VIDEO: Esther Perel on the Legacy of Salvador Minuchin

From the Symposium's Celebration of a Family Therapy Visionary

Esther Perel

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.

Topic: Families | Field of Psychotherapy

Tags: 2017 | Couples & Family | Esther Perel | families and family therapy | Minuchin | Networker Symposium | Salvador Minuchin | Symposium

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1 Comment

Monday, May 29, 2017 11:14:34 AM | posted by Thomas Zahn, PhD
As former chief psychologist, Children's Village , NY, I Studied with Dr. Minuchin during 1964. At this time, Family Therapy was just catching on. His modality at that time was having family members sit in a room with "one way vision glass" and observe a member or members of a family, interact with Dr. M. The idea was that persons observing could NOT interact and thus corrupt the therapy "flow " with Dr. M. Observation was the important feature here......a very valid dynamic feature and part of therapy, and personal communication, in general. Although I was snubbed by Dr. M. a number of years ago at a a professional meeting, I forgive him. He is a fine a fine man and student of Human Nature. Thank you, Dr. Tom Zahn