Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

Living Edition
| Editors: Jay Lebow, Anthony Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Minuchin, Salvador

Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-15877-8_1097-2


Minuchin, Salvador


Salvador Minuchin (1921–2017) is the creator of structural family therapy. His work, writings, and teachings spanned across six decades and inspired generations of practitioners.


Trained as a physician in his native Argentina, Minuchin planned to specialize in pediatrics. In 1948, however, the Israel war of independence moved him to join the Israeli army as a physician.

After the war, Minuchin traveled to New York to learn child psychiatry, working with psychotic children in institutional settings. He married Patricia Pittluck, a developmental psychologist who would also become his collaborator, and they spent three more years in Israel, where Minuchin directed residential institutions for Holocaust orphans and émigrés from Asia and Africa.

Upon his return to the United States, Minuchin was attracted to Harry Stack Sullivan’s interpersonal psychiatry, and joined the William Alanson White Institute to train as a psychoanalyst. However, in...

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Key Citations

  1. Minuchin, S. (1974). Families and family therapy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Minuchin, S. (1984). Family kaleidoscope. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Minuchin, S., & Elizur, J. (1989). Institutionalizing madness: Families, therapy and society. New York: Basic.Google Scholar
  4. Minuchin, S., & Nichols, M. P. (1993). Family healing: Tales of hope and renewal from family therapy. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  5. Minuchin, S., Montalvo, B., Guerney Jr., B. G., Rosman, B. L., & Schumer, F. (1967). Families of the slums: An exploration of their structure and treatment. New York: Basic.Google Scholar
  6. Minuchin, S., Rosman, B. L., & Baker, L. (1978). Psychosomatic families: Anorexia nervosa in context. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Minuchin, S., & Fishman, H.C. (1981). Family therapy techniques. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Minuchin, S., Lee, W., & Simon, G. M. (1996). Mastering family therapy: Journeys of growth and transformation. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  9. Minuchin, P., Colapinto, J., & Minuchin, S. (1998 & 2007 2nd ed.). Working with families of the poor. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  10. Minuchin, S., Nichols, M.P., & Lee, W-T. (2007). Assessing families and couples: From symptom to system. Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
  11. Minuchin, S., Reiter, M. D., & Borda, C. With contributions from: Walker, S. A., Pascale, R., & Reynolds, T. M. (2014). The craft of family therapy: Challenging certainties. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar


  1. Salvador Minuchin on Family Therapy with Salvador Minuchin, M. D. and Jay Lappin, LCSW. www.psychotherapy.net

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Minuchin Center for the FamilyWoodburyUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kelley Quirk
    • 1
  • Adam Fisher
    • 2
  1. 1.Human Development and Family StudiesColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA