In 1951, Virginia Satir worked with her first family and became one of the first family therapists in the United States. She was a founder of the Mental Research Institute where she developed and taught family therapy, then became the Director of Training for the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. By the 1980’s, she spent much of her time providing workshops and trainings in every continent in the world. In 1986, colleague and friend, Dr. John Banmen, and a group of others from Washington State, USA, and British Columbia, Canada, founded the Northwest Satir Institute, the first of its kind, to provide a community and training for people to learn Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy (STST). Twelve years later in 1998 it was decided to form a separate Institute in British Columbia. The Satir Institute of the Pacific (SIP) was registered as a non-profit society in BC in August 1998: Registration # S-38709 and later registered as a Charity with Revenue Canada: Registration Number 858851082RR0001.

The initial focus of the SIP was on providing training programs for therapists and training for trainers programs. By November 1st 1998 there were 23 members. A STST Level 1 training program started in September 1998 and a STST Level 2 training program started in November 1998. These have remained our successful core programs and have been presented regularly in Greater Vancouver, Vancouver Island, and the Interior of British Columbia. Other programs have included special event workshops and conferences, STST Level 3 programs, Train the Trainer programs and Advanced Master Class Residential Programs which have attracted many international participants. SIP members are now presenting training programs in more than a dozen countries around the world.  SIP has also offered programs for school personnel and personal growth workshops for the general public.

Gradually the Institute and demand for our programs and membership grew beyond the capacity of a purely volunteer organization. In 2007 SIP opened its office in Surrey, British Columbia, and contracted with a part time administrative assistant. In August of 2019 the office moved to Langley, BC.  There are now over 130 members spread through BC and in many countries throughout the world.

Since the Institute’s inception The Wisdom Box newsletter, has been published three or four times every year. Other SIP publications include the Satir Journal (no longer in publication), and various training DVD’s , also available in digital of live therapy sessions. These and other books about STST are available from our store.