|Born||October 13, 1921|
San Salvador, Entre Ríos, Argentina
|Died||October 30, 2017 96) (aged|
Boca Raton, Florida, United States
|Residence||Boca Raton, Florida|
|Known for||Structural family therapy|
Salvador Minuchin (October 13, 1921 – October 30, 2017) was a family therapist born and raised in San Salvador, Entre Ríos, 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.
Family therapy, also referred to as couple and family therapy, marriage and family therapy, family systems therapy, and family counseling, is a branch of psychotherapy that works with families and couples in intimate relationships to nurture change and development. It tends to view change in terms of the systems of interaction between family members. It emphasizes family relationships as an important factor in psychological health.
San Salvador is a city in the province of Entre Ríos, Argentina. It has 13,228 inhabitants per the 2010 census [INDEC], and is the head town of the San Salvador Department. It is located on the center-east of the province, by National Route 18, about 48 km west of the Uruguay River and 205 km east from the provincial capital Paraná. The city is known as the 'National Capital of Rice'.
Structural family therapy (SFT) is a method of psychotherapy developed by Salvador Minuchin which addresses problems in functioning within a family. Structural family therapists strive to enter, or "join", the family system in therapy in order to understand the invisible rules which govern its functioning, map the relationships between family members or between subsets of the family, and ultimately disrupt dysfunctional relationships within the family, causing it to stabilize into healthier patterns. Minuchin contends that pathology rests not in the individual, but within the family system.
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. 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.
The City of New York, often called New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York City is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Nathan W. Ackerman was an American psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and one of the most important pioneers of the field of family therapy. He also was an expert in marriage counselling.
The William Alanson White Institute, founded in 1943, is an institution for training psychoanalysts and psychotherapists. It is located in New York City, United States, on the Upper West Side, in the Clara Thompson building.
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.
Jay Douglas Haley was one of the founding figures of brief and family therapy in general and of the strategic model of psychotherapy, and he was one of the more accomplished teachers, clinical supervisors, and authors in these disciplines.
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. Minuchin died on October 30, 2017 in Boca Raton, Florida.
Philadelphia, sometimes known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 1,580,863. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.
One of the developments that came out of Minuchin's work with Jay Haley 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).
Spock is a fictional character in the Star Trek media franchise. Spock was first portrayed by Leonard Nimoy in the original Star Trek series, and also appears in the animated Star Trek series, a two-part episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, eight of the Star Trek feature films, and numerous Star Trek novels, comics, and video games. In addition, numerous actors portrayed the various stages of Spock's rapid growth, due to the effects of the Genesis Planet, in the 1984 Star Trek film Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. In the 2009 film Star Trek, Nimoy reprised his role with Zachary Quinto, who depicted a younger version of the character, existing within an alternate timeline. Both reprised their roles in the 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness and Quinto reprised his role again in 2016's Star Trek Beyond.
Star Trek is an American space opera media franchise based on the science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry. The first television series, simply called Star Trek and now referred to as "The Original Series", debuted in 1966 and aired for three seasons on the television network NBC. It followed the interstellar adventures of Captain James T. Kirk and his crew aboard the starship USS Enterprise, a space exploration vessel, built by the United Federation of Planets in the twenty-third century. The Star Trek canon of the franchise includes The Original Series, an animated series, five spin-off television series, the film franchise, and further adaptations in several media.
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.
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.
Anorexia nervosa, often referred to simply as anorexia, is an eating disorder characterized by low weight, fear of gaining weight, and a strong desire to be thin, resulting in food restriction. Many people with anorexia see themselves as overweight even though they are in fact underweight. If asked, they usually deny they have a problem with low weight. They weigh themselves frequently, eat only small amounts, and only eat certain foods. Some will exercise excessively, force themselves to vomit, or use laxatives to produce weight loss. Complications may include osteoporosis, infertility, and heart damage, among others. Women will often stop having menstrual periods.
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.
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.
