THE CENTRO DI TERAPIA STRATEGICA
The Centro di Terapia Strategica of Arezzo is a research, training and psychotherapy institute founded by Giorgio Nardone and Paul Watzlawick in 1987. It also hosts the Postgraduate School of Brief Strategic Therapy for doctors and psychologists (Brief Strategic Therapy Giorgio Nardone’s Model) This is officially recognised by the Ministry of Education, University and research (MIUR), for the issuance of the title of Psychotherapist.
The Institute was founded with the objective to develop the Mental Research Institute of Palo Alto (Brief Therapy) towards a more advanced therapeutic technology. This work has allowed the centre to obtain greater results in terms of efficiency and effectiveness of treatments and to made them adaptable to different cultures and fitting the most important forms of psychopathology thanks to “ad hoc” strategies and stratagems.
This initial project has been consolidated by the realisation of over 30 research projects which led to the development of as many originals treatment protocols that, at present, are in many cases, the best practices in this filed.
In this way, the original model, which was applied indifferently to all types of disorder, has become a diversified model that adapts different therapeutic solutions to different psychopathological situations.
At the Centro di Terapia Strategica of Arezzo, over 25,000 patients from around the world were treated directly by Giorgio Nardone or under his supervision. Most of these therapies have been videotaped and currently represent the most important archive of case reports existing in the field of psychotherapy. An overall efficacy and efficiency of the model in 89% of the cases emerges from the studies conducted on the sample, with an average duration of therapy of 7 sessions. Moreover, differential efficacy shows how, for some specific pathologies, the model allowed to obtain even better results (see Publications and Research).
Dozens of international, scientific and educational pubblications derived from all this work of research and intervention in the clinical setting. Some of them are real best/long seller and others are used as textbooks in the best international Universities. All this made the strategic therapy of Arezzo the world reference point for brief strategic therapy and change-oriented communication.
The working and research group, that had about 10 collaborators in the early 1990s, has now grown worldwide. The official collaborators who carry out studies and research to further improve the model of intervention and who use it faithfully under the direct supervision of Giorgio Nardone, are now over 200 and work across all five continents.
Currently, there are more than 40 teaching and research institutes around the world (Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Ireland, Russia, Romania, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, Paraguay, United States etc.) that guarantee the teaching and the updating of the model.
THE MAIN ACTIVITIES OF THE INSTITUTE
- psychotherapy, carried out directly by Giorgio Nardone and by three collaborators under his direct supervision (Dott.ssa E. Valteroni, Dott.ssa S. Scartoni, Dott.ssa A. Salvi);
- service of Neurology and Psychiatry, primarily oriented toward the progressive reduction of drug treatments up to their extinction, along with ongoing psychotherapies (Dott.ssa G. Silvestri);
- clinical research;
- specialised training, aimed at graduates in psychology, psychologists, psychotherapists and doctors.
DAILY LIFE IN THE CENTRO DI TERAPIA STRATEGICA
- About twenty patients are received daily for five days a week. In two of these days, the qualified psychologists and doctors that attend the school perform co-therapies under the direct supervision of the master Giorgio Nardone.
- Additional educational activities are carried out two days per week: training of trainers and theoretical and applicative lectures. In addition to this, the research projects in progress are coordinated and carried out.
- One day per month is dedicated to the supervision of “hard cases” with official collaborators (Official Psychotherapists) from Italy and from the rest of the world through direct participation or by video-conference. On that occasion, an update and analysis of current research that involve all the international group of Researchers of the Institute is performed.
Since its Foundation, the Centro di Terapia Strategica has always highlighted the importance of giving the same weight to scientific research and clinical practice as these two elements are considered as interdependent. Research is an essential means to make our clinical activity more effective and reliable, whereas therapeutic practice represents a genuine form of empirical and experimental research.
We have never been like those types of researchers that are devoted solely to scientific belief and that are often quite far from reality, but at the same time we are not just clinicians “lost” in the intricacies of psychopathology. We believe that a person who works as a therapist, should be both a researcher and a clinician and that these two “souls” guarantee the first to not deviate too much from reality and the second to not get lost in it.
Similarly, we consider the synthesis between art and technology as essential in our field: therapists should constantly observe the rigour of the method in their practice; at the same time, they should be able to create something that goes beyond pure technique in case of need.
Our constant effort is to improve each day and to identify and develop more and more advanced techniques in terms of strategy, communication and therapeutic relationship.
Our philosophy is in line with the statement of Friedrich Nietzsche “everything that does not raise, lowers”. Therefore, we continue to push us tirelessly in this direction, in hopes of continuing in this way.
It all began when the two founders Paul Watzlawick and Giorgio Nardone started to formulate, in a totally original way, the brief strategic therapy model as distinct from other forms of brief psychotherapy (such as systemic, Ericksonian or cognitive-behavioural). They defined the epistemological-theoretical and applicative prerogatives of the model, the research method, the logic of strategic problem solving and the communication strategies.
All these actions gave birth to the modern evolution of Brief Strategic Therapy which was presented to the general public in 1990 through the publication of the manifesto of the fully-developed approach: The art of change. Strategic Therapy and Hypnotherapy without trance, written by the two authors and translated into more than ten languages with over 60 different editions.