founding the Center for Family Learning in New Rochelle, New York, one of the most exceptional family therapy programs for training and practice in the nation.

Ivan Boszmormenyi-Nagy

1973

Ivan Boszmormenyi-Nagy was also an active researcher of schizophrenia and family therapy and coauthored Invisible loyalties: Reciprocity in intergenerational family therapy (Boszormenyi-Nagy & Spark, 1973).

Salvador Minuchin

1975

Salvador Minuchin stepped down as director of the Phildelphia Clinic to pursue his interest in treating families with psychosomatic illnesses and to continue writing some of the most influential books in the field of family therapy.

Jay Haley

1976

Jay Haley moved to Washington D.C. and founded the Family Therapy Institute with Cloe Madanes, which has become one of the major training institutes in the country.

Betty Carter

1977

Betty Carter left the Center for Family Learning to become the founding director of the Family Institute of Westchester.

Salvador Minuchin

1981

Minuchin established Family Studies, Inc., in New York, a center committed to teaching family therapists.

Carl Whitaker

1982

Carl Whitaker retires from the University of Wisconsin

Phillip Guerin

1987

Phillip Guerin publishes: The Evaluation and treatment of marital conflict: A four-stage approach (Guerin, 1987)

Virginia Satir

1988

Virginia Satir died after suffering from pancreatic cancer.

Murray Bowen

1990

Murray Bowen died following a lengthy illness.

Jay Haley

1995

Jay Haley retired.

Carl Whitaker

1995

Carl Whitaker died, leaving a heartfelt void in the field of family therapy

Salvador Minuchin

1996

Salvador Minuchin retired

Phillip Guerin

1996

Phillip Guerin publishes: Working with relationship triangles: The one-two-three of psychotherapy (Guerin, Fogarty, Fay & Kautto, 1996).