Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

pp 1-4

Date: Latest Version

Ackerman Institute for the Family

Introduction

Founded in 1960 by Nathan Ackerman as a training institute, the Ackerman Institute for the Family was initially known as The Family Institute. Nathan Ackerman, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, believed that if one person in the family had a problem, everyone in the family was impacted and that the place to solve that problem was in the family. Dr. Ackerman’s idea to position family therapy as the primary therapeutic modality in the treatment of children was revolutionary at the time. Following WWII, he began to experiment with seeing his patients and their families together in therapy. A group of grateful families came together to establish a nonprofit center to support and expand Nathan Ackerman’s’ work in teaching and training. A building was donated for this work, which was located on the Upper East Side of New York City in an old brownstone. Dr. Ackerman published, taught, and even videotaped his new methods. Documenting clinical work with videotapes became the corners ...

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