Family Therapy Timeline

Events in history YEAR Events in Family Therapy
F.D.R. dies, Truman becomes President
WWII ends in Europe (5/8) and the Pacific (8/14)
1945 Bertalanffy presents general systems theory
1946 Bowen at Menninger Clinic
Whitaker at Emory


Truman reelected U.S. President
State of Israel established
1948 Whitaker begins conferences on schizophrenia

Communist People's Republic of China established 1949

1950 Bateson begins work at Palo Alto VA

1951 Ruesch & Bateson: Communication: The Social Matrix of Society
Bowen residential treatment of mothers and children
Lidz at Yale
Eisenhower elected U.S. President 1952 Bateson receives Rockefeller grant to study communication in Palo Alto Wynne at NIMH


Supreme Court rules school segregation unconstitutional 1954 Bateson project research on schizophrenic communication
Bowen at National Institute of Mental Health


1957 Jackson: "The question of family homeostasis"
Ackerman opens the Family Mental Health Clinic of Jewish Family Services in New York
Boszormenyi-Nagy opens Family Therapy Department at EPPI in Philadelphia
Ackerman: The psychodynamics of family life

Castro becomes Premier of Cuba 1959 The Mental Research Institute (MRI) founded by Don Jackson

Kennedy elected U.S. President 1960

Berlin Wall erected 1961 Bell: Family Group Therapy
Family Process founded by Ackerman and Jackson
Cuban Missile Crisis 1962

Kennedy assassinated 1963 Haley: Strategies of Psychotherapy

Johnson elected U.S. President
Nobel Peace Prize: Martin Luther King
1964 Satir: Conjoint Family Therapy

Passage of Medicare
Malcolm X assassinated
1965 The Family Institute founded by Nathan Ackerman (renamed the Ackerman Institute in 1971)
Minuchin becomes director of Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic
Red Guards demonstrate in China 1966

Six-Day War between Israel and Arab states
Urban riots in Cleveland, Newark and Detroit
1967 Watzlawick et al. Pragmatics of Human Communication
Dicks, Marital Tensions
Brief Therapy Center founded at MRI
Nixon elected U.S. President
Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinated
Don Jackson dies

Widespread demonstrations against war in Vietnam 1969

Student protests against Vietnam War result in killing of 4 students at Kent State 1970

26th Amendment grants right to vote to 18-year-olds 1971 Nathan Ackerman dies

Nixon re-elected U.S. President 1972 Bateson: Steps to an Ecology of Mind

Supreme Court rules that states may not prohibit abortion
Energy crisis created by oil shortages
1973 Center for Family Learning founded by Phil Guerin

Nixon resigns 1974 Minuchin: Families and Family Therapy
Watzlawick et al. Change

Vietnam War ends 1975

Carter elected U.S. President 1976 Haley: Problem-Solving Therapy

1977 Family Institute of Westchester founded by Betty Carter

Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel 1978 Hare-Mustin: "A Feminist Approach to Family Therapy"
Selvini Palazzoli et al., Paradox and Counterparadox
1979 Haley, Leaving Home

Reagan elected U.S. President 1980 Milton Erickson dies (b. 1901)
Gregory Bateson dies (b. 1904)

1981 Hoffman, The Foundations of Family Therapy

1982 1982 Gilligan, In a Different Voice
Fisch, Weakland & Segal, Tactics of Change
The Family Therapy Networker founded by Richard Simon


1985 de Shazer, Keys to Solution in Brief Therapy


1987 Tom Andersen: "The Reflecting Team"

Bush elected U.S. President 1988 Kerr & Bowen, Family Evaluation
Virginia Satir dies (born 1916)


The Berlin Wall comes down 1990 Murray Bowen dies (b. 1913)
White & Epston, Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends

Desert Storm war against Iraq 1991 Harold Goolishian dies (b. 1924)
Andersen, The Reflecting Team

Clinton elected U.S. President 1992 Family Institute of New Jersey founded by Monica McGoldrick


Republicans win majority in Congress 1994 David and Jill Scharf leave Washington School of Psychiatry to begin the International Institute of Object Relations Therapy
1995 Carl Whitaker dies
John Weakland dies
Jay Haley retires
Salvador Minuchin retires
Family Studies Inc., renamed The Minuchin Center
Clinton re-elected U.S. President 1996 Edwin Friedman dies (b. 1932)


Historical Overview | Therapist Profiles | Home | Links | Timeline