Cloe Madanes is a contemporary psychotherapist who specializes in minimizing interpersonal conflict. She helped develop the field of strategic intervention. 

Professional Life

Cloe Madanes was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1945. She studied psychology in Buenos Aires, and she was licensed there in 1965. Later, in Palo Alto, California, Madanes became associated with the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California, and her work was strongly influenced by her mentors Gregory Bateson, Salvador Minuchin, and Milton Erickon.

Madanes worked as an assistant professor in psychiatry at the University of Maryland Hospital and Howard University Hospital from 1974–1980, and as an adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland from 1980–1984. She and her ex-husband, Jay Haley, established the Family Therapy Institute of Washington, DC in 1976.

Madanes is a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. She has been awarded the 1996 Egner Foundation Award for Distinguished Contribution in the fields of psychology, anthropology, and philosophy and the California Psychological Association 2000 Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology. Madanes is particularly interested in the preservation of children’s rights and the prevention of family violence, and in 2005, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom presented her with an award in recognition of her advocacy on behalf of children.

Contribution to Psychology

In 2000, Madanes formed the Robbins-Madanes Center for Strategic Intervention in collaboration with motivational speaker and author Anthony Robbins. Using psychology and social sciences, Madanes and Robbins design strategic interventions that aim to assist in resolving conflicts in clients' professional and person lives. Strategic intervention strives to address the needs of all members of a family, community, or business while providing therapy and other intervention services in a shorter period of time.

The center provides training material for mental health professionals based on methods Madanes has developed, drawing from her clinical experience. Positive modifications can be achieved when the right techniques are implemented, and Madanes and her colleague employ several different methods of therapy in their interventions, including Ericksonian therapy, negotiation, family therapy, conflict resolution, life-cycle theory, and mediation. These strategies are detailed in her books, Relationship BreakthroughThe Violence of Men, and Strategic Family Therapy.


  1. Madanes, C. (2004, Nov). Remembering our heritage. Psychotherapy Networker, 28, 0. Retrieved from
  2. Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association. (2002). American Psychotherapy Association. Retrieved from