The family Maria Emilia Pozzi write about was described in a paper in the Journal of Child Psychotherapy. They had caused some concern to the local services due to mother's disturbance, for which she was known to the local Adult Mental Health Service. Her daughter, the only child in this family, had been only mildly affected by her mother's illness due to her father's presence and care, which had provided her with relative stability. The health visitor referred this family to Maria Emilia because of four-year-old Bonny's uncontrollable behaviour. She was not responding to the usual behavioural modification techniques suggested to, and implemented by, the parents. The first sessions in working with families of under fives are often very intense and difficult for the therapist, as well as for the family.