Contextual therapy with its emphasis on relational ethics remains a unique contribution to the field of family therapy. Its integrative approach incorporates ideas from psychiatry, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and family systems theories, offering a comprehensive framework for counseling that has been widely endorsed by clinicians around the world. This entry provides an overview of development, basic theoretical constructs, clinical conceptualization, and interventions of contextual therapy, concluding with contemporary applications of the model.


Contextual therapy was founded by Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy in the 1960s and further refined by Geraldine Spark, Barbara Krasner, Catherine Ducommun-Nagy, and others. Boszormenyi-Nagy grew up and was educated as a psychiatrist in Hungary. He immigrated to the United States after World War II in the midst of political oppression. Contextual therapy was developed as a ...

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