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who do you think are the 10 most influential family therapy pioneers? Terry D. Hargrave, PhD 6. Salvador Minuchin Arnold Woodruff, MS Wayne Denton, MD Clinical Member 7. Michael White Clinical Member Clinical Member Amarillo, TX 8. Cloe Madanes Richmond, VA Dallas, TX 1. Salvador M
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    SEPTEMBER   OCTOBER   2008   23   family therapy pioneers a directory  24   FAMILY    THERAPY    MAGAZINE family therapy SEPTEMBER   OCTOBER   2008   25  pioneers Birth date and location  Nathan Ackerman  was born in Bessarabia, Russia on November 22, 1908 and died in 1971. Educational background  Nathan and his family came to the U.S. in 1912 and  were naturalized in 1920. He attended public school in New York City, earned a BA from Columbia University in 1929, and an MD from Columbia in 1933. Contributions to the field   Nathan Ackerman is widely acknowledged as a pioneer in the field of family therapy and is credited with developing the concept of family psychology. In 1955, he was the first to initiate a debate on family therapy at a meeting of the American Orthopsychiatric Association,  with the intention of opening lines of communication in this new branch of psychiatry. He believed that the mental or physical disposition of one family member  would effect other family members, and that often the best way to treat the individual was to treat the family as a whole. In fact, he was a very strong advocate of treating the whole family in order to solve the problems of the individual. Nathan devoted most of his career to family psychotherapy. Influences leading to interest in family-based interventions  Nathan became chief psychiatrist at the Menninger Child Guidance Clinic in 1937. He also was the chief psychiatrist at the Jewish Board of Guardians from 1937 to 1951. His work in these two positions greatly influenced his thinking about family systems. In 1938, he published two books, The Unity of the Family   and Family Diagnosis: An Approach to the Preschool Child   that contributed to the development of family therapy. After  World War II, Nathan began to experiment with seeing patients and their families in a group. He published, taught and showed movies demonstrating this new method, pioneering not only a new type of therapy, but also the tradition of the audiovisual documentation of clinical work that became one of the cornerstones of family therapy training. How this work is being carried on today  Nathan Ackerman founded the Ackerman Institute in 1960. For almost half a century, the Institute has continued his pioneering work by engaging in a three-pronged effort that encompasses: 1) innovative clinical family therapy services through its onsite clinic (licensed by the State of New York Office of Mental Health) and in community settings; 2) state-of-the-art training programs for mental health and other professionals onsite and in community settings in and around New  York City and internationally; and 3) cutting-edge research initiatives that focus on the development of new treatment models and training techniques. Through this dynamic interaction of treatment, training and research, the Institute helps families, serves mental healthcare professionals, and brings innovative perspectives to a broad array of community service agencies and other healthcare facilities. Information and photo provided by the  Ackerman Institute for the Family, New York, NY. Nathan Ward Ackerman he believed that the mental or physical disposition of one family member would effect other family members, and that often the best way to treat the individual was to treat the family as a whole. Birth date and location  Gregory Bateson was born in 1904 in Grantchester, England, and died in 1980. Educational background  Gregory graduated with a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences at St. John’s College, Cambridge University in 1925, and received his master’s degree in anthropology in 1930. Contributions to the field   Between 1953 and 1962, anthropologist Gregory Bateson and his research team (John Weakland, Jay Haley, Don Jackson, and William Fry) conducted one of the most important and influential series of research projects ever in the behavioral sciences. Using Russell and Whitehead’s theory of logical types as a conceptual framework, the focus of inquiry was on the nature of communications processes, context, and paradox. The first synthesis of the research was the landmark article, “Toward a Theory of Schizophrenia” (1956). During the 10 years this group worked together, they produced more than 70 articles and book chapters. This ground breaking research set forth a revolutionary approach to understanding human behavior, and in doing so, laid the foundation upon  which communication (i.e., interactional) theory, and a major part of the field of marriage and family therapy, and brief therapy are based. Subsequent to these research projects, Gregory, who was among the most respected anthropologists of his era before the projects began,  was to go on to achieve recognition as one of the most important founding thinkers and creators of cybernetics and communication theory as applied to understanding