In 1967, Haley left the MRI to join Salvador Minuchin at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic where he helped develop structural family therapy (see Chapter 3), a form of therapy in which the therapist uses an organizational approach to treat families. He then moved on to found the Family Therapy Institute of Washington, DC, which he directs with his ex-spouse Cloe Madanes.


Jay Haley continues to be a leader in the strategic school of family therapy. While Virginia Satir was one of the original members of the MRI, her relationship to Strategic Family Therapy is tangential at best. She began seeing families in the early 1950s as a social worker in Chicago; however, it was through reading Bateson et al.’s (1956) “Toward a Theory of Schizophrenia” that she developed a systems perspective (Satir, Stachowiak, and Taschman, 1977). This made her a natural to join Jackson in Palo Alto, which was becoming a hotbed for the emerging field. During the mid-1960s she left the MRI to become involved with the human potential movement at the Esalan Institute in Big Sur, California, where she became associated with experiential family therapy, a school of family therapy that is more focused on human emotions and growth than interactional sequences.


Similar to Haley, Satir was a major force in popularizing this new movement; however, she recruited followers through her warmth and charisma in contrast to Haley’s criticism and controversial stances. Broderick and Schrader (1991) recall.