Attachment theories have been fundamental in describing child primary needs in developmental terms. Systemic-relational theories have been adding a triadic dimension in children early observations : a developmental system view of Mothers, Fathers and Infants have been introduced by Elisabeth Fivaz’s seminal research work, confirming what clinicians, like Minuchin, Whitaker, Andolfi have been seen for many years in family therapy. Presence/absence of fathers ,quality and stability of marital relationships, parents’ differentiation of Self from family of origin, are very relevant factors for child sense of safety and for the dynamic balance between belonging and autonomy, which is so basic in child and adolescents growth.
This presentation describes an experiential model of therapy which look at children unhappiness from a tri-generational perspective : often young children and adolescents who present psychological-relational symptoms or psychiatric disorders grow up in family contexts where intergenerational dis-functions and traumas have never been worked out, often “buried” and not spoken for years.. The younger generation is overloaded with anger, betrayal, hidden secrets, losses, family cut-off and violence of “ before”, which is still “cooking in the house”.
Including problem- children in family therapy is a fantastic opportunity to elicit their resources and to activate family resilience in order to heal long-term traumas and to restore health and happiness in people present life.