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Jay Haley

1923-
American psychologist known for his work in family therapy.

Jay Haley is an American psychologist recognized as one of the founders of family therapy. Haley was a cofounder of the Family Therapy Institute in Washington, D.C., and he created the publication Family Process. His contributions to the field of therapy include the development of strategic and humanistic processes.

Haley was born on July 19, 1923, in Midwest, Wyoming, to Andrew J. and Mary (Sneddon) Haley. On December 25, 1950, Haley married the musician Elizabeth Kuehn. They had three children: Kathleen, Andrew, and Gregory; and were later divorced in 1971. Haley received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1948. He later earned a B.L.S. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1951 and an M.A. from Stanford University in 1953.

Haley's career reflected his interest in family therapy, particularly in later years. He first served as a research associate between 1953 and 1962 in the Project for Study of Communication, Veterans Administration and Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. Between 1962 and 1967 Haley was director of family experimentation at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto. He served as the director of family research between 1967 and 1974 at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic. Beginning in 1974, Haley was appointed as director of the Family Therapy Institute, Chevy Chase, Maryland, where he serves currently.

Haley published a number of works relating to family therapy. These include Techniques of Family Therapy (with Lynn Hoffman) in 1967, Leaving Home in 1981, and Reflections on Therapy in 1982. Other therapy-related works include Uncommon Therapy in 1972 and Strategies of Psychotherapy in 1963. He also wrote The Power Tactics of Jesus Christ: And Other Essays in 1969 and edited Changing Families (1971) and Advanced Techniques of Hypnosis and Therapy (1967). Haley received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Milton H. Erickson Foundation.

Catherine Dybiec Holm

Further Reading

Haley, Jay and D.R. Grove. Conversations on Therapy: Popular Problems and Uncommon Solutions. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1993.

Haley, Jay. Learning and Teaching Therapy. New York: Guilford Press, 1996.

Haley, Jay. Leaving Home: The Therapy of Disturbed Young People. New York: Taylor & Francis, 1997.

Haley, Jay. Problem-Solving Therapy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1991.

Haley, Jay. Strategies of Psychotherapy. New York: Triangle Press/W.W. Norton & Co., 1990.

Additional topics

Psychology EncyclopediaFamous Psychologists & Scientists