Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Epstein, Nathan

  • Kamran K. EshtehardiEmail author
  • Molly F. Gasbarrini
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_840

Name of Person

Dr. Nathan B. Epstein


Dr. Nathan B. Epstein is the primary originator of the McMaster model of family functioning (MMFF). The MMFF is a theoretical basis for understanding, assessing, and diagnosing family functioning. Using the MMFF as a foundation, Dr. Epstein created a treatment model called the problem-centered systems therapy of the family (PCSTF), a therapeutic approach that focuses primarily on the overall stages of therapy rather than specific interventions and strategies. Together, the MMFF and PCSTF constitute the McMaster approach to family therapy. In addition, Dr. Epstein helped create instruments and a structured interview used in the practice of the McMaster approach.


In 1948, Dr. Epstein received his M.D. at the Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine in Canada. He completed his internship at Boston University Medical Center and residency in psychiatry at the Columbia University School of Public Health. While at Columbia University,...

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  1. Epstein, N. B., & Bishop, D. S. (1981). Problem centered systems therapy of the family. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 7(1), 23–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Epstein, N. B., Bishop, D. S., & Levin, S. (1978). The McMaster model of family functioning. Journal of Marriage and Family Counseling, 4(4), 19–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Epstein, N. B., Baldwin, L. M., & Bishop, D. S. (1983). The McMaster family assessment device. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 9(2), 171–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Miller, I. W., Kabacoff, R. I., Epstein, N. B., Bishop, D. S., Keitner, G. I., Baldwin, L. M., & Van der Spuy, H. J. (1994). The development of a clinical rating scale for the McMaster model of family functioning. Family Process, 33(1), 53–69.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Ryan, C. E., Epstein, N. B., Keitner, G. I., Miller, I. W., & Bishop, D. S. (2005). Evaluation and treating families: The McMaster approach. New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

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

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jessica Rohlfing Pryor
    • 1
  1. 1.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA