A maverick and a visionary in the ’60s and ’70s, Salvador Minuchin transformed the very idea of what a therapist was supposed to be, from the self-contained cipher sitting mostly silent behind the patient’s head into something dazzlingly different—a brash interventionist willing to make people change regardless of what they were feeling or whether they even knew what they were feeling. Beyond that, he put forth a brand new model of psychotherapy—family therapy.
In the video clip below from the Networker Symposium's First-Ever Lifetime Achievement Award, celebrating Minuchin, renowned couples therapist Esther Perel shares the heartwarming story of how Minuchin played an integral role in her development as a young therapist hoping to make a big difference.
Esther Perel, MA, LMFT, is author of the bestseller Mating in Captivity. Her TED talk has reached more than 5 million people.
As Perel mentions, Minuchin had an indelible impact on the lives of many budding therapists, and continues to influence their work even today. "All of us have formative books that shaped us," Perel tells Minuchin. "But you were my book, and I still read that book. There are some you'll go back to your entire life, and they'll always shape you differently each time you read them. What you taught us is that you'll never be the same person two sessions in a row."
Did you enjoy this video? You might also want to check out Minuchin's reflection on the history of family therapy in "Systems Therapy: The Art of Creating Uncertainty," or Perel's "The Mystery of Eroticism." To see more reflections from the Networker Symposium, check out our May/June 2017 issue, What Now?: Five Therapists Face the Limits of What They Know.