A Tribute to Virginia Satir and Friends

Virginia Satir

Bio LInk

Virginia Satir

Often called the “mother of family therapy,” Virginia Satir (1916-1988) started her professional life as an educator after graduating from the Milwaukee State Teachers College (now the University of Wisconsin) in 1936. While working as a public school teacher, Virginia developed an interest in meeting and working with her students’ parents – recognizing early on that engaging the support of parents not only yielded more successful outcomes for her students in the classroom, it also unlocked potential for healing within their families as well. She began to see the family as a microcosm for the larger world, famously stating, “If we can heal the family, we can heal the world.”

Her interest in working with families led her to pursue further education at the University of Chicago where she earned her Master of Social Work degree in 1948. From early on in her career, Virginia recognized the significant role that families often play in contributing to an individual’s problems and by extension their crucial role in contributing to the healing process. Her unique approach and ability to help difficult clients quickly led to recognition and demand as a consultant, author, and world-renowned trainer – as well as countless awards that included being voted “Most Influential Therapist” in two national surveys of Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists (Psychotherapy Networker, 2007).

During her lifetime, Virginia wrote several widely acclaimed books on the subject of family therapy and she helped establish organizations such as the Mental Research Institute, International Human Learning Resources Network (IHLRN), and The Avanta Network (now The Virginia Satir Global Network) for the purpose of training and providing resources for therapists. She remained devoted to helping others and worked tirelessly up until her death in 1988 writing and traveling the globe as a trainer and lecturer.

The Satir Model ultimately expanded beyond the realm of family therapy and became recognized as applicable to all situations where improving human communication and growth is desired, proving to be useful in areas ranging from therapy and social work to education and information technology. The principles embodied in Virginia Satir’s unique combination of intelligence, insight, and compassion are universal in their applicability to the human condition, and there is little doubt that she deserves her status as one of the most significant figures in the history of modern therapy.

More information about Virginia Satir can be found at Good Therapy.

Virginia Satir BIO

Dr. Dewit Baldwin Jr., MD

Thank you “Bud”.
January 6, 2022

DeWitt C. “Bud” Baldwin Jr., MD In Memoriam

“Trust and love are the two most powerful forces in the world.”
–Bud Baldwin

It is with great sadness that the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) shares the passing of DeWitt C. “Bud” Baldwin Jr., MD, a pioneer of the interprofessional teamwork movement and highly regarded for his research around medical resident and fellow burnout and well-being, and his significant contributions to medicine. Bud died peacefully in his home in Chicago, Illinois on January 5, 2022. He was 99.

He is survived by his wife, Michele, two daughters, and four grandchildren.

Known affectionately by his colleagues and friends as “Bud,” Dr. Baldwin dedicated the last 14 years of his remarkable career as a Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the ACGME, advocating for and studying the experience of medical residents and fellows in the clinical learning environment.

ACGME President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas J. Nasca, MD, MACP said of Dr. Baldwin, “His expertise and vision have helped shape major initiatives in American medical education across the continuum and have led to innovations that improved education and safety in residency and fellowship programs, their Sponsoring Institutions, and ultimately, in the clinical practice of medicine.”

The son of missionary educators who worked alongside medical care teams, Dr. Baldwin lived in Burma (now Myanmar) until age 10. This early experience had a lasting impact on him as he developed into a caring and humanistic physician and educator.

Dr. Baldwin became a noted champion of humanism in medical education, long advocating for the reform of medical school curricula. He emphasized the need for mental health support for medical students, residents, and fellows, and dedicated his research to developing strategies and guidelines to enable young physicians to seek support in healing themselves.

In addition to his focus on developing well-rounded compassionate doctors, Dr. Baldwin also introduced into medicine the concept of interprofessional teamwork: teaching physicians and other health providers to care for patients within a collaborative team approach, for which he has received two honorary doctorates.

A pediatrician, family physician, and psychiatrist, Dr. Baldwin was educated at Swarthmore College, the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale, Yale Divinity School, Yale Medical School, and the University of Minnesota and Yale Graduate Schools. He was a diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Pediatrics, and the American Board of Family Practice. During his academic career, he wrote, lectured, and conducted research in the fields of higher education, moral development, interdisciplinary health professions education, medical ethics, rural health, behavioral sciences, humanistic medicine, child development, psychology, and dentistry. He has published more than 200 articles, several books, and is the recipient of numerous honors and awards.

