Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Palo Alto Group, The

  • Wendel RayEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_596


The term “Palo Alto Group” refers to Gregory Bateson and his research associates in Palo Alto, California, or to Don D. Jackson, M.D., and his early coworkers at the Mental Research Institute (MRI), or both, since their personnel and research overlap. This term is convenient for referring to a number of researchers and clinicians jointly interested in examining behavior (especially symptomatic or deviant behavior) as a function of communication and interaction in social systems, studied initially in the family. There is, however, not a specific organization named “The Palo Alto Group.” Along with basic shared interests and approaches among these researchers and clinicians, certain differences and changes over time have also existed.

Prominent Associated Figures and Contributions

Bateson’s original research group included John H. Weakland and Jay Haley when the group began in late 1952 and ended in June 1961. Psychiatrist Dr. Jackson joined in early 1954, and William F....

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Louisiana MonroeMonroeUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Thorana Nelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Santa FeUSA