Virginia Satir was one of the pioneers of family therapy. She was also a major source of NLP patterns and distinctions. 


In 1985 she presented a morning and afternoon keynote address to the National Association for NLP in Denver, Colorado. In her morning talk, she presented some history and background of how her work developed, and her relationship with Richard Bandler and John Grinder, who modeled her work as part of the initial development of NLP.

In her longer afternoon talk, Virginia gave an extensive and comprehensive overview of her ideas about human beings and personal change. These include the difference between the right/wrong model — “shoulds” and “oughts” — and honoring what is real and actual, and the difference between assigned roles and individual identity. The typical up/down, dominance/submission interactions that are so common in troubled relationships are illustrated with tableaus and role-plays to demonstrate how to grow out of them into authentic being.

Virginia goes on to expand on her “seed model” alternative to the static right/wrong model. Linear causality gives way to systems thinking, in which the different elements of a system interact with each other simultaneously. Realizing that change is always happening provides a new basis for security based on ambiguity and change. Valuing each unique individual simply because they are human, not just because of the social roles they fulfill, provides a basis for hope, choice, and a spiritual attitude.

Source: AWAKEN