Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Ackerman, Nathan

  • Rajeswari Natrajan-TyagiEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_909


Ackerman, Nathan


Nathan Ackerman is widely acknowledged as a pioneer in the field of family therapy and is credited with developing the concept of family psychology. He was born in Bessarabia, Russia, on November 22, 1908. Ackerman and his family came to the United States in 1912 when he was only 4-years-old. He grew up during the age of anti-Semitism, the great depression, and World War II.


He attended the public school system in New York City, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University in 1929 and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Columbia University in 1933. He did his internships at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas, and the Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, New York. At the Menninger Clinic, Ackerman was offered a staff position which he accepted and in 2 years rose to the position of Chief Psychiatrist at that clinic. During World War II, Ackerman lent his services to the Red Cross and by the end of the war he was offered the...

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  1. Barrows, S. E. (1982). Nathan, W. Ackerman as a therapist and individual: An interview with Donald Bloch and Kitty La Perriere. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 10(4), 63–70.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01926188208250101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Broderick, C. B., & Schrader, S. S. (1981). The history of professional marriage and family therapy. In A. S. Gurman & D. P. Kniskern (Eds.), Handbook of family therapy (pp. 5–35). New York: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
  3. Nichols, M. P. (2011). The evolution of family therapy. In The essentials of family therapy (pp. 7–28). Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Couples and Family Therapy Masters and Doctoral Programs, California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University (Irvine)IrvineUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • David Kearns
    • 1
  • Bahareh Sahebi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA