Professional Books -- Virginia Satir: Foundational Ideas Edited by B. J. Brothers

Article excerpt

Brothers, B.J. (Ed.). (1991). Virginia Satir: Foundational ideas. Binghamton, NY: Haworth, 197 pp., no price.

This book is an important collection of articles that express much of the basic thinking of Virginia Satir. The articles, which have been written by individuals who have studied and worked intensively with Satir, offer useful information on both the theory and practice of her work. Also, many of the contributors express a basic belief of hers: that every person is a worthy human being, to be treated with respect and with the potential to grow and change. When Satir worked with families, this belief was evident; it was her most valuable gift to family therapists.

Those who experienced Satir in her workshops appreciated her as an amazing communicator and spellbinder who could quickly make contact with people and facilitate their change. Although she certainly had an awareness of her effect on others, more than anything else she wanted her skills and knowledge to be both "teachable and learnable." The writers in this book define her deeper impact on the world of therapy by showing how her work can be understood, integrated, built upon, and practiced by others.

There are 14 contributors, and the editor, Barbara Jo Brothers, leads off with the heart of Satir' s communication work: the concept of congruence versus incongruence. Yetta M. Bernhard follows with a solid explanation of the Satir system and how she formulated ways to deal with past family history and its effect on the present. …