The History of Couple Therapy: A Millennial Review
Article first published online: 6 MAY 2004
Volume 41, Issue 2, pages 199–260, June 2002
How to Cite
Gurman, A. S. and Fraenkel, P. (2002), The History of Couple Therapy: A Millennial Review. Family Process, 41: 199–260. doi: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.2002.41204.x
- Issue published online: 6 MAY 2004
- Article first published online: 6 MAY 2004
- Manuscript received August 16, 2000; final revision submitted January 7, 2002; accepted January 10, 2002.
In this article, we review the major conceptual and clinical influences and trends in the history of couple therapy to date, and also chronicle the history of research on couple therapy. The evolving patterns in theory and practice are reviewed as having progressed through four distinctive phases: Phase I–Atheoretical Marriage Counseling Formation (1930–1963); Phase II–Psychoanalytic Experimentation (1931–1966); Phase III–Family Therapy Incorporation (1963–1985); and Phase IV–Refinement, Extension, Diversification, and Integration (1986–present). The history of research in the field is described as having passed through three phases: Phase I–A Technique in Search of Some Data (1930–1974), Phase II–Irrational(?) Exuberance (1975–1992), and Phase III–Caution and Extension (1993–present). The article concludes with the identification of Four Great Historical Ironies in the History of Couple Therapy.