Sunday, May 13, 2007

Virginia Satir was a smart, optimistic transformer of people's lives.

She did this through family therapy, though not always with more than one person present. She could do great things with a group of related people living together and having problems. If all she had was one person without their family but with a group of unrelated people in therapy, she got the one person to use other people in the room to make a living sculpture of their family.

The person aiming for healing chose what seemed like appropriate people for each role from the group present in the present, and put them in the frozen posture that seemed like the way that family was.

After the frozen sculpture of the family of the past was complete, Virginia Satir prodded the person to move people in the sculpture and the themselves move to change things.

One thing she was good at in treating people was talking as if the desired change had already happened--assuming the desired change would happen early in the next week, say, and talking about what would happen later in the week as a result of the desired change happening.

"When you have told Kenny you love him in a deep real way for several days, you will then. . ."

She was a bit more subtle than that. Reading transcripts of her sessions with people, she seems simultaneously subtle and bulldozer-like in her determination that people heal and move on.

Virginia Satir said the determinant of happiness was getting and giving nine hugs a day. If you routinely participate in nine hugs a day, you're there.