Academic journal article Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Propagations: Thirty Years of Influence from the Mental Research Institute

Academic journal article Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Propagations: Thirty Years of Influence from the Mental Research Institute

Article excerpt

Weakland, J. H., & Ray, W. A. (Eds.). (1995). Propagations: Thirty years of influence from the Mental Research Institute. Binghamton, NY: Haworth, 304 pp., $36.95. Propagations: Thirty Years of Influence from the MRI, edited by John Weakland and Wendel Ray, is a collection of writings by 28 contributors that samples the immense influence that MRI has had on the psychotherapy field. Within this single volume the reader will be exposed to the challenges of doing brief therapy in India, quantum psychology, and more. The unifying theme is that the work of MRI substantially contributed to the diverse ideas and practices illustrated in this book.

Among the many helpful and competent chapters, three contributions stand out: the introduction, the chapter on the contribution of Don Jackson, and the chapter on the difference between MRI's brief therapy and the solution-focused approach. The introduction is and edited version of a "trialog" among Weakland, Paul Watzlawick, and Jules Riskin. It is a short and surprisingly intimate review of the history of MRI. Here we find reference to rarely mentioned LSD research, to the personality quirks and genius of Jackson and Virginia Satir, and to the uneasy evolution of MRI out of the Bateson project. Ray's chapter on Jackson is accompanied by a transcript of a family interviews completed in 1964. Few people realize that Jackson was one of the two primary clinical supervisors (the other being Milton Erickson) of Weakland and Jay Haley. …

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