Timeline of Psychotherapy

This is a Timeline of Psychotherapy history. Significant events in the history and development of psychotherapy may be added here.

Nineteenth century


  • 1886 - Sigmund Freud opened in private practice in Vienna
  • 1890s
  • 1892 - Foundation of the American Psychological Association (APA) headed by G. Stanley Hall.
  • 1896 - The first psychological clinic was developed at the University of Pennsylvania marking the birth of clinical psychology.

Twentieth century


  • 1900 - Sigmund Freud published 'Interpretation of Dreams' marking the beginning of Psychoanalytic Thought.
  • 1906 - The Journal of Abnormal Psychology was founded by Morton Prince.
  • 1910s
  • 1911 - Alfred Adler left Freud's Psychoanalytic Group to form his own school of thought, accusing Freud of overemphasizing sexuality and basing his theory on his own childhood.
  • 1913 - Carl G. Jung departed from Freudian views and developed his own theories citing Freud's inability to acknowledge religion and spirituality. His new school of thought became known as Analytical Psychology.
  • 1913 - Jacob L. Moreno applies Group Psychotherapy methods in Vienna. His new methods, which emphasise spontanaeity and interaction, later become known as Psychodrama and Sociometry.


  • 1921 - Jacob L. Moreno conducts the first large scale public Psychodrama session at the Komoedienhaus, Vienna. He moves to New York in 1925. 1940s
  • 1942 - Carl Rogers published 'Counseling and Psychotherapy' suggesting that respect and a non-judgmental approach to therapy is the foundation for effective treatment of mental health issues.
  • 1945 - The Journal of Clinical Psychology was founded.
  • 1949 - Boulder Conference outlines scientist-practitioner model of clinical psychology, looking at the M.D. versus Ph.D. used by medical providers and researchers, respectively.


  • 1951 - Carl Rogers publishes his major work, Client-Centered Therapy.
  • 1952 - The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was published by The American Psychiatric Association marking the beginning of modern mental illness classification.
  • 1953 - B.F. Skinner outlined behavioral therapy, lending support for behavioral psychology via research in the literature.
  • 1953 - Code of Ethics for Psychologists was developed by the American Psychological Association.
  • 1954 - Abraham Maslow helped to found Humanistic psychology and later developed his famous Hierarchy of Needs.


  • 1967 - Aaron Beck published a psychological model of depression suggesting that thoughts play a significant role in the development and maintenance of depression.
  • 1968 - DSM II was published by the American Psychiatric Association.
  • 1968 - First Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) professional degree program in Clinical Psychology was established in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign.


  • 1980 - DSM III published by the American Psychiatric Association. 1990s
  • 1994 - DSM IV published by the American Psychiatric Association.

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