The family movement in therapy resembles the Protestant movement in religion. It follows on the heels of a highly organized body of ideas and practice which has a well-recognized founding father, Sigmund Freud. Despite multiple heresies and schisms, psychoanalysis has formed the basis for a mental health establishment. Some pioneers in the family therapy field have mounted a revisionistic assault, almost amounting to revolution, against the ideas of the Freudian establishment, and this revolution has produced a host of rival messiahs, gurus, and sects, all claiming primacy but none finding legitimacy.
How, then, to comment on the differences and similarities among the major approaches to family therapy which have developed in the United States? Since Madanes and Haley have covered the large territory of transpersonal therapies, 1 our next chapters will focus on five major approaches within the field of family therapy: the historical, the ecological, the structural, the strategic, and the systemic