Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Stierlin, Helm

  • Sarah A. B. KnappEmail author
  • Molly F. Gasbarrini
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_867


Helm, Stierlin


Born in Mannheim, Germany, Wilhelm “Helm” Paul Stierlin is renowned for his contributions furthering systemic and family therapy, and also for circulating these therapies throughout Germany in the 1970s. Stierlin has authored 13 books that have been translated into multiple languages, and approximately 300 journal articles relating to psychotherapy and family therapy.


Stierlin began his training by obtaining philosophy and medical degrees from the University of Heidelberg in 1951 and 1953, respectively. Finding that he was dissatisfied with the way psychiatry was taught and practiced in Germany at the time, Stierlin studied at the Sheppard-Enoch Pratt Hospital in Towson, Maryland, on scholarship. From there, he went to Chestnut Lodge, a psychiatric institution in Rockville, MD, where psychoanalysis was being practiced. It was here that Stierlin emphasized the importance of family in the treatment of schizophrenia. Stierlin then went to study in...

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  1. Stierlin, H. (1974). Separating parents and adolescents: A perspective on running away, schizophrenia, and waywardness. Oxford: Quadrangle/New York Times Book.Google Scholar
  2. Stierlin, H. (1975). The adolescent as delegate of his parents. Adolescent Psychiatry, 472–483.Google Scholar
  3. Stierlin, H. (1977). Adolf Hitler: A family perspective. New York: Psychohistory Press.Google Scholar
  4. Stierlin, H. (2009). The family in schizophrenic disorder: Systemic approaches. In Y. O. Alanen, M. González de Chávez, A. S. Silver, B. Martindale, Y. O. Alanen, M. González de Chávez, ... B. Martindale (Eds.), Psychotherapeutic approaches to schizophrenic psychoses: Past, present and future (pp. 233–250). New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.Google Scholar
  5. Winawer, H. (1983). The Heidelberg concept: An introduction to the work of Helm Stierlin and his associates. Family Systems Medicine, 1(4), 36–40.  https://doi.org/10.1037/h0089640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International UniversityLos AngelesUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Molly Gasbarrini
    • 1
  1. 1.California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International UniversityLos AngelesUSA