Transactional analysis (TA) is a psychoanalytic theory and method of therapy wherein social transactions are analyzed to determine the ego state of the patient as a basis for understanding behavior. In transactional analysis, the patient is taught to alter the ego state as a way to solve emotional problems. The method deviates from Freudian psychoanalysis which focuses on increasing awareness of the contents of unconsciously held ideas. Eric Berne developed the concept and paradigm of transactional analysis in the late 1950s.
Narrative therapy is a form of psychotherapy that seeks to help people identify their values and the skills and knowledge they have to live these values, so they can effectively confront whatever problems they face. The therapist seeks to help the person co-author a new narrative about themselves by investigating the history of those qualities. Narrative therapy claims to be a social justice approach to therapeutic conversations, seeking to challenge dominant discourses that it claims shape people's lives in destructive ways. While narrative work is typically located within the field of family therapy, many authors and practitioners report using these ideas and practices in community work, schools and higher education.
In psychotherapy, systemic therapy seeks to address people not only on the individual level, as had been the focus of earlier forms of therapy, but also as people in relationships, dealing with the interactions of groups and their interactional patterns and dynamics.
Gerald Francis Morris Russell was a British psychiatrist. In 1979 he published the first description of bulimia nervosa, and Russell's sign has been named after him.
Michael White was an Australian social worker and family therapist. He is known as the founder of narrative therapy, and for his significant contribution to psychotherapy and family therapy, which have been a source of techniques adopted by other approaches.
Couple's therapy attempts to improve romantic relationships and resolve interpersonal conflicts.
Mental health interventions for children vary with respect to the problem being addressed and to the age and other individual characteristics of the child. Although such interventions share some approaches, treatment methods can be quite different from each other.
Triangulation is a manipulation tactic where one person will not communicate directly with another person, instead using a third person to relay communication to the second, thus forming a triangle. It also refers to a form of splitting in which one person manipulates a relationship between two parties by controlling communication between them.
Robin Skynner was a psychiatric pioneer and innovator in the field of treating mental illness.
The Palo Alto Mental Research Institute (MRI) is one of the founding institutions of brief and family therapy. Founded by Don D. Jackson and colleagues in 1958, MRI has been one of the leading sources of ideas in the area of interactional/systemic studies, psychotherapy, and family therapy.
Hilde Bruch was a German-born American psychoanalyst, known foremost for her work on eating disorders and obesity.
David Epston is a New Zealand therapist, co-director of the Family Therapy Centre in Auckland, New Zealand, Visiting Professor at the John F. Kennedy University, an honorary clinical lecturer in the Department of Social Work, University of Melbourne, and an affiliate faculty member in the Ph.D program in Couple and Family Therapy at North Dakota State University. Epston and his late friend and colleague Michael White are known as originators of narrative therapy.
Maudsley family therapy also known as family-based treatment or Maudsley approach, is a family therapy for the treatment of anorexia nervosa devised by Christopher Dare and colleagues at the Maudsley Hospital in London. A comparison of family to individual therapy was conducted with eighty anorexia patients. The study showed family therapy to be the more effective approach in patients under 18 and within 3 years of the onset of their illness. Subsequent research confirmed the efficacy of family-based treatment for teens with anorexia nervosa. Family-based treatment has been adapted for bulimia nervosa and showed promising results in a randomized controlled trial comparing it to supportive individual therapy.
Richard Fisch (1926–2011) was an American psychiatrist best known for his pioneering work in brief therapy.
Vincenzo Di Nicola is a Canadian psychologist, psychiatrist, and family therapist.
Abram Kardiner was a psychiatrist and psychoanalytic therapist. An active publisher of academic research, he co-founded the Psychoanalytic and Psychosomatic Clinic for Training and Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University in New York City. Kardiner was deeply interested in cross-cultural diagnosis and the psychoanalytic study of culture. While teaching at Columbia, he developed a course on the application of psychoanalysis to the study of culture and worked closely with Anthropologists throughout his career.