Ema Genijovich Remembers Salvador Minuchin

Poverty and Inequality

Few people in the field of structural family therapy had the good fortune to work with and learn from the revolutionary child psychotherapist, Salvador Minuchin. And while he, unfortunately, passed away in November of 2017 he is still inspiring therapists today in their work on understanding human and family relationships. One of the few family therapists who was lucky enough to work closely with Dr. Minuchin (or Sal as he is affectionately referred to) is a psychologist, trainer, international consultant and friend, Ema Genijovich.

In her poignant remembrance piece, she discusses the impact Sal had on her pursuing work as a child psychologist. After an initial setback while trying to join Sal’s team of aspiring supervisors, she was inspired by his words and found a way to integrate the group.  “[…] I recalled the times that Salvador had refused to accept the definition of the problem presented to him by the family at the center of a case. If he was told by one member of the family that he or she was the problem, he would reply, “Don’t be so sure! Who told you that?”

This mindset of always challenging long-held truths of his field is what set Sal apart and helped him and his team defined the basic objective for all their work: “to change [government] agencies’ own attitudes to help them see the families they were working with as resources, as healers, and not just as problems to be solved.”

As Equity for Children’s event, Working With Families of the Poor: Taking Forward the Legacy of Salvador Minuchin, quickly approaches we hope you will enjoy this piece from Ema as much as we did about the legacy of Sal as not only as a great child psychiatrist but a great human being as well.


Read the full piece here.


Ema Genijovich is a licensed psychologist and international consultant trainer in systems and family therapy. She is a renowned lecturer, supervisor and visiting faculty at many institutions within the US and internationally. She travels, presenting her work, all over Latin America, North America, Europe and Asia. Ema has been a long time collaborator of Dr. Salvador Minuchin, with whom she worked for over 25 years. She is a founding member of The Minuchin Center in New York and was its Director of Training for many years.


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