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Salvador Minuchin

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Salvador Minuchin

Salvador Minuchin Minuchin Center for the Family The Evolution Of

Boca Raton, Florida, United States

Known for
Structural family therapy

Patricia Pittluck (m. 1951)

Family therapy techniques, Psychosomatic families, Assessing families and coupl, Working with Families, Family kaleidoscope

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Jay Haley, Murray Bowen, Carl Whitaker, Virginia Satir, Mara Selvini Palazzoli

Salvador minuchin

Salvador Minuchin (born 1921) is a family therapist born and raised in San Salvador, Entre RĂ­os, Argentina. He developed structural family therapy, which addresses problems within a family by charting the relationships between family members, or between subsets of family (Minuchin, 1974). These charts represent power dynamics as well as the boundaries between different subsystems. The therapist tries to disrupt dysfunctional relationships within the family, and cause them to settle back into a healthier pattern.


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Salvador minuchin on family therapy interview video


Salvador Minuchin Salvador Minuchin Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Salvador Minuchin served as a physician in the Israeli army after obtaining his degree in medicine. Once his service was finished, he travelled to New York City to be trained in child psychiatry with Nathan Ackerman. When his training with Ackerman was complete, Minuchin returned to Israel to assist displaced children as a child psychiatrist (Nichols, 2010). In 1954 he returned to the United States to be trained in psychoanalysis at the William Alanson White Institute with Harry Stack Sullivan.Harry Stack Sullivan died in 1949. After completing his psychoanalytic training, Minuchin worked as a child psychiatrist at the Wiltwyck School for delinquent boys, where he decided that treating whole families would be worthwhile.

Salvador Minuchin Terpia familiar entrevista a Salvador Minuchin Llus

While he held his position at the Wiltwyck School, Minuchin developed a form of family therapy with his co-workers. Their method involved Minuchin or another psychiatrist performing a therapy session with a family while the other psychiatrists viewed the session through a one-way mirror (Nichols, 2010). Observing one another work allowed the therapists to learn techniques easily and led Minuchin to develop structural family therapy. In 1962, once Minuchin had generated his theoretical formulations for family structure, he travelled to Palo Alto to work with Jay Haley. Minuchin's work at the Miltwyck School led to his first book, Families of the Slums (1967), which outlined his theoretical model of family therapy.

Salvador Minuchin Salvador Minuchin Biografia

In 1965 Minuchin became the director of the Child Guidance Clinic in Philadelphia. He stepped down from this position in 1976 to become the head of training at the center until 1981, when he left Philadelphia to practice and teach child psychiatry in New York (Nichols, 2010). In 1996, he moved to Boston and retired from his career.

Friendship with Jay Haley

Salvador Minuchin wwwgoodtherapyorgdbimagessalvadorminuchinjpg

One of the developments that came out of Minuchin's work with Jay Haley in Palo Alto was the collaborative friendship between the two professionals. Minuchin once wrote of Haley as his most important teacher, a man who was "forever pushing the envelope, testing the limits of new ideas" to challenge Minuchin and himself. Minuchin characterizes their relationship as similar to the friendship between Spock and Captain Kirk from the television show Star Trek in that Jay Haley was highly intellectual, while Minuchin was extremely pragmatic (Minuchin, 2007).

Theoretical contributions to family therapy

Salvador Minuchin Salvador Minuchin family therapist Salvador Minuchin

Salvador Minuchin made several important contributions to the field of Family therapy during his career, the most important of which was the development of structural family therapy (Nichols, 2010). When Minuchin first began to work as a family therapist, he wrote about enmeshed and disengaged families, which became an important component of structural family therapy. Minuchin also suggested that most families try to solve their problems through first-order changes (changes of single behaviors) and that in order for a family's structure to significantly change and become healthy again, second-order changes (alterations of the family's rules) are necessary. These concepts informed his conception of structural family therapy and influenced other branches of family psychology.

Psychosomatic model for treatment of anorexia nervosa

In 1978 Minuchin helped write Psychosomatic Families: Anorexia Nervosa in Context, which details a clinical model for the causes and treatment of anorexia nervosa based on an integration of medical research and previously successful psychological interventions (Minuchin, Rosman, & Baker, 1978). The psychosomatic model of anorexia nervosa specifically combines elements of psychodynamic and behavioral theory to create a comprehensive account of the origins of anorexia nervosa in a family system. According to the book, optimal treatment of anorexia nervosa involves the application of behavioral and structural family therapy methods. The book also features four case studies of families whose members have suffered from anorexia nervosa and how the model's treatment was successfully applied to their situation.

Criticisms of postmodern therapy

In an editorial in The Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, Minuchin (1998) expressed concerns about postmodern family therapy. He argued that both narrative therapy and solution-focused therapy bring unique and useful methods to the practice of family therapy, such as emphasizing alternative personal narratives to cope with problems. However, he stated that postmodern therapies lost the information that family dialogues produced, the spontaneity of therapist-directed enactments, the focus on the therapist as a positive and helpful, that the therapist can make a family feel more connected, and the acknowledgement that the therapist must function with personal bias. In other words, Minuchin felt that postmodern therapy displaced the family and created a paradigm for therapy that was not representative of the psychological experience of a family.

In a follow up to his initial criticisms, Minuchin (1999) also stated that he felt the focus of postmodern therapy was too broad to be effectively applied to the specific problems of a family unit. He suggests that family therapy should be used to alleviate stress of pain within a family, not to remove the influence of overarching cultural narratives.

Minuchin Center for the Family

When Minuchin moved to New York in 1981, he established the Family Studies institute, where he could teach family therapists and interface directly with the foster care system through consultation services (Nichols, 2010). Renamed the Minuchin Center for the Family after Minuchin's retirement in 1995, it is dedicated to teaching the concepts and techniques of structural family therapy, and to consulting with organizations that work with families challenged by poverty, racism, and discrimination due to gender or sexual orientation (


Salvador Minuchin Wikipedia

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