Virginia Satir's Family Therapy Model

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John Banmen said “Virginia Satir, the pioneer of conjoint family therapy, has, over the years taught, and developed a family therapy system based on the belief that people have the resources to move their life patterns from a basic survival level to a higher level of becoming more fully human.” A brief overview of Satir’s work will define communication and self-esteem as Satir would use them, create an understanding of family dynamics, which allows the reader to fully conceptualize how Satir’s put her theory into practice.

Satir breaks down communications, the giving and receiving information, into 2 categories; the denotive and the metacommunitive. Congruent communications occurs when the denotive message (the meaning of the words spoken or articulated) is the same as the metacommunitive message (messages about the message). Incongruent messages are present when the denotive and metacommunitive messages are different. Incongruent or dysfunctional communication occurs when there are different cultural meanings, different perceived meanings, and differing connotations and overgeneralizations. Dysfunctional communication in families often plays out within these 4 attitudes. The super reasonable attitude struggles to take ownership, being able to explain away every situation. The irrelevant attitude avoids dealing with the situation by making it irrelevant or changing the subject. These two attitudes Similar to the super reasonable one the blamer always knows who or what is at fault. Usually it will be the placatory who is at fault because the placatory in an attempt to bring peace will take the fall. Each of these attitudes exude lack of self-esteem.

Self esteem transition

When this happened in parent child relati...

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...his might miss the point that Satir's emphasis is on the emotions behind the communication patterns and the meanings of the feelings individuals have as a reaction to the communication."(1987)

Works Cited

Banner, J. (1986). Virginia Satir's family therapy model. Individual Psychology: Journal of Adlerian Theory, Research & Practice, 42(4), 480-494.

Braverman, S. (1986). Heinz Kohut And Virginia Satir: Strange Bedfellows?. Contemporary Family Therapy, 8(2), 101-110.

Nichols, M. P. (2011). The essentials of family therapy. Boston, Ma.: Allyn and Bacon. (Original work published 5th)

Satir, V. (1967). Conjoint family therapy; a guide to theory and technique (Rev. ed.). Palo Alto, Calif.: Science and Behavior Books.

Satir, V., & Baldwin, M. (1983). Satir step by step: a guide to creating change in families. Palo Alto, Calif.: Science and Behavior Books.
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