Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy (STST)

“Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible - the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.”-

Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy (STST) was pioneered by Virginia Satir around 1951. This form of therapy was created to enhance communication and relationships between family members by addressing the person’s dynamic within the family. Though it was made with family systems in mind, STST can also been applied to couples and individuals. STST has a strong spiritual component that focuses on change that brings people closer to a fulfilling life by reaching harmony, becoming whole, and increasing their responsibility. Attaining congruence, gaining responsibility, and increasing self-esteem are key goals in this form of therapy. STST focuses on three therapeutic systems: (1) The Intrapsychic, (2) The Interactive and (3) The Family of Origin.


Individuals can work towards change by focusing on the following:

  1. The intrapsychic system emphasizes that human experience is essentially internal. Internal components are interactive and systemic. When change occurs in one area, other areas are change as well.
  2. In the Satir Model, the interactive system recognizes the differences and sameness in relationships. To resolve conflicts that arise from differences, interaction must occur with congruency.
  3. The family of origin system focuses on an individual’s actions, emotions, and perceptions in relation to their dynamic within the family unit.

The core beliefs of STST include:

  1. All humans are connected through the same Universal Life Force.
  2. The human experience, which consists of spiritual connection, doing, thinking, feeling, expecting, and desiring, us universal. Regardless of culture, circumstances, and varying environments, these processes can be accessed and changed.
  3. People are naturally good at the core of Life Energy.
  4. The meanings people adopt, along with their worries and how they cope inform how a problem impacts their life. In other words, problems are not the issue, but how an individual faces and copes with a problem is.
  5. The focus of therapy should be on possibilities rather than problems
  6. By becoming conscious of the internal, change can occur even if external change is restricted.
  7. While the past cannot be changed, using positive energy to the impact that the past had will lift the negative emotions in the present
  8. At any given moment, people do the best they can. The coping that an individual was capable of is tied to their self-worth. By bringing people closer to their life energy, their self-worth can increase, and better choices can be made.
  9. The focus of any therapeutic change is wholeness, growth, and evolution. This is where transformational change happens.
  10. The focus of any therapeutic change is wholeness, growth, and evolution. This is where transformational change happens.


STST uses experimental techniques such as:

  • Role play
  • Family sculpting
  • Guided contemplation


Banmen, J. & Maki-Banmen, K. (n.d.). Satir transformational systemic therapy (in brief). Retrieved from

Edwards, Blake Griffim (2019, August 31). Remembering Family Therapist Guru Virginia Satir.

Psychology Today. 20experiential%20techniques% 20that, in% 20her%20work%20with%20families.

Satir Centre Singapore (n.d.). Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy. Retrieved from

Sinan Okur. (2020). Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy and Spirituality. Spiritual Psychology and

Counseling5(1), 45–64.

Counsellors who focus on

Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy (STST)

Head Office: 
778-288-8361 (Call or Text)


Mailing Address:
2117885 6th Street, Burnaby, V3N 3N4


Office Hours:
Monday – Friday
9 am – 5 pm

Therapy hours:
7 days per week;
7 am – 10 pm by appointment (dependent on counsellor availability)

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