At the center of people’s lives is the family, which can be and should be a haven from the harshness of the outside world. Unfortunately, the source of people’s greatest hope for happiness often turns out to be the source of their worst disappointments. Now, the family therapist, Salvador Minuchin unravels the knots of family dynamics against the background of his own odyssey from an extended Argentinian Jewish family to his innovative treatment of troubled families. Through the stories of families who have sought his help, the reader is taken inside the consulting room to see how families struggle with self-defeating patterns of behavior. Through his confrontational style of therapy, Dr Minuchin demonstrates the strict but unseen rules that trap family members in stifling roles, and illuminates methods for helping families untangle systems of disharmony. In Dr Minuchin’s therapy there are no villains and no victims, only people trying to deal with various problems at each stage of the family life cycle. Minuchin understands the family as a system of interconnected lives, not as a “dysfunctional” group. Each story of a therapeutic encounter brings a new understanding of familiar dilemmas and classic mistakes, and recounts Dr Minuchin’s creative solutions.
Salvador Minuchin was a family therapist. He developed structural family therapy, which addresses problems within a family by charting the relationships between family members, or between subsets of family.