Isidoro Berenstein is a renowned psychoanalyst specializing in family and relationships. He is a full member of the Educational Function of the Buenos Aires Psychoanalytic Association, Co-Scientific Director of the Department of Family and Couple of the Psychoanalytical Association of Buenos Aires, and Scientific Director of the Family Department of the Argentina Association of Psychology and Group Psychotherapy.
His main interest is the mind in relational problems, which has led him to rethink basic concepts of psychoanalysis and to propose new formulations. His introduction of “couple and marital analysis” has revealed new clinical phenomena such that he has felt obliged to develop new conceptualizations. This has led him to describe the Unconscious Family Structure (UFS) which is the virtual, symbolic space, the deep level where lies the meaning which organizes family relations. Within the UFS space there are subspaces: that of married couple, later to become the parents, that of 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 these spaces lie the relationships or “links”: the couple or marital link, the filial link between parents and their children, the consanguineous link between siblings, and a fourth: the avunculus link with the representatives of the mother’s family. He refers to four UFS configurations: “normal”, “neurotic”, “perverse”, and “psychotic”.
His books include Pyschoanalyze a Family (1991), Psychoanalysis of Married Couple/Life Project and Career Choice (1991), and Family and Mental Illness (1993).