The Healing Touch of Virginia Satir
“From the very beginning of her career, starting out as a school teacher in the late 1930s, Satir was drawn to people who were haunted by their sense of being different. At night, she would visit the homes of the students in her class to find out what was getting in their way, what triggered the feelings of low self-esteem that weighed so heavily on some of them. In the process, she discovered the power of the family and its role in constraining a child’s development. Later, when she became a social worker and grew increasingly interested in figuring out the subtle dynamics of family life, it was the outcasts—the schizophrenics, the institutionalized, the unwed mothers, the lost souls of the world—who drew her deepest sympathies.
By the late ’50s, Satir was already receiving widespread recognition as one of the foremost practitioners of a new approach to change called family therapy. In 1964, with the publication of Conjoint Family Therapy, her practical, down-to-earth introduction to the art of this new therapy, she gained a worldwide reputation. Constantly on the road from that time until the very end of her life, demonstrating her dramatic techniques and deeply empathic way of working, she became a kind of living legend as family therapy’s most celebrated recruiter and good-will ambassador.” (Richard Simon, Awaken)