Identity necessarily includes social relationships which are built into the self to varying degrees.
The member/non-member distinction that is afforded by drawing an identity boundary applies not only to individuals, but also to social groups.
In this very social vision of therapy, groups of people operating as units are the proper client to which therapists must address their efforts.
Individuals exist, but problems they experience are not individual but rather are social in nature.
In today's essay, I want to focus on one important theoretical contribution in particular, made I believe by Dr.Minuchin, which is the idea of boundaries, because, in my humble opinion, if you understand about boundaries as they exist in social groups, you have understood the core vision of the Family Systems perspective, and have access to a tremendous conceptual tool useful for understanding how to help patients (or yourself).A boundary is a barrier; something that separates two things.Psychological boundaries are constructed of ideas, perceptions, beliefs and understandings that enable people to define not only their social group memberships, but also their own self-concepts and identities.Such boundaries are the basis by which people distinguish between "We" or "I" (group members; insiders; part of "Us") and "Other" (outsiders and examples of what is "not-self").