In 1992, Dr. Salvador Minuchin was invited to consult with a team of mental health professionals involved in the treatment of a 9 year old boy who had been institutionalized for 2 years in psychiatric hospitals. In this video, Dr. Minuchin asserts that the identity of young children is directly connected to their belonging to a group of people, specifically their family, who have created the child’s sense of reality.
A family presents their 17-year-old daughter who attempted suicide to Dr. Minuchin. Minuchin discovers from the father that he and his wife have been psychologically divorced since the birth of the daughter, and the mother states that she still feels single. Exploring the spouse and parental subsystems gives a map of the family. Minuchin attempts to construct an alternative family organization in which the adolescent children form a healing subsystem.