Whitaker’s ideas were more creative than practical, he was not initially as well known as the other early pioneers; however, he was always respected by the leaders in the field. It was in his later years that Whitaker became a sage to the rest of the family therapy community and a constant fixture at conferences and workshops. His daring, creativity, and respect for the inherent strength in humans served as a model for other family therapists.


His death in 1995 left a hole in the field that may never be filled. Across the country from Palo Alto, California, another important family therapy think tank was developing in Philadelphia. Although perhaps not as well known as the Mental Research Institute, the family therapists and researchers who worked at the Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute (EPPI) have provided substantial contributions to the family therapy field. Similar to many of the early family therapists, Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy was a psychoanalytically trained psychiatrist with an interest in schizophrenia. He founded the family therapy department at the EPPI to study the relationship between family process and psychosis.


This became a major East Coast training institute which spawned numerous leaders in the field. Boszormenyi- Nagy co-edited with James Framo Intensive Family Therapy: Theoretical and Practical Aspects (1965), which was one of the first books in the field. More important, he wrote one of the first books on transgenerational family therapy, a school of therapy which believes that problems are maintained by patterns spanning several generations in families, Invisible Loyalties: Reciprocity in Intergenerational Family Therapy (Boszormenyi- Nagy and Spark, 1973).