human behavior—and to be one of the most influential theoreticians ever in anthropology, psychiatry, and marriage and family therapy. Influences leading to interest in family-based interventions   The Handbook of Family Therapy (1981) tells us that Gregory had studied the social systems of animals and had an interest in general systems theory. These early roots eventually led to work  with schizophrenic children and their communications with their mothers. This is where the concept of the double-bind  would emerge. Family sessions had become a part of the research team’s efforts. How this work is being carried on today  In the 38 years since the Bateson Projects came to an end, hundreds of books, book chapters and articles based upon this research have been published and countless copies sold. In addition, some of the most influential brief and family therapy orientations in use today, most notably the MRI Brief Therapy model, Steve de Shazer and Insoo Berg’s Solution Focused Therapy, and the Milan Systemic Family Therapy orientation, trace their heritage directly to Gregory Bateson’s research projects. Further, many leading systemic narrative and post-modern approaches acknowledge the Bateson Projects as having been an important wellspring from which their own orientations derive. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Bateson Research Projects remain one of—if not the most—profoundly influential sources of the current interactional and systemic orientations to understanding human behavior, as is recognized not only throughout the field of marriage and family therapy, but also in the fields of cultural anthropology, psychiatry, psychology and the other human sciences.  Most information and photo courtesy of Mental Research Institute (MRI), Palo Alto, CA. Reference:   Broderick, C. B., & Schrader, S. S. (1982). The history of professional marriage and family therapy. In A. Gurman & D. Kniskern (Eds.), Handbook of family therapy  , 24-25. New York: Brunner/Mazel. Gregory Bateson one of the most influential theoreticians ever in anthropology, psychiatry, and marriage  and family therapy.  26   FAMILY    THERAPY    MAGAZINE family therapy SEPTEMBER   OCTOBER   2008   27  pioneers Birth date and location  Luigi Boscolo was born in Italy, but as of press time, the AAMFT was not able to determine the date or city of birth. Educational background  Luigi Boscolo studied medicine and pediatrics at the University of Padua in Italy where he earned his MD. Contributions to the field   From 1961-67, Luigi was in New York specializing in psychiatry and psychoanalysis at the New York Medical College and Metropolitan Hospital in New York. In 1967, he returned to Italy to join his friend Gianfranco Cecchin and colleagues Mara Selvini-Palazzoli and Giuliana Prata for the purpose of treating schizophrenia and eating disorders in what later became the Family Therapy Center of Milan. By the early 70s, the Milan team put forth a new model of family therapy inspired by the strategic therapy of Palo Alto, as well as the ideas of Gregory Bateson (cybernetics), which very much inspired them. The methods and results are described in the landmark book, Paradox and Counterparadox  . The team was having success working with apparently impossible cases, and they published a series of influential articles discussing treatment approaches of severely disturbed people, using what they called Milan systemic family therapy. Others in the field became aware of Luigi and the Milan team through these brilliant early writings on systemic therapy with families in schizophrenic transaction (c.f., Selvini-Palazzoli, Boscolo, Cecchin, & Prata, 1978, 1980; Cecchin, 1987). Communication theory and conjoint family therapy proved to be enormously helpful in the Milan team’s work. From 1975 to 1980, the concept of “neutrality” was a very significant offering from the Milan group. Many in the field consider this to be their most important contribution. In the early 1980s, the Milan team split up and Luigi remained with Gianfranco Cecchin to found and co-direct the Family Therapy Institute of Milan, where they trained countless therapists in the Milan systemic approach. The center, in addition to clinical work and research, began to play an important role for training, which eventually spread to Europe, America, and Australia. Luigi was a teacher and supervisor not only at the center, but abroad, as well. Influences leading to interest in family-based interventions  Luigi and his collaborators were curious to learn about the work of Paul Watzlawick in Palo Alto, CA. For several years, the group applied psychoanalytic logic in  working with families, but they were frustrated by the slow pace of progress. Searching for a more effective approach, the team members found writings about communication theory and conjoint family therapy by members of the Bateson Research Team (Bateson,  Jackson, Haley, and Weakland) and the Mental Research Institute to be enormously helpful in their  work (Selvini-Palazzoli, 1995). Using   Pragmatics of Human Communication  (Watzlawick, Beavin-Bavelas & Jackson, 1967) as a guide, the Milan team embraced communication/interactional theory, completely changing how they conceptualized the