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Virginia Satir

Updated: Apr 7



Earning the title “Mother of Family Therapy” Virginia Satir was an American therapist and an Author. She is also known for creating the Virginia Satir Change Process Model, a model developed through clinical studies.

Satir was born a curious child and learned to read by the age of three, at nine she had completed reading all the books in her small library. It was during the Great Depression that she took up a part time job to support her education.

After graduating social work school, Satir began private practice. She with her first family and in the year 1955 was associated with the Illinois Psychiatric Institute. She encouraged other therapist to focus on the family as unit, rather than an individual. Satir co-cofounded the Mental Research Institute, post moving to California.

Through her work Virginia spread the word of peace. She said “The family is a microcosm. By knowing how to heal the family, I know how to heal the world.” In the mid 70’s her work was studied by the co-founders of NLP, Richard Bandler and John Grinder. It was the work of Virginia that formed the part of the fundamental models of NLP.

Steve Andreas, one of Bandler and Grinder’s students, wrote Virginia Satir : The Patterns of Her Magic, in which he summarized the major patterns of Satir’s work, and then showed how Satir applied them in a richly annotated verbatim transcript of a videotaped session titled “Forgiving Parents”.

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