PSICOTERAPIA DE GRUPO:Multi-family psychoanalysis: a story of crime

Autor/autores: Florencio Moneo Martín
Fecha Publicación: 16/10/2018
Área temática: Psiquiatría general .
Tipo de trabajo:  Artículo original

Psychoanalyst doctor. APyF. AIPCF. Bilbao. Spain


Palabras clave: Avances Salud Mental Relacional


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Avances en Salud Mental Relacional
Advances in Relational Mental Health Vol. 17 - 2018
Revista Internacional On-Line / An International On-Line Journal

Artículo Original

Multi-family psychoanalysis: a story of crime
Florencio Moneo (Psychoanalyst doctor. APyF. AIPCF. Bilbao. Spain).

The Story of Jorge García Badaracco in Buenos Aires, (1960). The Theory of Freud in Budapest,
(1919). Meeting held on 23 March 2017 at 12.30 pm. Ending at 1:30 pm. 43 participants, 2 of
them psychiatric doctors, 3 psychologists and 38 patients. Preparation of the material. A
KEYWORDS: Multifamily psychoanalysis, crime, technical modification, new thinking.


In 1960 Jorge García Badaracco returned to Argentina after completing his psychiatric and
psychoanalytic training in France. He was trained with Nacht, Lacan, Henry Hey, Ajuriaguerra,
Green and others. He began his work in the Borda Hospital of the city of Buenos Aires. He
noticed the isolation of the mentally ill in their lives and in the detention rooms. He proposed
to help them out of the autism and the emotional confinement. His vocation was to apply
psychoanalysis to the serious mentally ill. He discovered that those people were not in the
conditions to use the psychoanalytic interpretations. There was no more hopeless place for
beginning the training in mental health than those hospitals of Borda and Moyano. Those
rooms were empty. Through discussions, accompaniment, availability, it was possible to get
close to the patients. He spoke of the healthy aspects, he brought relatives close, relativized
the prognosis of the diagnoses. He worked on the pathology of several with the associations


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of the relatives, free dialogue, the construction of the connecting thread, the new meanings,
the stories and their resonances in the others,

the universal situations, the emotional

climate, the reliability, he built another psychoanalytic thought, mutual interdependencies,
the family plot, transgenerational, conflict, grief, secrets: the appropriations of the others in
us, the pathogenic identifications, the psychotic transfer, the multiple transfer, the open
mind, the creative process, the de-identifications and other metapsychology of the


Freud in 1919 in the V International Congress of Psychoanalysis in Budapest, began his
presentation by saying: "We have never claimed to have reached the summit of our knowledge
nor of our power, and now, we are willing to recognize the imperfections of our knowledge,
add new elements to it and introduce in our methods all those modifications that may mean
a progress.
Seeing us together again, after long years apart, during which we have fought courageously
for our discipline, I have to review the state of our therapy and to consider the possible new
directions for its development...
And he ended his presentation like this: ... To finish, I would like to discuss with you a situation
that belongs to the future and may even look fantastic. But, in my opinion, we should adapt
our thought to it. You know very well that our therapeutic action is very restricted. We are
few, and each one of us can only treat a very limited number of patients every year, however
big our work capacity. Faced with the magnitude of the neurotic misery suffered by the world
and which it does not have to suffer, our therapeutic performance is significantly insignificant.
In addition, our conditions of existence limit our action to the wealthy classes of the society,
which often choose their doctors themselves, ruling out psychoanalysis, in this election, due to
a whole series of prejudices. In this way we can still not do anything for the popular classes,
who suffer so much under the neurosis.
Suppose now that an organization allows us to increase our number so that we are enough to
deal with large masses of sick people. On the other hand, it is also expected that some time
there will be awakening of society's awareness and it will note that the poor have as much
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right to the assistance of the psychotherapist as the surgeon, and the neurosis seriously
threaten the health of people just like tuberculosis, and its therapy cannot be abandoned to
the individual initiative. Medical institutions will then be created where there will be analysts
entrusted with making man capable to resist and perform who, left to themselves, give in to
drink, to women close to collapse under the weight of deprivation and to children whose only
future is crime or neurosis. The treatment would naturally be free ... this must be a fact one
We will then have to adapt our technical work to the new conditions ... in the popular
application of our methods we will perhaps have to mix the pure gold of analysis to the copper
of direct suggestion... But whatever the structure and composition of this psychotherapy for
the people, its most important and effective elements will continue being those taken from
psychoanalysis itself, rigorous and free of any trend."

