Salvador Minuchin

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Salvador Minuchin (born October 13, 1921 in San Salvador , Argentina , † October 30, 2017 in Boca Raton , Florida ) was an Argentine professor of pediatrics and child psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania , chief psychiatrist at the children's clinic and director of the Child Guidance Clinic in Philadelphia (1965).


Minuchin grew up as the eldest son of Mauricio and Clara Minuchin in Entre Ríos near San Salvador with a younger sister and a younger brother. His Jewish grandparents had fled the pogroms in Russia and immigrated to this small town in 1895. His father was a businessman, his mother a family woman. Minuchin studied medicine in Córdoba and Buenos Aires . In 1948 he opened a pediatric practice in Buenos Aires, months later he emigrated to Israel to serve as a military doctor in the newly founded country. In 1950 he worked in New York as an assistant doctor in a child psychiatric clinic. In 1952 he emigrated again to Israel and became director of Youth Aliyah , an institution that ran children's homes. In 1954 he made a psychoanalytic training at the William Alanson White Institute in New York. He also worked as a psychiatrist in a home for delinquent black youth in Wiltwyck . In this way he became familiar and practiced with a wide variety of linguistic, social and cultural contexts. From 1965–1975, Minuchin was director of the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic . His first book, Families of the Slums , was published in 1967 . From 1975-1981 he was director of the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic's training center.

As an important family therapist in the 1960s, his Structural Family Therapy (1974) shaped the understanding of many subsequent therapists and educators for the importance of structures and boundaries in families. Together with Jay Haley , Braulio Montalvo and Bernice Rosman, he developed a training program for family therapists in which video observation and live supervision were standard even then.

In 1988, he founded Family Studies Inc., an institute for training family therapists in New York City. He was still working there as a teaching family therapist when he was 80 years old. He spent his twilight years first in Boston and finally in Florida . He had been married to a psychologist since 1951 and had a son and a daughter with her.


  • Family and Family Therapy, Theory and Practice of Structural Family Therapy , 1977, ISBN 3-7841-0148-8
  • With C. Fishmann: Practice of structural family therapy , 1983, ISBN 3-7841-0243-3
  • With B. Roseman and L. Baker: Psychosomatic Diseases in the Family , 1995, ISBN 3-608-95228-4
  • With WJ Lee and GM Simon: Supervision and family therapy skills , 1998, ISBN 3-7841-1043-6


Individual evidence

  1. Marie-Luise Conen: Resource orientation as a basic therapeutic attitude , p. 41. Retrieved on March 5, 2017
  2. Salvador Minuchin, a Pioneer of Family Therapy, Dies at 96 , New York Times , accessed November 4, 2017
  3. Satuila Stierlin: I was burning with curiosity! Family stories of important family therapists. Carl Auer Systems, Heidelberg 2001. ISBN 3-89670-209-2

Web links