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Berenstein, I. (1989). New Ideas about the Unconscious Family Structure. Brit. J. Psychother., 5(3):312-316.

(1989). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 5(3):312-316

New Ideas about the Unconscious Family Structure

Isidoro Berenstein

Unconscious Family Structure (UFS) is the virtual, symbolic space, the deep level level where lies the meaning which organises the family relations or the manifest level. Within the UFS space there are subspaces: that of the marital couple, later to become the parents, that of the children in relation to the parents, that of the children in relation to each other. Within these subspaces certain places are to be found: the father's place, the mother's place and the child's place. Between the spaces lie the relationships or links: the couple or marital link; the filial link between parents and their children; the consanguineous link between siblings. To these I add a fourth: the avunculus link with the representative of the mother's family.

I depict a series of verbal or preverbal stipulations: the unconscious accords, pacts and rules.

In addition I describe four UFS configurations: grade a (‘normal’), b (‘neurotic’), c ‘perverse’) and d (‘psychotic’).

I conclude with some observations about family transference and countertransference.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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