In 2010, the ACGME gave Dr. Baldwin its highest award, the John C. Gienapp Award, which honors those who have dedicated themselves to graduate medical education and have made outstanding contributions to the enhancement of resident and fellow education and ACGME accreditation activities. That same year, the ACGME launched the Baldwin Seminar Series in his name, an ongoing program designed to bring great thinkers into the ACGME to challenge, provoke, and enlighten staff members across departments, as well as invited guests and colleagues from outside the organization.

While Dr. Baldwin’s ideas for educational reform for physicians may have started decades ago, they remain relevant to graduate medical education today. In early 2016, the ACGME, in partnership with the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, presented the first DeWitt C. Baldwin Jr. Award. This annual award (not presented in 2021 or 2022 due to COVID-19 disruptions) is given to academic institutions that demonstrate a humanistic culture and foster a respectful and supportive environment for medical education.

Dr. Baldwin was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) in 2011. In 2014, RFUMS dedicated the DeWitt C. Baldwin Institute for Interprofessional Education to honor his vision, innovations, and dedication to the pursuit of interprofessional education and practice and team-based care.

At that time, RFUMS President and CEO K. Michael Welch said, “I view Dr. Baldwin as the father of interprofessional education in this country. His leadership and scholarship have inspired and guided our own commitment to building a learning environment that promotes collaborative, team-based care,” adding, “we are proud to honor a physician and humanitarian who dedicated his life to interprofessional education and practice.”

Dr. Timothy Brigham, ACGME chief education officer and chief of staff, has long regarded Dr. Baldwin as the ACGME’s “North Star.” He also noted that, “Every major medical education advancement that we could think of, we can trace it all back to Bud, and he’s a true living legend at the ACGME. One of the crowning characteristics of someone who’s truly great is that they don’t think they’re that great, and that’s Bud.”

Dr. Baldwin was a model of integrity. His passion for his work and compassion for other human beings is palpable in every conversation anyone ever had with him and in everything he did. He lived a long and accomplished life, full of achievements, adventures, and above all, love. He will be sorely missed by all his colleagues and friends at the ACGME, and by the entire medical community.

Joseph Dillon

Joseph Daniel Dillon (9/8/28-3/2/2021)

Joseph Daniel Dillon, (92), of Vista, California, passed away March 2, 2021. Joe was born to Florence M. Detzel and Stephen V. Dillon in Tulsa, Oklahoma, September 8, 1928.  He was a member of Christ the King Parish and attended Marquette school in Tulsa for 12 years.  He was a super athlete in high school, exceling in basketball, baseball, and football.

Joe attended St. Benedict College in Atchison, Kansas. He entered the seminary in 1948 and studied at Cardinal Glennon College in St. Louis, Missouri, and at St. John’s Seminary in Little Rock, Arkansas where he earned a bachelor degree in Liberal Arts.  He was sent to the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy, where he earned a graduate degree in theology, and was ordained a priest, July 19, 1953.

His first assignment as a priest was St. Francis Parish, Stillwater, Oklahoma where he also served as Newman Chaplain at Oklahoma A&M.  He was named Vice Rector of St. Francis Seminary in Oklahoma City, in 1958, and in 1960 was also appointed director of the Association for Christian Development, an organization of women volunteers. In 1961 he became Diocesan Director of Religious Education and studied for a year at Lumen Vitae, a religious education center in Brussels, Belgium. He served as the first Director of Religious Education for the Diocese of Oklahoma City and Tulsa from 1962 to 1969 during the exciting years of the Second Vatican Council.  In 1969, he became Pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Oklahoma City.

Joe decided to leave the active ministry in 1971 and shortly thereafter married Carole A. Molyneaux, a former Catholic nun.

After working in Washington, DC, and Indianapolis, Joe and Carole settled in Vista, California, where their son David was born in 1974.  Carole and Joe both obtained PhDs in Psychology and were licensed as marriage and family therapists.  They served in this profession both in Vista and in Davenport, Iowa for 30 years.  Joe was a long-time member of the Virginia Satir Global Network with the mission to further the creation of healthy and just relationships. He served two terms on the Board of Directors and was a trainer for four summers in Crested Butte, Colorado.  The Satir Global Network named Joe a Living Treasure in the year 2000.

Joe is survived by his son David, daughter-in-law Lindsay Witmer Dillon, two granddaughters Brooklyn and Molly, niece Stephani Franklin and husband Keith, niece Melanie Seaman, and grand-niece Taylor, husband Connor Wann, and great-grand nephew Oliver.