Clinic cartoon

(Meeting held on 23 March 2017 at 12.30 pm. Ending at 1:30 pm. 43 participants, 2 of them
psychiatric doctors, 3 psychologists and 38 patients).
After 5 minutes of politeness, Andoni gets up and closes the door. It comes back to sit.
Everything is very quiet. Participants sit in chairs arranged in two concentric circles. Norberto
attends, the Argentine Basque psychiatrist who introduced into Spain - Bilbao - the
psychoanalysis of the multifamily groups in 1984, the multifamily psychoanalysis that Jorge
Eduardo García Badaraco began to use in 1960 in the Borda Hospital of the city of Buenos
Aires, once he had completed his psychoanalytic training - including his personal analysis with
Sacha Nacht, author of the book: "Guèrir avec Freud"-,
Robert: - can we start? Can we talk?
Therapist 1: - Yes.
James: - Yeah, yeah. The door has been closed.
Robert: - I wanted to say that I feel very bad. Yesterday it was two years since my father died.
I feel very bad. Because he harmed me very much. On the one hand I felt relieved because he
had died. On the other hand, I would have liked to reconcile myself with him. To have been
next to him the day he died. But I didn't. I feel very bad. And now I keep running that idea
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through my head. I'm a person who if hurt you gives in to the feeling of hatred. And I hate
myself the twenty-four hours of the day...
Lamia: - Do you feel guilty. Do you have feelings of guilt Do you feel guilty?
Robert: Yeah. I feel guilty.
Lamia: - But you're not. You think your father died for you. It happened to me. My father died
when I was a child. I was eleven years old. And my father was bipolar. I thought what
happened to my father was because I did not do the work properly that mum asked me to do
to care for my father. True mum?
Rose: - Yeah Yes.
Lamia: - He made a suicide attempt. And I thought that was because I did not look after him
properly. I was a little girl. I was his daughter. I felt very guilty. The same is happening to you
as to me. It's a feeling...
Robert: Yeah. It's a feeling.
Lamia: It's your feeling of guilt.
Candie: - I want to talk.
Therapist 2: - Wait, Juan, wait. She asked before...
Candie: You do your head in. Because your father hurt you when he was alive. And now you
are beating yourself up. I think that you don't have to do that. Your father is dead. You should
be sorry for him. You are not right.
Jeff: - I understand you, Abel...
Various: - No, Robert!
Jeff: - Adam!
Various: Ha, ha, ha! Alex! His name is Robert!
Jeff: - That's right! Alex! I knew that your name started with "A ". I wanted to tell you that I
see you with a ego, a big one, you, very big. And that's why you suffer so much. You feel bad
because you live the harm that you did to your father and the harm that he has done as yours.
And you haven't changed. I realized all of this, it happened to me. Before I felt the same as
you. I felt terrible. I hated my parents. I couldn't stand them. I didn't love them. I hated them
with all my soul. I've participated several weekends at retreats ... with ... what's her name?...
Euria ... I don't remember the surname. And with Raquel ... I don't know. I don't mind saying
so. But I realized that I thought like them. Now, it is true that I was against part of what they
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said. It was the mysticism. Because many years ago, I stopped believing in God. I became an
atheist. And the mysticism... I don't believe in mysticism. It has done a lot of harm to me. I
don't believe in that. But I believe in love. Love can overcome hatred. It is stronger than
hatred. And, for example, many years ago, I changed. I was me and my parents. My parents
and me. Then I started to kiss my mother before leaving home. I gave her a kiss to say
goodbye. And I started to give my father a kiss on the head. Here. Because he is bald. I gave
him a kiss on his bald head. And I started to notice a change. I felt better about myself from
when I start to kiss both of them when I left home.
James: I see that you're punishing yourself. You're hurting yourself. And that is not good for
you. That is self-destructive. You are hurting yourself a lot by feeling that hatred towards
Kate: Yeah, yeah. Same thing happened to me with my parents. It was self-destructive. I
started to drink and consume to hurt myself due to the damage that my parents had done to
me. I had a suicide attempt. And then, I came back here. I came to AMSA. And here I am.
You've got to change Alex. You're self-destructing.
Therapist 3: - You. Robert. I wanted to tell you that you're idealizing your father. And then
you feel the obligation to hate him. But I suggest you think about it. Think about the idea that
he was less important. So that you can cherish yourself more.
Robert: Yeah. You may be right. But I'm still in the same place. I can't help it. I can't change. I
don't know if what I'm doing is right or wrong. I'm still with a hatred towards my father for all
that harm he's done to me, and due to the hatred I feel towards myself, because I wasn't
there with him the day he died, that lasts 24 hours a day. I can't change. I can't help it. I'm
trying but I can't help it. 24 hours a day like this.
Therapist 1: - Robert, I'm going to tell you something. I'm going to talk with my way of saying
things. I listened to you very carefully. I thought about the relationship between you and your
dad. Because, well, listening to your words, I thought you meant him or you. That you were
talking about a single person. But I thought - I was listening to you with much interest - you
were talking about the connection between the two of you, also...
Robert: Yeah.
Therapist 1: - I imagined your old man with the sense of guilt for not having done things right
with you. That also he wanted to help you, but he didn't know what was the best way. He
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must have felt very guilty also. And with much hatred against himself... And, listening to you,
Robert, I construed the connection between the two of you as trapped and arrested in its
development due to both of your frustrations, the conflicting wishes, the discomfort, the
anger. I thought that relationship lacked mutual trust. That the atmosphere was one of
mistrust, disagreement and guilt. Feelings of aggressiveness. But I'll say one thing to you
Robert. To change a relationship is very difficult. It is not easy. It requires reducing the hatred,
the discomfort. See the other as they are, and not as a belief. It requires time. A lot.
Therapist 2: - I wanted to rescue the interventions that several people have had in today's
session. I agree with what Therapist 1 said about the relationship. Robert, the relationship
with your father was not a relationship of trust. And that is the relationship that you have to
Robert: -But now it's too late! My father died two years ago...
Therapist 2: - Never mind! It doesn't matter! I'm referring to the inner father. Because you
also have an inner father Robert. And you can change that relationship. What we see in the
multifamily therapies is that when a son idolizes the father, they feel very stuck in order to
change the relationship. The change to a relationship of trust. Because the idealization of the
father causes much hatred that prevents increasing the feeling of trust and friendship with
their father. Therapist 3, Jeff and Therapist 1 have mentioned this.
Robert: - I realize that I wanted to have with my father a relationship of friendship and mates.
I was able to get the relationship of friendship. I think. But I never got the relationship of
mates. And I would really have liked that. I'm telling you. He died before. I didn't have the
time. And in the past I was very aggressive towards other people who had no fault for
anything. Who were not my father. Who didn't hurt me. And that's why I had trouble with the
courts and they put me in jail.
Therapist 2: -Yes Alex. We see that the psychologist working in prisons, they tell us that the
prisoners there are very quiet. That they behave very well, very normally. Because the people
that feel guilty do illegal acts so they receive a punishment: jail, when they see that the selfinflicted punishment is not sufficient to mitigate their guilt. Freud in 1900 already published
a work describing this situation: the prisoners had committed crimes to receive a punishment
that would alleviate the intense feeling of guilt. Freud already demonstrated this.

