“The family is the one place in the world where all of us can expect nurturing to take place, and when I say nurturing, I am talking about soothing the bruised soul and inspiring and elevating self worth, as well as getting things done”

“The family is obviously the place for learning this nurturing and growing. To achieve these goals and to become truly vital, there has to be continual observation and changing and reshaping in the family.”


“All the ingredients in a family that count are changeable and correctable, individual self worth, communication system and rules – at any point of time”


From her many years of experience in helping people, Virginia Satir saw four patterns of communication while reacting to perceived threat.

1.Placate – appease the other person to avoid anger
2.Blame – the fault is on the other person
3.Compute – hide behind words and intellectual concepts
4.Distract – ignore threat, hoping to go away if done long enough.

Virginia Satir taught a pattern of communication, which she called Leveler.

A leveler responds to situations congruently. In this stance, our body, voice, facial expressions are all of a match. The relationship feels easy, free, and honest. A leveler apologizes when she makes a mistake. If an error has been committed, she will evaluate fairly without blaming. Sometimes she will be talking intellectually as when she is lecturing or explaining something but her feeling is still intact. There is no machine-like feeling when dealing with this person. When there is a problem, she will deal appropriately rather than shoving it under the rug. A leveler conducts life with integrity, commitment, and creativity. She is able to work out problems in a real way. Satir found that when people start to level, they found their hearts, feelings, bodies, and brains. As a result they found their souls and humanity.