Dr. Madeleine DeLittle

Dear Satir Members,
It is with our deepest sorrow that we announce the death of Dr. Madeleine DeLittle on January 16, 2024 in her home surrounded by many family and friends.
Madeleine joined the Satir institute of the Pacific in 2006 and served on the Board from 2008 to 2014 and again from 2017 to the present. She also edited The Wisdom Box for many years and more recently was our Research Director. Her book “Where Words Can’t Reach” describes her development of a unique program based on neuroscience, ” Satir in the Sand Tray”, which she subsequently taught in many countries. Her presence will be deeply missed. You can read the final update from her husband Jim
Regards, Cindi Mueller
Administrator, Satir Institute of the Pacific


Dr. Laura Dodson

Obituary for Dr. Laura Dodson

Plummer, Minnesota – Laura Sue Dodson returned to God peacefully at a hospital in Fargo, North Dakota, on December 7, 2022, at age 86. Her loving family was with her during her last hospital stay and held her hand at the time of her death.

A Memorial Service was held on December 21st at 1pm at Johnson’s Funeral Service in Thief River Falls. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial will be held at Ebenezer Lutheran Cemetery rural Oklee, MN.

Laura was born October 5, 1936, in Dallas, Texas, to Thomas Hal Dodson and Mildred Julia Dunbar Dodson. She was the second child; her brother Tom had arrived two years earlier. Laura began elementary school in Dallas. In 1945, the year she turned age 9, the family moved to Grand Prairie, Texas, just west of Dallas, so that her father could be nearer his work at North American Aviation. In 1946, a sister, Gay Dodson was born.

In 1969, Laura married George Anthony Cronin; he died in 1975. In the year 2000, she married Royce Delmer Forsyth; he died in 2007. As a single person, she adopted two children-in 1978, Jonathan Anthony at 4 days old (born in Denver) and in 1983, Corina Catherine at age 3 (born in Peru).

Laura graduated from Grand Prairie High School in 1954. That year she entered Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where, in 1958, she earned a BA in Education, Psychology, and History. In 1961, she received a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Denver. In 1975, she received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Union Graduate School. Her dissertation, Family Therapy: A System Approach, was published in 1977. She was a visiting professor at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver for the 1983-84 school year.

From 1961 to 1969 she was a full-time Psychiatric Social Worker for Fort Logan Mental Health Center in Denver. In 1967, she began a private practice as a Jungian Psychologist in Denver. That practice lasted until semi-retirement some 40 years later. Dr. Dodson always had a sympathetic ear for everyone, wanting to do her best to help. She was quite well-respected in her profession and conducted many conferences in the U.S. and abroad, was author of Psyche and Family, and of several published professional articles. She led the Satir Family Camp in California for over two decades, working with other therapists to bring healing using concepts introduced by her close friend and mentor Virginia Satir.

In her work abroad, she especially loved working with people suffering from the ravages of war. She was the founder of the Institute for International Connections in 1988 that continues today. She led cross-cultural camps in the former Soviet Union outside Moscow with persons from 12 nations. In the past 20 years, she traveled multiple time to Azerbaijan and Thailand training other therapists. Laura always said that her passion lay in carrying psychology out of the office into cultural healing concepts and applications.

When she wasn’t running through airports, she spent the winters in Round Rock, Texas, with her sister Gay, and for the balance of the year made her residence in Plummer, Minnesota. She loved to travel and spend time with her family and friends. She was terrible at small talk, but wonderful at BIG talk and getting to the heart of things.

Laura was preceded in death by her parents. Survivors are son, Jonathan (Kelly) Dodson and their children Jack and Lyla all of Plummer, Minnesota, and daughter, Corina (Scott) Villani and their children Scott, Jr., Veronica, and Giada all of Shaker Heights, Ohio. Also, sister, Gay Dodson, of Round Rock, Texas, and brother, Tom (Jean) Dodson of Fort Worth, Texas, and their children, Karen (Joe) Arrington also of Fort Worth; Kathy (Stan) Taylor of Van Zandt County, Texas; and Brian (Mary) Dodson of Austin, Texas. In addition, there are 5 grandnephews, one grandniece, three great-grandnephews, and one great-grandniece.

More tributes to Laura and Her Work.

