Title

The influence of the Mental Research Institute: A conversation with Wendel Ray and John Miller

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy

Volume

43

Issue

3

First Page

381

Last Page

393

Publisher

Wiley

School

School of Arts and Humanities

RAS ID

52291

Comments

Amorin‐Woods, D., Ray, W., & Miller, J. (2022). The influence of the Mental Research Institute: A conversation with Wendel Ray and John Miller. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 43(3), 381-393. https://doi.org/10.1002/anzf.1510

Abstract

The renowned Mental Research Institute (MRI) is recognised as one of the most famous institutions where innovative ideas in interactional thinking, brief psychotherapy, family therapy, systems theory, and communication theory originated. The influential paper, ‘Toward a theory of schizophrenia,’ written by the pioneers of the MRI, launched family therapy as a discipline. Watzlawick, a key early figure at MRI, believed that 80% of what we communicate is in analogical nonverbal communication. Regarding communication/interactional theory, Watzlawick highlighted three core ideas of avoiding negation, understanding indicative and injunctive language, and using it to speak in the client's language. The double bind hypothesis articulated by Bateson and colleagues is seen as a continuum of human experience of communication, a pattern of learned helplessness.

DOI

10.1002/anzf.1510

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