I have been a clinical therapist for more than ten years, after a long time in research cognitive neuroscience.
What brought me here?
I graduated (BSc, MSc) in experimental psychology in 2000 (University of Padua), then I did a PhD in behavioural neuroscience (University of Birmingham, UK) supervised by Prof. G.W.Humphreys, a world-wide expert. I started a career in academia, as a post-doc of the University of Birmingham and as a Principal Investigator at the IRCCS Eugenio Medea.
Despite a vivid interest and fascination, research did not fulfil my need and wish to make a difference in people's wellbeing. I registered for a DClinPsy in post-rationalist psychotherapy at the age of thirty-five, which I completed with honours.
My therapy approaches
The education and mentality of a researcher is still evident in my clinical practice; indeed I choose evidence-based methods only. Most of my approach derives from the attachment theory, that has proven the existence of a link between our relational style and the style of our parents. Indeed, when I founded International Psychology Practice, I wanted it to be based on the application of attachment theory.
I chose the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy because it's been validated as one of the most effective therapies for the large majority of psycho-pathologies and it's indicated as the election method by all the international guide-lines. However, having been developed in the '60s, in my opinion this method must be integrated with the more recent findings coming from neurophysiology and neuropsychology studies, such as: a large individual difference in associative neural networks and a faster and stronger direction to the behaviour coming from sensations and emotions compared to the one coming from thoughts and cognition. Therefore, my DClinPsy was in Post-Rationalist (relational) Cognitive Therapy, which takes all that into account.
Then, I came close to the most recent therapies: the "third wave" of clinical cognitivism, opening the method to some concepts taken from oriental philosophies, such as: self-acceptance, self-compassion and dis-identification from thoughts. My method includes parts of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and I have qualified to use some elements of Mindfulness practice in the therapy path.
Finally, I am trained as EMDR therapist (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing): a technique which I find very useful in the elaboration of small and big traumas that might have fragmented the sense of self, or they might have broken the sensation of a continuous personal identity. Like all the methods above, also the EMDR has been validated by science data and international scientific committees and it's also proven a biological effect on associative neural networks linked to personal history.
What science can't tell
Effective psychotherapies are those in which there is a good patient/client-connection. As such, before deciding to start a path with me, you need to understand how you feel with me. I never apply standard protocols, but, rather, I created and individualized path together with the patient/client, with mutual cooperation towards shared goals.
In agreement with neuro-psychology findings and Relational Cognitive Therapy, I take individual differences a lot into account. I strongly believe that we can't separate who we are, and who we have been, from how we perceive the world.
I practice mainly in English with expats and foreigners living in Milan, facing recurring expat issues, which are sometimes harder in a city like Milan.
Therefore not only individual differences but also cultural differences are largely taken into account in our path, with mutual respect for those.
My way of being a therapist.
No-one will get to know us better than we do with ourselves. Therefore a therapist should never interpret, comment and judge your way of being and feeling, but rather, give you a method to understand yourself even more becoming aware of your inter-personal dynamics.
It's my responsibility to make sure that your path towards self-awareness happens safely and under protection, so that you will able to accept the parts of you that you like together with the ones that you dislike and so to find out how to reach your goals in a more functional and less painful way.
Psychotherapy is about questioning ourselves, and that may not be easy. But it will allow you to dramatically change the way you relate to yourself and to others, with results and methods that will stay for the rest of your life.
BSc, MSc in Psychology (Univ. Padova)
PhD in Neuropsychology (Univ. Birmingham UK)
MBA (Univ. Birmingham UK)
DClinPsy Psychotherapy (Centro Terapia Cognitiva di Como)
Abilitation to EMDR Therapy Level I
Abilitation to the use of Mindfulness in Psychotherapy
MSc Forensic Psychology (Univ. Cattolica di Milano)
Former Professor Univ. Cattolica di Milano
Member of SITCC (Società Italiana Terapia Cognitivo-Comportamentale)
Member of EMDR Italia