Jay Haley: The Family Therapist

Once upon a time, therapy involved lying on a couch before a bearded fellow who sighed and said, “I wonder why you said that.” Therapy today is a viable option for constructing real solutions to real problems. It also might include a group behind a one-way mirror and a family in front of it with a video camera for a supervisor to study later.

Jay Haley on Therapy Abstract Family Image

What is family therapy?

Unlike other approaches to mental health and psychology, family therapy focuses on the interpersonal relationship of the members of a system called a family. Changing the system involves bringing the whole family together at times and attempting to make changes to reduce misery and distress.

Participation in family therapy does not suggest that something serious is wrong with a family. The family therapist serves as an agent to deal with simple adjustments or a system in misery. The therapy that is interpersonal is different from the therapy that is individual. Hundreds if not thousands of researchers and therapists are clarifying the cause of family distress and what to do about it.

Jay Haley’s books and DVDs

In his work on families and the family life cycle, Jay Haley has written about the dynamics between husbands and wives. “How to Have an Awful Marriage,” a chapter from Jay Haley’s book The Power Tactics of Jesus Christ, is available in PDF format as a download.