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Robert: - But I can't forgive myself for everything bad I did in the past. Nor can I forgive myself
for not being there with my father the day he died. And I can't ask my father to forgive me.
James: - But you can listen to what we are saying to you: that you're not guilty. Because if not
they will take you like this (and he makes a gesture with his wrists together, like a handcuffed
Lamia: You think you're not guilty for the death of your father. The same thing happened to
me when my father died. And doctor Therapist 1 helped me to think about that. That I was
not guilty for the death of my father.
Therapist 3: - You feel guilt. And this brings you to believe that you killed your father. But
there is an idealization by you of your father. And as Norberto said, if you idealise him you
feel more guilty.
Robert: I want to know that I'm doing well. I doubt it. I think I'm doing wrong things.
Therapist 1: - You have to give yourself time. Is that right?
Robert: Yeah. I'm going little by little.
Therapist 1: - then, you're doing well. If you keep coming to the multi-family group and allow
yourself to listen to the others. You're doing good. We have reached the end of the session. I
wanted to say, before ending, that the end of the meeting is obviously very important, but
that we have to say goodbye. However, it is comforting to think that next week, in the same
place, the same day and at the same time, we can meet again, talking. Please inform the
people close to you and belonging to your respective families, about the date of the next
meeting. Because it is true that we cannot talk with fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, who
are no longer here, but we can talk with fathers and mothers belonging to other family groups,
to transform the internal and external relations. Many thanks. See you next Thursday.

Preparation of the material

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The patient Robert is 25 years old. He came for the first time to consultation when he was 23
years old due to intolerable anxiety and consumption of drugs and alcohol. He is the third of
a family of 9 siblings. He has no partner or children. He studies philosophy at University. His
father died two years at 55 years old from respiratory failure due to lung neoplasm. Nor does
he not relate his symptoms with current or past stressful problems. The paternal grandfather
was 25 years old when he participated in the 1936 Spanish civil war. He was mobilized by the
legitimate government of the 2nd Republic to defend the constitutional order from the coup
by Franco and his fascist generals. After the war with victory for those carrying out the coup
he went to several prisons.

