In Memoriam: Bernard G. Guerney, Jr.
NCFR member Bernard Guilbert Guerney, Jr., Ph.D., died on March 16, 2019, at age 89.
Dr. Guerney was professor emeritus of family studies and counseling psychology at Pennsylvania State University, and has been internationally recognized as a prominent and innovative practitioner of marital and family therapy. Dr. Guerney is best known for his creation of Relationship Enhancement therapy and enrichment methods, and for creating in collaboration with his wife, Louise Guerney, Ph.D., Filial Family Therapy, a therapeutic practice and form of play therapy with children.
Alone, or with others, he has produced over 80 articles and chapters, four books, and numerous manuals, training tapes, and films in the areas of individual, marital, group, and family therapy. He was the co-recipient (with his wife, Louise) of the Marriage and Family Therapy Award for Contributions to the Field of Marriage and Family Therapy by NCFR's Family Therapy Section in 1988, as well as the recipient of numerous lifetime achievement and other awards from various national professional organizations.
Dr. Guerney founded the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement in Bethesda, Maryland, to continue the advancement of his innovative therapeutic methods. Dr. Guerney’s book, Relationship Enhancement: Skill-Training Programs for Therapy, Problem Prevention, and Enrichment has been called, by NCFR member Douglas Sprenkle, Ph.D., “a seminal and potentially revolutionary work … perhaps the best … integration of theory, research, and practice in the family intervention field.” Dr. Guerney is survived by his wife of 65 years, Louise, three adult children, Janis, Bruce and Robert, and three grandchildren, Aaron, Liana, and Cole.