The MRI has served as one of the most influential centers for family therapy in the entire world. It was here that the strategic school of family therapy was founded, and to date, the MRI has produced over fifty completed research projects, more than forty books, and over 400 other publications (Weakland, Watzlawick, and Riskin, 1995). That same year, Jackson published the paper “Family Interaction, Family Homeostasis, and Some Implications for Conjoint Family Therapy” (Jackson, 1959), in which he argued that seeing families together was more effective than conducting therapy with individual members alone.


In 1960, Jackson joined with Nathan Ackerman to form a journal, Family Process, and appointed Jay Haley the first editor. The first issue of Family Process was published in 1962 and continues today to set the standard for the rest of the field. Don Jackson was an amazing diagnostician. Paul Watzlawick (in Weakland, Watzlawick, and Riskin, 1995) recalls that the researchers at the MRI met with Don for many, many weeks for several hours per week, and we played him blind segments of structured interviews—that is, the couple’s response to “How, out of the millions of people in the world, did you two get together?” We had 60 such examples which ranged from two to five minutes approximately. Don did not know the people. He had never seen them; we did not give him any information, not even the ages.