Two unlikely people came together to collaborate on a podcast for persons interested in learning more about how the teachings of Virginia Satir could help them cope with the stresses of their lives. Over time, however, they realized that they had so much to share that they wanted to expand their work that could reach more people. This podcast is the result. They are currently collaborating on a book inspired by Virginia Satir's teaches and also hoping to update and expand her work tentatively titled, "A Journey Towards Wholeness" The two people who came together are Sharon Loeschen, a psychotherapist, teacher, author and elder who studied with Virginia and lives in Long Beach, California, US, and, Tim Sitt, a young psychotherapist and a writer who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Although their life experiences and situations are very different, they have both experienced the transformation that can come with helping people connect with their inner resources and the resultant flow of energy that brings forth creativity and productivity.
In this conversation, Sharon and Tim have a conversation about Sharon's connection with Virginia Satir and the impact her work had on her life both personally and professionally. We begin each podcast with a meditation which you can incorporate into your own practice or skip and get to the conversation at 8:47 Today Sharon leads us in a meditation.
0:00 Sharon leads us in a meditation to get grounded and self connected.
8:47 Introductions to Sharon and Tim
12:00 Sharon gives a summary of who Virginia Satir was and her work
Virginia was not focused on pathology but on how to connect to the self-worth of each individual in the family system and to move towards growth. She focused on enhancing communication between family members which enhanced self-esteem.
17:15 Sharon’s personal reflections on Virginia Satir’s work and what stood out about her work
Virginia worked experientially and did live demonstrations of therapy with families.
Working experientially means engaging with oneself and with others not just cognitively but with the whole self including senses, feelings, muscles, thoughts, touch, beliefs, communication to name a few forms.
Sharon describes an exercise Virginia did called “With whom am I having the pleasure of meeting?” where people will sit together and become aware of their projections without talking but simply feelign and noticing.
25:00 Sharon reflects on the impact Satir’s work had on her life. She did a few 30 day intensives with 90 participants. She described it as 24/7 therapy.
Sharon describes ‘weaving’ as a way Virginia taught. Sharon and Tim relate this idea of weaving to the concept of thinking systemically. Systemic meaning looking and appreciating the innumerable ways an event is created by multiple factors. (A+B+C+D+E ... = event). Virginia would talk about appreciating the whole context and taking into account as much of what is a part of the whole and treating each part as a whole.
29:15 Discussion of “what are systems?”. Sharon relates her experiences being in the process community for 30 days as an opportunity to challenge old family rules and to take risks expressing herself and freeing herself from old patterns which were embedded in the family system she grew up in. Some of those rules she overcame were not feeling her feelings and not voicing them.