Virginia Satir, the mother of Conjoint Family Therapy, was a pioneer in the world of psychotherapy at the time, challenging the existing belief that the "presenting issue" or "surface problem" itself [was] the real problem; but rather, how people coped with the issue created the problem. She posited that "just as we learn our ways of relating, coping with our feelings and behaving within our families of origin, we reshape these patterns by adding to them and transforming them".
Through the use of the practical and effective tools of Satir's Change Model -which is focused on the whole human being bringing about transformational change within the individual, family and social systems- people can quickly learn new behaviors, transform old patterns and develop new solutions for living, loving, learning and relating. The essence of Satir's Approach was founded on her belief that human beings have universal qualities and resources, that we are spiritual beings and everyone has the potential for growth, which allows for her model to be utilized cross-culturally and throughout a myriad of belief systems. Similarities help us to connect; differences help us to respect our uniqueness.
Through this process, the client(s) are taught to authentically express themselves and learn to accept responsibility for their experience, both in terms of how it may be negatively impacting their lives and relationships, as well as through self-validation; Satir's "acceptance of self and others". When applied in therapy, individuals, couples and families can learn to improve communication, resolve conflicts, and increase intimacy - to be more connected to themselves and others. Parents learn to better navigate arguments with their adolescent. Partners learn to sit with uncomfortable truths in their relationship, and transform pain and disappointment into growth and deepened intimacy. Individuals learn to value themselves differently, thereby transforming their relationships and quality of life.