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Virginia Satir (1916-1988)

 Virginia was internationally recognized for her creativity in the practice of family therapy. Based on conviction that people are capable of continued growth, change and new understanding, her goal was to improve relationships and communication within the family unit.

Referred to as the "Columbus of Family Therapy" and "everybody's family therapist", Virginia Satir stayed at the forefront of human growth and family therapy until her death in 1988.

Virginia Satir, the founder of the Satir model, believed that therapy is an intense experience with the inner Self. The therapist helps and encourages people not only to accept and deal with the pain and problems, but also to accept and live an inner joy and peace of mind.

Virginia Satir, known as a pioneer in the field of Family Therapy, developed unique strategies to improve personal communications and relationships. She is internationally acclaimed as a therapist, educator, and author. Virginia received her Master's degree from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Early agency work included working with families at the Dallas Child Guidance Center and four years at the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute. In 1959, Virginia was invited to join Don Jackson, Jules Ruskin and Gregory Bateson to start the prestigious Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California. Together, they created the country's first formal program in Family Therapy.

Honored for her innovative work in human relations, Virginia shared her insights with people throughout the world through books, workshops and training seminars. Virginia Satir's first book, Conjoint Family Therapy, published in 1964, remains a classic in the field and has been translated into several languages. She authored or co-authored eleven other books, among them Peoplemaking in 1972 and The New Peoplemaking in 1988, both of which have enjoyed large international audiences.

Virginia was known for her special warmth and for her remarkable insight into human communication and self-esteem. For almost 50 years, Virginia Satir worked to help others to better realize their full human potentials. She believed that this involved a healing process of becoming aware of and connecting with our inner selves and then of contacting others from this center. During her lifetime, Virginia conducted hundreds of workshops and seminars around the world, which featured her classic communication stances and her "Human Validation Process Model". She focused on personal growth and health, rather than illness and pathology, and provided the environment in which individuals and families could develop and flourish. Virginia believed firmly that human beings across our planet are all connected. It was her conviction that healing of the human spirit and reaching out to connect with others through the universal life force, of which she believed we are all a part, is essential to world peace.