Widening Our Lens, Deepening our Practice: An Exploration of Energy within the Teachings of Virginia Satir

Mary Elizabeth Leslie


This article seeks, through a deeper examination of Virginia Satir’s meditations, tapes, and writing, to bring greater attention to her concept of energy and how she applied this to her own practice. Satir frequently talked about centering and energy and acknowledged her unique way of seeing and being to a few close colleagues. Her meditations and comments about how she uses meditations provide a clearer picture of her way of centering, and con-necting with the universal life energy, which was foundational to her way of being and engaging with clients and students. The article also draws from the teachings of Carl Rogers, Eugene Gendlin and colleagues, and Dora Kunz and Dolores Krieger (founders of Therapeutic Touch) to explore the under-lying assumptions of an energetic framework and more fully illuminate this aspect of Satir's work. Through this review of her ideas and meditations, and excerpts from the author’s own experience with an energetic perspective, the goal will be to deepen awareness of therapists and their comfort with engaging clients through a more energetically focused lens.


energy; life energy; universal life energy; spirituality; congruence; Virginia Satir; iceberg metaphor; presence

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Published by © University of Victoria in Victoria, BC Canada

The Virginia Satir Global Network and the Satir Institute of the Pacific have agreed to work together with the Satir International Journal to promote research, development, teaching and practice of the Satir Model in both the academic and practitioner community worldwide through the publication of material related to the Satir Model.