We would like to highlight the work of Julia Gippenreiter this week. Julia was a professor at the University of Moscow in 1988 and a great help when Virginia and Laura Dodson went there to teach. She actually took them into her home, which at the time was risky.
Click here to see Julia’s video appreciation of Virginia, https://youtu.be/sLCePeK1p8U
After Virginia’s death, Julia came to the USA and was instrumental in the formation of the Institute for International Connections, a Satir organization to further Satir work in Soviet countries. IIC brought nine outstanding Russians to the USA for six weeks to study Virginia with various leaders who were doing her work. Julia was one. Julia couldn’t get enough of Virginia. She came back that summer to Satir Family Camp in California with her husband and son, and immediately saw that this is how Laura, who had young children, could return to Russia to teach. She could lead Russia Family Camp together with Julia and bring her children! Laura reports that the camp experiences were very emotional. She said she remembers one participant saying, “Thank you for helping us find our tears!”
Julia founded a sister organization to IIC in Moscow, the Center for Personal and Family Growth. When camps were not happening, Julia was doing family reconstructions of Russians who needed to recover and work through generations of suffering. She has to date done over 1000 reconstructions. She worked with her own family, children and grandchildren and out of that grew her first book using Virginia’s teachings. In 1996, she published, Parents and Grandparents Relating to Children, and it is so popular in Russia that it has been reprinted five times. And she currently contracted to write seven more. We appreciate Julia for her contributions to changing how families live together in Russia, and all Russian speaking countries, with her workshops for parents and her books that are so well read and used!