Virginia Satir

“We can learn something new anytime we believe we can.” Virginia Satir

Virginia Satir, an American therapist, social worker, and author, who helped expand the world of family therapy. Along with Jay Haley, Milton Erickson, and Cloe Madanes, Virginia Satir was one of the many who shaped family therapy within the field of psychology. In her early years, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin, then conitnued towards her masters degree while working as a teacher for 6 years. She continued her education taking courses at Northwestern University in Chicago and then full-time at University of Chicago School of Social Services Administration.

After completing her masters degree, Virginia began a private practice and was later offered a position at the Illinois Psychiatric Institute to work alongside with other therapists to teach them the importance of addressing the whole family during therapy, instead of the individual client. Also, she taught that problems of an individual can extend to the family and can be caused from them as well.

Virginia helped establish and became director of the Mental Research Institute, which was an organization that was the first in offering training series to teach family therapy techniques. She also founded the International Human Learning Resources Network and created Avanta Network to provide those working in the field resources and support to mental health.

Virginia Satir contributed to the field of psychology a great amount of education and techniques to provide support and therapy to families. Virginia utilized her findings and hard work by creating the Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy Method, which was designed to improve communication and relationships within a family by addressing the individual’s emotions, actions, and perceptions.

Virginia had many accomplishments throughout her lifetime. She published her book Conjoint Family Therapy, and continued on publishing books that gave insight on treating families and individuals. She was also recognized for her achievements by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the Academy of Certified Social Workers. Virginia was elected President of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, and named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in America by the Ladies Home Journal in 1983. Virginia Satir influenced the work of many other therapists and social workers. Her hard work and dedication to the field of psychology and therapy is honored and respected till this day.


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