FTN : We've been talking about trends in the therapy world today. I see a lot of therapists growing more interested in the connection between spirituality and psychotherapy. Is that a connection that interests you?
MINUCHIN : Not especially. My whole life I have been interested in logic and order. I have always been a very politically involved person. Maybe it comes from being Jewish, but being concerned about the underdog has always been important to me. I suppose my version of spirituality is connected to the dream of social justice. The kind of spiritual thing that you seem to be talking about has not been a big part of my life. Maybe that's part of my limitations.
FTN: How do you see your relationship today to the field?
MINUCHIN : I used to influence the field from the center. Now I do it from the periphery. I am now an elder. I support other people who are doing interesting work. I think it is part of being an elder to be a critic. I also think an elder is the carrier of the oral history of the field, so I feel bad when young therapists don't acknowledge the influence of people like Murray Bowen, Virginia Satir, Jay Haley, Carl Whitaker and Lyman Wynne.
FTN : Do you feel satisfied with life at age 75?
MINUCHIN : I thought that at 75 I was going to retire and become a full-time grandfather. But retirement is not a comfortable niche for me. Other people at 75 find that this is a time to paint, to play the piano. But that is not enough for me at this point. Pat and I have moved to Boston to be near our children and our granddaughter. My relationship with my granddaughter is very, very special. So there is renewal in that. But I am a person who likes to help other people. 1 don't find it useful to look too much at the past or way ahead to the future. I relate to the immediacy of the present. Even though financially we are okay, I need to work in order to maintain myself intellectually and because I love it. After all these years, if a family calls and wants to come to therapy with me, I still love it.
Richard Simon, Ph.D., is the editor of The Family Therapy Networker.