When a family requires consultation for an infant, family members often bring a very powerful load of affects and raw, confused and undifferentiated emotional elements into the consulting room. It is apparently difficult, if not even impossible, to carry out separation interventions. Respecting the fusion set-up of these families appeared to be important, as it allowed them to be resilient to traumas and unbearably painful internal or external experience. Family psychoanalitical psychotherapy proves to be a valuable therapeutical tool: thanks to the presence of several members of the family, the initial cluster of raw emotional experience can be split into multiple configurations and versions. It involves working in a territory where attention is paid both to intrapsychic dimension and interpersonal relations. It is therefore possible to start family psychotherapy treatments very early: early infancy psychotherapists have the opportunity of intervening when mental circuits can still be very easily modulated, before environmental difficulties intervene, enter the body and are deeply structured. Moreover, in family psychoanalitical psychotherapy it is possible to treat older children suffering from severe diseases, where concrete mental functioning prevails. This paper describes some movements from the destructive acting-out and somatization dimension to the symbolic dimension of emotion-centered reflective thinking.
Keywords: Family psychoanalitical psychotherapy, shapeless terror, symbolization.