Maria Gomori

M.S.W., Dip C, Ph.D.
May 25, 1920 – December 10, 2021

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Maria Gomori.
She was predeceased by her husband Dr. Paul Gomori in September 1979. She is survived by her son Andrew (Karen), grandsons, Paul, Steve (Amber) and great-granddaughters, Freya, Elise and Laurel.
The world has lost an influential and special woman who touched the lives of many people during her life’s journey. She will be mourned by her loving family, close friends and students around the world. She impacted the lives of many people through decades of work as an educator and family therapist.
While there will be no official ceremony, Maria’s wishes are for people to celebrate her life and remember the unique and special way that she touched so many people.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Haven Institute, Gabriola Island, BC at https://haven.ca/giving
This obituary may also be viewed at Maria’s website at:


As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Dec 11, 2021


JANET CHRISTIE-SEELY 1939 – 2022 Janet Christie-Seely passed away peacefully in the early hours of Aug 11, 2022, after a rapid battle with Alzheimer’s. Janet was a vibrant mother, grandmother, family physician, family therapist, author, artist, lecturer and professor, who was recently seeing patients, painting and writing. She had a passionate ‘joie de vivre’, packed her 83 years to their fullest and never tackled anything in half measures. Janet wore many hats (and usually purple scarves) as a creative, intelligent, beautiful, non- judgmental human. She pioneered a family systems approach to family medicine, bridging family therapy and medicine, and founded the Ottawa Satir Learning Centre. Janet taught locally and internationally, from Azerbaijan to Hong Kong. Janet will be deeply missed by her husband of 25 years, Tom O. Wright; and by her children and their spouses: Jean (Mark), Alison (Kevin), Andrew (Kathy), and Dugald (Sarah); her step-children: Sara (James) and David; as well as her nine grandchildren and six step-grandchildren. Janet always saw the best in people, and lived life to its absolute fullest with enthusiasm and passion. She leaves a legacy of her paintings (of her beloved Scottish and Quebec landscapes), her teachings, her care for a community of patients, and her family, all imbued with her revolutionary spirit of meaningful interaction, pioneering innovation and desire to help people. A Celebration of Janet’s Life will occur at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 20, 2022 at Pinecrest Remembrance Chapel, 2500 Baseline Road, Ottawa. Online condolences, tributes and memorial donations may be made at colefuneralservices.com.

Published by The Globe and Mail from Aug. 13 to Aug. 17, 2022.

Dr. Robert Spitzer

Dr. Robert S. Spitzer

Bob Spitzer was born on September 16, 1926 in St. Louis and passed away peacefully in his Palo Alto home on December 17, 2015, surrounded by his loving family. A seeker and artist, he left the world a better place.

Bob’s parents, Harry and Anna, moved from Europe to America seeking a better life. Bob grew up with the affection of his elder sister Lucille, while big brother Jerry cultivated Bob’s wit and competitive spirit. Bob tried to enlist in the Navy in World War II but was rejected for epilepsy, so he forged his medical record and served in the Merchant Marines as cadet officer in East Asia.

After the war, Bob entered Yale, where he embraced a variety of intellectual pursuits, graduating in philosophy in 1949. Finishing near the top of his class at Harvard Law School in his first year, he decided he was smart enough to become a doctor. After passing the Bar, he focused on psychiatry at Washington University Medical School where he developed a lifelong fascination with the mind and the empirical approach. When the Psychoanalytic Institute rejected him because “he didn’t know himself well enough”, this ignited an inner search that lasted throughout his life.

While in law school, Bob met Becky, the love of his life, and thus began their 64-year courtship. Early in their romance, Becky took him to Colorado for the “cabin test,” where he proved his worth hiking, chopping wood, and joining campfire sing-a-longs at 9,600 feet. They returned almost every year, eventually bringing their children, Mandy, Dan, and David, and their families as well. In the 1950’s, Becky inspired Bob when he saw her participate with her sister Jane in civil disobedience protests against segregated lunch counters. He directed this inspiration toward a life of civil rights and social justice work.

Bob moved his family to Palo Alto in 1961, where he joined the Stanford faculty and the Mental Research Institute, a center of pioneering work in behavioral sciences. Bob was exhilarated by his colleagues and in particular, by Virginia Satir. This led to decades of creative partnership. Bob acquired the publishing house, Science & Behavior Books, releasing many seminal books that influenced millions of mental health professionals. When Virginia, Bob, and Becky helped to establish IHLRN (an international association of therapists), Bob felt for the first time that he could impact a broad community.

Meanwhile Bob explored other approaches to community development. With Becky, he established the first free and anonymous pregnancy testing service in California. In the late 1960’s, he formed an intentional community on land he bought in the Santa Cruz mountains, which for the past 40 years has been home to dozens of artists and writers in diverse fields. It was the center of the nascent “home birth” movement in Northern California, which Bob supported medically and financially. Neurolinguistic Programming was also created there, along with important works by Gregory Bateson. Combining his legal and psychiatric perspectives, Bob brought a holistic approach to the treatment of incest. He included the extended family among the victims as they also suffered from the crime. He founded Parents United, which became an international organization that both provided broad-based therapy and drove policy change, resulting in the reform of California’s relevant laws.