nature of problems and their technique of family treatment. How this work is being carried on today  Some of the major concepts emerging from, or advanced by, the Milan Group which greatly influenced the field and endure today are circularity, hypothesis building and curiosity, psychotic family “games,” and time. Luigi’s  work, along with the rest of the team, was described by James A. Marley in Family Involvement in Treating Schizophrenia   (2003) as “raising the art of asking good questions almost to a science.” Today, the Post-Milan approach is an amalgam of the srcinal concepts blended  with new techniques. Some information excerpted from  Family Therapy News,  May/June 1985; September/October 1986; and the Web site of Centro Milanese di Terapia della Famiglia. Some text written by Wendel A. Ray, PhD, and Karin Schlanger,  MFT. See page xx for references and author information. Luigi Boscolo luigi’s work is described as “raising the art of asking good questions almost to a science.” Birth date and location  Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy, MD, was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1920 and died in 2007. Educational background  Ivan obtained his MD from Peter Pazmany University, and completed his psychiatric residency and additional training in physics and biochemistry, with the hope of discovering the etiology of schizophrenia. A political refugee, he moved to the U.S. in 1950. Already an assistant professor of psychiatry when he left Hungary, he joined the University of Illinois in Chicago and gained the respect of the scientific community for his research on correlations between mental illness and intracellular metabolism. However, he realized the scientific knowledge of the time was not sufficient to reach his life’s goal, so he returned to clinical work and spent his life developing and refining contextual therapy, and trying to define good therapy, in general. He obtained his U.S. board-certification in psychiatry in 1956. Contributions to the field   Ivan discovered that our behavior towards others is not simply determined by our individual biological or psychological needs, nor by the regulatory forces described in general systems theory or cybernetics, but also by our expectation of fairness and reciprocity, which he described as the dimension of relational ethics. This led him to the definition of a multidimensional model of therapy—contextual therapy. He also demonstrated that the cohesion of families and other human groups  was the result of the individual commitment from each group member to respond to the expectations of the others, in return for their support. For Ivan, family homeostasis depends on loyalty; not on homeostatic forces that family therapists had been hard pressed to define, but from a personal commitment of each individual to remain available to other family members. Invisible Loyalties   (with Geraldine Spark, 1973) is one of the most quoted books in the field, but also the source of some misunderstandings. Too often, therapists have interpreted family loyalties as an obstacle to individuation. To the contrary, following the existential philosophers, Ivan contends that true autonomy results from relating to others. Mental health and family health are inseparable from a willingness to care about others, and about the next generations. His conclusions about the importance of loyalty and reciprocity for our success as individuals and as families have been confirmed by the work of researchers in other fields. This has given a scientific validity to the dimension of relational ethics. Ivan taught contextual therapy and psychiatry for over 20 years at Hahnemann University, founded its master in family therapy program in the 70s, and retired as an emeritus professor of psychiatry in 1999. He also founded the Institute for Contextual Growth,  which has offered training both in the U.S. and in Europe for three decades. Ivan was a founding member of AFTA and of the Family Institute of Philadelphia, the recipient of numerous professional awards, awarded an honorary medical degree from the University of Bern (Switzerland), and received a gold presidential medal for distinguished contribution to his homeland, granted to him by the president of Hungary, Arpad Gönzs, in 2000. Influences leading to interest in family-based interventions  In 1957, at Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Ivan felt that individual therapy had limited results in schizophrenia, so he moved toward the involvement of family members in treatment, leading to the formulation of family therapy. His unit became one of the earliest family therapy training centers in the U.S. and provided inspiration for many pioneers of family therapy in Europe How this work is being carried on today  Though contextual therapy is practiced world-wide, the exact number of contextual therapists is difficult to determine, since Ivan refused to establish an organization for his approach. He always insisted that his work had validity for anyone wanting to do good therapy; it  was not just for contextual therapists. Indeed, others outside of the contextual approach recognize his work as important for their practice. His influence has reached outside of the field, and he has offered suggestions for applying contextual therapy to intergroup relationships. The approach is taught in most academic and private family therapy training programs, and some programs offer dedicated contextual therapy tracks both in the U.S. and in Europe. As to the future, contextual therapy is bound to gain a new visibility since family therapists  will need to make space for neurobiological determinants of behavior in their models of therapy. In their search for an integrative model, they will discover that contextual therapy is already available as an integrative approach that spans from biology to relational ethics. Catherine Ducommun-Nagy, MD, LMFT, The Institute  for Contextual Growth, PC, Glenside, PA. Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy   28   FAMILY    THERAPY    MAGAZINE family therapy Birth date and location  Murray Bowen was born on January 13, 1913 in Waverly, Tennessee and died in 1990. Educational background  Murray was awarded an MD from the University of Tennessee Medical School, Memphis, in 1937. He served internships at Bellevue and Grasslands Hospitals in New York from 1938 to 1941. After five years of active duty in the Army, he did a Fellowship in psychiatry at the Menninger Clinic from 1946 to 1949. Contributions to the field   Murray moved to NIMH in 1954 to study mother-adult offspring symbiosis in more depth. The dysfunctional adult offspring were schizophrenic, but he could have studied symbiosis in other conditions as well, such as severe alcoholism. During the first year of the project, he saw that the unresolved mother-adult offspring attachment was part of a larger relationship process in which the father and other family members played important roles. The family could be most accurately conceptualized as an emotional unit  . Three other developments occurred during the early years of the study. Mother and schizophrenic offspring were each initially treated with individual psychotherapy. After appreciating the involvement of other family members in the process, Murray ended the individual sessions and developed a method of therapy for the family. The goal of the family therapy was to see if one family member could “pull-up” out of the “emotional stuck-togetherness” and function as a more differentiated self. If one parent could do it, it  would have a ripple effect that benefited the schizophrenic one. A second development was realizing the need for systems thinking to deal with the complex interactions in the families. A third development came from observations from concurrent outpatient work with families having problems less severe than schizophrenia. Murray realized that the fusion or emotional interdependence he found in schizophrenic families is simply an extreme version of the fusion that exists in all families. The NIMH project ended in 1959 and Murray moved to the Georgetown University Medical School Department of Psychiatry. During the early 1960s, he srcinated Bowen family systems theory. He considered the landmarks of his theory to include the introduction of natural systems concepts and evolutionary theory, the family diagram, the emotional system, differentiation of self, triangles, fusion, cut-off, projection to succeeding generations, extended family patterns, emotional objectivity, the therapist’s control of self, extension of family process to work and social systems, and societal regression—all integrated into human emotional, physical, and social functioning. Influences leading to interest in family-based interventions  Murray concluded early on that Freudian theory contained too much subjectivity to become part of science. He studied the sciences and other disciplines  with the goal of understanding what would be required to develop a science of human behavior. He decided it  would require anchoring a theory in the understanding of human beings as part of all life, as a product of evolution. Murray also did therapy and clinical research  with a wide range of psychiatric problems. He treated patients and interviewed family members. In the process, he was able to recognize the intense involvement that many patients’ parents had in their lives. He used “symbiosis” to describe the unresolved emotional attachment that typically existed between the mother and her adult dysfunctional offspring. Murray viewed the adult child’s dysfunction to be as much a symptom of the unresolved attachment as its cause  . How this work is being carried on today  Since Murray Bowen’s death, the development of Bowen theory and its applications has continued at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Washington, D.C., and at other centers around the country and overseas. The Center conducts training, sponsors conferences; publishes a journal, audiovisual, and other materials; has a family therapy clinic, and is involved in research efforts. Research thus far is consistent with a systems paradigm, providing a more complete explanation of human problems than the cause-and-effect paradigm.  Michael Kerr, Georgetown Family Center, Washington, DC. Murray Bowen he was able to recognize the intense involvement that many patients’ parents had in their lives.
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