Renaissance Ranch

Virginia Satir

Virginia Satir (1916-1988) was a famous psychotherapist known especially for her work in family therapy and in family systems. She is widely regarded as “the Mother of Family Therapy”. In 1967, she was the first to describe the family using the metaphor of the mobile; if the wires on one of the pieces of the mobile are twisted, the mobile would spin improperly. Instead of a delicately balanced mobile, each piece would get entangled and out of balance at the slightest breeze. A well-balance mobile, or family system, could sway and flex with the strong gusts and heavy winds of life. The family with drug and or alcohol problems is described as imbalanced, or a dysfunctional family system. In a healthy family, the system is flexible and fluid, open (not rigid), predictable (not inconsistent), and balanced in meeting both the individual’s and the family’s needs.