The story of his sister in another session is enlightening:
It was 1938. To the Jail. In cattle transport wagons, tied in twos and in groups of 10, also tied
to those behind, and to take them to the Prison's station, about 5 miles along dusty road, all
in double take, also tied back by the arms, from the first to the last, with whips, and guarded
by two rows of civil guards on both sides with their rifle ready to shoot. This is how these
gentlemen who called themselves Crusaders and Catholics treated them as prisoners of war."

When his wife was 36 years old she gave birth to the designated patient, in 1961. Spain came
out of international isolation in 1954 when it was admitted into the UN. The family suffered
phases of extreme poverty. At the time the dictatorship was applying the policy of
moonlighting. But the workers were not able to reach the end of the month. The designated
patient was unaware about the family suffering. In other sessions he was able to hear for the
first time, through the story of the parents of other families, the meanings and
representations of such suffering of the family group from the second and third generation
of ancestors. The Multi-Family Group gave him a new space to build new representations. The
patient had huge mixed emotions of love and hatred towards the members of his family parents, grandparents, siblings. Del Molino says (Del Molino, S 2018) that "the bearded
revolutionary and the slick executive have in common that they both hate the family. Both
see themselves as avant-garde iconoclast, each one in their own style, and believe that the
family is a matter of conservative God fearing gentlemen". I wonder (Moneo, F 2016) along
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since May 68 - , impeccably described by Friedrich Engels in his book The origin of the family,
private property and the state, blocked the development of other ways of thinking in the
family? Is the family losing that pejorative burden and becoming a space of resistance?
Against the new clinic coming from an also new capitalism that sublimates the individual
ambitions and proposes a mystique of success that requires an absolute relinquishment of
any non-productive vocation, can raising children be read as a challenge to the power? As an
alternative way of life, with other priorities and another rhythm? The LGBT and feminist
movements become standard-bearers of the family. Against what some were screaming stirred up by ultra-Catholics - who were opposed to the change, the family has not been
destroyed, quite the opposite. The story of the family as a source of all the tyrannies became
more obsolete than the extreme left parties. In the case of our designated patient, the
participation of his sister and the other parents allowed for the opening of a mental window
(García Badaracco, JE 2000) that helped the patient's personal development.

A woman - Esther - recited a poem by heart dedicated to the mother before her death - the
mother in 1938 was a girl of 8 years, raped by fascists soldiers, after the fall of Bilbao in the
Spanish civil war, this: Where trust has its shelter:
Not to provide secrets;
Yes to trust in good support.
Not to execute extreme kindness;
Yes for understanding and help in some grief.
Joy is expected.
Perfection is requested:
More and more is required...
The day to day may pass with calm hope,
At least in one room of our feeling,
When a woman, with a mother's name,
Live and survive in proximity of word,
In example and deeds
And in deep respect and affection
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To who gave birth to me in the light and the shadows
In this our world.
Mum, remember I want these essences,
Diluted in the waters of amazing dyes.
Mysterious disease that disrupts personalities,
Living with dark birds
And faraway clouds of many colors...
That time confuses.
But you expanded from the clarity, kindness and genius.
With unique sadness, a huge hug
And I gave you a grateful kiss,
Grasping firmly my hand in yours,
In the last hours of vital breath.
Goodbye, beautiful women, of great advice:
Much love!

1. García Badaraco, JE (2000). Psicoanálisis Multifamiliar. Paidós Ed: Barcelona.
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2. Freud, S (1899). Über Deckerinnerungen. Sigmund Freud Obras Completas, Tomo III.
Amorrortu: Buenos Aires.
3. Freud, S (1937). Konstruktionen in der Analise. Sigmund Freud Obras Completas, Tomo XXIII.
Amorrortu Ed: Buenos Aires.
4. Winnicott, DW (1967). The location oF Cultural Experience. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 48. IPA Ed:
5. Egizabal, M and Serrano U (2017). Busturia 1937 ­ 1977. Represión y Resistencia de un
pueblo. Laia Kultur Elkartea and Ahaztuak 1937-1977: Iruña.
6. Rubio, L (2014). Persoversos. Gomylex Ed: Bilbao.
7. Jackson G (1965). The Spanish Republic and the Civil War (1931-1939). Princeton University
Press: Princeton.

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