Bob was a patriot who believed America had the obligation to engage responsibly in the world. He was outraged by the Vietnam War and was arrested for blocking the Oakland draft center in 1967, leading to 10 days in jail “which became a teach-in with colleagues ranging from Roy Kepler to Joan Baez”. Bob traveled to Nicaragua many times to record America’s secret engagement in the Iran-Contra arms deals, often filming with bullets flying around him. His activities included the famed “Baseball for Peace” journeys with San Francisco Giants Manager Dusty Baker and other athletes. Bob’s activism included filming Brian Willson sitting on railroad tracks to stop an armaments shipment before he was run over by the speeding train. Bob’s footage was broadcast internationally, further influencing the debate on American military policy.

Bob was deeply influenced by trips to India where he learned to meditate and experienced a new reality of how people could live together and with themselves. For the last 25 years of his life, Bob didn’t eat meat with the stated purpose of challenging people to shift food priorities to feed the world. He struggled with depression throughout his adulthood, brought on by the death of his father. After trying a variety of conventional pharmacological treatments, he found marijuana to be his most effective medical intervention. Through his 60 years of psychiatric practice, he deeply honored his patients, willing to go to their dark places, while never judging them.

Bob is remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, friend, and mentor to many.


Margarita Suarez

Margarita M. Suarez

Margarita M. Suarez, age 76, died October 17, 2018 after what she called “a blessed and full life.” She worked for peace and justice with a special sense of humor and simplicity. Margarita was born in Havana, Cuba on August 5,

1942, the fifth of 14 children of Manuel Suarez and Eloisa Gaston. She was active in the Cuban underground against Fidel Castro before a two-year stint as a novice with the Maryknoll Sisters. She completed her MA in psychosocial nursing, University of Washington. She served as a U.S. Army nurse in Vietnam, worked as a pediatric nurse practitioner, taught at the University of Washington School of Nursing, and worked as a private counselor in the areas of family interaction, child and adolescent grief, and conflict management.

On a national level Margarita conducted workshop trainings with Virginia Satir, who pioneered a family therapy model. Later she served as executive director of AVANTA The Virginia Satir Network. Margarita’s wit and wisdom brought her national prominence as a keynote speaker, mentor, and advocate for health and social services. Margarita is survived by her wife Sandi Spence, 10 brothers and sisters, 49 nieces and nephews, and many friends – especially her faith community, which accompanied her through her illness with multiple myeloma.


Gloria Taylor

Gloria Taylor was  Master Therapist and a Canadian who was an advocate of medically-assisted dying.“After several weeks of battling the end stages of congestive heart failure and struggling to make every breath count, my mom, my best friend, Gloria Taylor, chose a peaceful, medical assistance in dying (MAID), end of life. On March 8th, surrounded by her family, Gloria slipped serenely into her best sleep. No longer is she in any pain…she’s free!  

Knowing is a double-edged sword. There’s sadness in knowing. But, there is also beauty. Once the decision was made, our family gathered in mom’s final days to reminisce about our shared lives together. Our hugs were deeper, our gazes longer and our words held more meaning. What a tremendous gift for all of us. 
Mom (aka GG), was able to snuggle her newborn, great granddaughter and enjoy giggles and special moments with her 3 ½ year old first, great granddaughter. She connected with faraway family, grandchildren, siblings, nieces and cousins – all taking part in the privilege of saying goodbye. These were cherished memories that we will all carry in our hearts.
While she was my champion, I know mom made a significant difference in the lives of everyone she met. Over the years, I witnessed pure love and gratitude for my mom, from so many people. We are so thankful for her incredible doctor, who became our family’s angel, her Care Partners palliative nurses, her amazing pharmacist/friend Moon and her MAID doctor Martha Taylor, who all instantly felt like family. Our hearts will forever be warmed by the copious amounts of food delivered to the door and space being held for us by loving and supportive family members and incredible friends. This has been one hell of a roller coaster ride and getting through it would not be possible without them!”
Dawn Taylor-Gilders 

BornMarch 30, 1938, Castlegar, Canada

DiedOctober 4, 2021, Kelowna, Canada

Link to her Obituary: https://erbgood.com/tribute/details/15465/Gloria-Taylor/obituary.html

Link to another article about her: https://www.therecord.com/life/2021/03/29/lifetimes-gloria-taylor-was-a-brilliant-family-therapist-who-changed-lives.html