Paul Watzlawick, Janet Beavin Bavelas, Don D. Jackson
Paul Watzlawick (1921–2007) was an Austrian-American family therapist, psychologist, communication theorist, and philosopher. A theoretician in communication theory and radical constructivism, he commented in the fields of family therapy and general psychotherapy. Watzlawick believed that people create their own suffering in the very act of trying to fix their emotional problems. He was one of the most influential figures at the Mental Research Institute and lived and worked in Palo Alto, California.
Janet Helmick Beavin Bavelas (born February 12, 1940, in Canada) is a Canadian psychologist and professor emeritus. Together with Paul Watzlawick and Don D. Jackson, she co-authored the book Pragmatics of Human Communication. In this book, fundamental findings of interpersonal communication are summarized into five metacognitive axioms. She graduated from Stanford University in 1961 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. This was followed in 1968 by a master's degree in communication research. In 1970 she completed her Ph.D. in psychology.
Donald deAvila "Don" Jackson, M.D. (1920–1968) was an American psychiatrist best known for his pioneering work in family therapy. From 1947 to 1951, he studied under Harry Stack Sullivan. From 1953 to 1962, he worked with Gregory Bateson, John Weakland, Jay Haley and William Fry, developing thinking in the areas of family therapy, brief therapy, systems theory and communication theory. One of the results of this research was the development of the double bind theory of schizophrenia. In 1958, he founded the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California, and was its first director.