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.
A session with Dr. Minuchin as he works with an Italian immigrant family with five children. The family began therapy as the daughter, 16, was diagnosed with anorexia two years previously and the symptoms were still present. From the first moments of the session, the mother’s undisputed power emerges, leading to a polemic between belonging and autonomy.
In this session, Dr. Minuchin consults with a family consisting of a mother, father, and a 15-year-old son who is in treatment for depression. The session focuses on shifting the family’s sense of belonging to allow son to begin to become more autonomous. The social worker of the son’s treatment unit sits in on the session.
In the 1990s Dr. Minuchin conceived and led a project to demonstrate a different way to conceptualize and practice foster care. Dr Minuchin envisioned this new system where the agency would allow and encourage the two families to function as they expanded their work on behalf of the child - sharing information and solving problems together. The core strategy of Dr. Minuchin’s project was to capitalize on the natural talents of experienced foster parents, who often go beyond what is required of them by the agencies, and find ways to help the natural parents maintain and develop their relationship with their children during the time their children are in foster care.
This series of sessions showcases Dr. Minuchin’s involvement with children from a homeless family. Dr, Minuchin meets with the family with the goal to empower this family. The family treats Minuchin with a paradoxical combination of openness, suspicion, and passivity. This paradoxical posture is one that the family has learned to assume in response to the constant and uncontrolled entrance and exit of multiple helpers into their lives.
This session with Dr. Minuchin is with the family of a 12-year-old boy who has been hospitalized in a psychiatric unit for children. There are two disturbed systems that Dr. Minuchin addresses in this session. One is the family who needs to change. The other is the psychiatric unit where the child is hospitalized, that in hopes will be perturbed by the intervention.
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.
This is a blended family in formation in which they are still in a period where there are two subsystems, mother and children and new husband and wife. Joey, the IP, has serious asthma and epilepsy and has behavioral problems at school. Dr. Minuchin works in the direction of creating a new subsystem that includes the spouse of the mother as the father in the family.