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VIDEO: Esther Perel on the Legacy of Salvador Minuchin

From the Symposium's Celebration of a Family Therapy Visionary

Esther Perel • 1 Comment

A maverick and a visionary in the ’60s and ’70s, Salvador Minuchin put forth a brand new model of psychotherapy—family therapy. In the following video clip from the 2017 Symposium dinner event celebrating Minuchin's work, couples therapist Esther Perel shares her memories of working alongside Minuchin when she was just beginning work as a young therapist.

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The Art of Not Knowing the Answer

A Trauma Specialist Shares Her Most Therapeutic Moment

Mary Jo Barrett • No Comments

By Mary Jo Barrett - My very first case was the Byford family. The father was serving a six-month sentence for domestic abuse. During a home visit several months into treatment, the daughter, Laura, announced, “Dad is getting out of jail today! And he’s coming here!” My mind went blank. Her mother looked at me. Suddenly, it was as though I passed whatever strength I had to her, and she then passed it back to me.

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VIDEO: My First Client, My Greatest Teacher

Sue Johnson Shares a Story of Personal and Professional Transformation

Susan Johnson • No Comments

In the following video from her 2018 Networker Symposium storytelling piece, couples and family therapist Sue Johnson shares a therapeutic moment that stands out from all others, one that left her with a deepened sense of what it means at the core to be a therapist.

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When Siblings Become Caregivers

Three Ways to Defuse Confrontation

Barry Jacobs • 1 Comment

By Barry Jacobs - Nothing reveals the fault lines in sibling relationships like the seismic shift caused by an aging parent's sudden decline. Brothers and sisters can quickly become locked in conflict about what's best for Mom and Dad. Here's how to help them forget their old rivalries and cooperate with one another.

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Working with Abusers and Their Families

Can Good and Evil Can Exist in the Same Person?

Mary Jo Barrett • No Comments

By Mary Jo Barrett - Families suffering from trauma, abuse, and neglect can begin to make the crucial distinction between a chronic state of overarousal and vigilance and "reality" only once a sense of physical and psychological safety has been established. Only after this first stage is it even possible to focus on changing dysfunctional mindsets, counterproductive behavior, and destructive family patterns.

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Family Therapy Pioneer Salvador Minuchin on the Therapist's Self

Reflections on a Life, Legacy, and Growing Older

Salvador Minuchin • 7 Comments

By Salvador Minuchin - A maverick and a visionary in the '60s and '70s, Salvador Minuchin transformed the very idea of what a therapist was supposed to be—a brash interventionist willing to make people change regardless of what they were feeling, or even knew they were feeling. Beyond that, he put forth a brand new model of psychotherapy—family therapy. In the following article, he reflects on his journey as a therapist and what clinicians need to do in order to master their craft.

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When Jailers are Prisoners, and Prisoners are Jailers

Salvador Minuchin on Helping Families Redefine Their Stories

Salvador Minuchin • No Comments

By Salvador Minuchin - In most cases when a child carries a problem, the goal of family therapy focuses on transferring the ownership of the symptom from the intrapsychic machinery of the child to the interpersonal drama of parents and child affecting each other.

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The Ride Home

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

David Treadway • No Comments

By David Treadway - With his father's help, a young therapist contemplates the biggest gamble of his life.

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Reflections on the Path and Purpose of Trauma Work

Ending the National Health Problem of Family Violence

Mary Jo Barrett • 2 Comments

By Mary Jo Barrett - Family violence remains a national health problem that few therapists have been trained to deal with and, sadly, few of us want to address. On a good day, it’s a messy, complicated business, which doesn’t bring much financial reward or professional status. But over 40 years, we've amassed a wealth of knowledge on how to help traumatized families.

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The End of Innocence

Reconsidering Our Concepts of Victimhood

Dusty Miller • 1 Comment

As a systems therapist, incest survivor, and recovering alcoholic, I've lived through several stages of our culture's attempt to come to terms with child sexual abuse--as a victim in the silent 1950s; as a therapy client in the oblivious 1960s and 1970s; and as a psychotherapist in the 1980s and 1990s, when once-dismissed accounts of abuse filled my therapy practice (and my television screen) only to be partly discredited within the decade during another swing of the cultural pendulum.

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