With the help of infant observation and of a clinical example taken from a diagnostic consultation the Author discusses the existence of different coexisting and interacting levels in the unconscious. These levels are not always accessible to representation but remain active providing orientation and directing our choices. We can assume that near our individual unconscious there is also an interpersonal unconscious that allows to see families as fantastic multi-dimensional organisms. In families at the most primitive level the differentiation between somatic and psychic states vanishes just like the distinction between self and other (Nicolò, 1988). In these dimensions a member can react with a somatic state or by acting to another member’s psychic state or dream or vice versa. In families we can see a group unit’s functioning organized as links that, despite being co-created by all family members, become capable of influencing those who produced them. My contention is that split off, dissociated or rejected aspects that remain at primitive non-verbal levels can still contribute to determine the family’s functioning organizing the links that each member co-constructs with the other in the course of time. The nature of the link is that of a new element in the relation, usually located on the background as the scenes on a stage that usually (except for pathological situations) do not dominate the set while the plot unfolds in the performance of actors.
Keywords: Sites of unconscious, individual unconscious, interpersonal unconscious, group unit’s functioning.