The Authors present a reflection on the use of the setting in the psychotherapeutic treatment of families, paying specific attention to psychotically transacting families. After a brief theoretical explanation of the development of the concept of setting, they dwell on the conceptualizations of the analytical setting that they consider most relevant and original for dealing with the clinical situation presented, such as those of Winnicott, Bleger, Searles, and Kaës. The authors suggest that the setting should be reliable and regular, especially in the case of regressed patients, in order to favour the construction of a "facilitating environment". They then present some clinical material with an unusual use of the setting that can be considered the expression of the analyst’s mental activity while listening to the patients’ needs.
Keywords: Setting, families, changes in setting, analyst’s mental function.