Dynamics of Human Growth,  Education,  Human Interaction,  Mental Health,  Psychology,  Relationships

Communication as the Pathway to Solving Family Dysfunctions: Satir Human Validation Process Model. Part One


A family is an essential social unit that is made up of either one or two parents and child(ren).


Communication is the act of sending and receiving messages whether verbal or nonverbal among or between people.

Dysfunctional family

A dysfunctional family is a family in which there is presence of social malpractices and behavior patterns that undermine the family well-being and stability among members.

In life, we find that in any relationship communication is as important as breathing, this is because it is through communication that knowledge will be shared among people. On the other hand, we find that communication can either make or destroy relationships. Communication can be used both to build as well as to demolish. When people share and discuss ideas amongst them, they can either interpret positively or negatively. In a family, the different roles that people play determine the kind of communication that is used among them.

The way people communicate in a family also determines the kind of relationships that people will have. In contrast to this, we also find that the communication type in any given family can be affected when something happens like a traumatic situation or even a transition in the lives of people in the family. A family is a system that is made up of subsystems, who are the members. When one member is affected, then the entire system will feel the consequences. When there is no proper communication in a family, there will be a lot of chaos that will result from negative communication or even lack of communication that will result in people making generalized assumptions and judgments.

A family is the unit of social life, in any family, there are roles that the entire family as a system is expected to play towards each individual member, in the family members are entitled to fundamental benefits that are not in any way supposed to be ignored. Families are called to; nurture, offer guidance, provision, and protection to the members, this makes a healthy family. A family’s communication pattern can either encourage or limit the expression of members’ feelings and needs. This can lead to low self-esteem making one feel less important and take it as a normal thing in life. This will follow them to adulthood where they may end up forming unsatisfying relationships which may lead one to become a case of psychosocial challenges.

The article presents a study where the client is seen from a positive viewpoint and not just as the messed up individual who needs to be fixed. In the process of seeking address to the communication challenges and how best to solve these, the therapist is expected to look into the presenting issue with a view of seeing growth and using the strengths of the client in order to reach a solution by engaging the whole family. There are three main things to put into consideration, communication, roles and engaging the entire family hence the choice of the Satir human validation model which gives a humanistic experiential approach to the presenting issue.

Virginia Satir created her model between the 1960s and the 1980s, she started her work with middle class Caucasian families. She taught and practiced the model in more than 15 Countries in Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia using interpreters. The model was seen to grow by integrating different languages and cultures around the world. The human validation process model by Virginia Satir is one of the humanistic experiential family therapies. The humanistic therapies include; the Satir growth model, symbolic experiential therapy, emotionally focused couples therapy and internal family systems. The common practices and assumptions of the Satir human validations as any other humanistic experiential are; targeting emotional transactions, warmth, empathy and the therapist’s use of self (presence/being in the room), individual level and family focus as system. Virginia Satir is one of the leading experiential therapist. Her impactful idea in psychotherapy lies in the communication stances which talks of when people feel emotionally threatened, what communication stances do they take examples being blamer, computing, leveler and destructor. The communication styles minimizes or acknowledges three realities, self, other and context with highlights on what one is thinking and feeling, what the other is thinking and feeling and how the communication is appropriate to the context.

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