• Il rischio del rischio iatrogeno

    Il rischio del rischio iatrogeno
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  • Il processo della violenza

    violenza Palermo 2013
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  • Reflexive operations

    EFTA Reflexive operations
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  • Cecchin a jazz play improvizer (Slides)

    Cecchin, a bopper in training and therapy
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  • The spiritual dimension in psychotherapy

    The spiritual dimension in psychotherapy[1]


    Umberta Telfener[2]



    “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.

    The other is as though everything is a miracle” A. Einstein


    “You are here to enable the divine purpose of the Universe to unfold.

    That’s how important you are!” Eckart Tolle


    “What is the definition of enlightenment? The end of suffering” Buddha


    I was trained as a systemic strategic therapist at the Child Guidance Clinic in Philadelphia in the mid 1970s, involved in the systemic-relational psychotherapy which asks for connection and belonging. In the 1970s I also began reading Castaneda’s writings. Curious about what there is between earth and heaven, about the ethereal dimensions and the rapport between humans and nature, I have made a point, ever since, of visiting shamans around the world. I drew out another aspect of my personality working with migrants and developing a shared … Read the rest...

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  • An Introduction


    Entering into a new context is no easy task for a mental health professional. Social and mental care workers  enjoy wide appreciation within their profession; over the years, due to health service reorganization and spending cuts, their work has become increasingly harder. When a worker first enters an established workforce, he must make his mark and build up his confidence in order to earn his place amongst colleagues who already share a point of view and who function as a whole organized by a consolidated praxis.

    The systemic frame, of which I consider myself an Italian representative, constitutes the core of this book. I teach on the post graduate course in Health Psychology at the University of Rome La Sapienza, this has enhanced my systemic frame and thinking, since it has underlined the need for a thorough praxis (?) which gives importance to resources and evolutionary processes within organizations and systems (individuals, families …).

    Systemics (HvF2003) and health psychology … Read the rest...

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  • From Systems Theory to Systemics Some Remarks by Heinz von Foerster


    From Systems Theory to Systemics
    Some Remarks by Heinz von Foerster[1]


    Umberta Telfener[2]


    As an Introduction

    I met Heinz for the first time at a conference held by ISCRA systemic Institute in Modena, back in 1985. He was with the psychotherapist and theoretician Carlos Sluzky and they were talking about Popper’s falsification theory. The translator was very imprecise and the listeners got nervous. I decided to translate taking the place of the official professional. That was the beginning of a long friendship and collaboration. I speak English with a little German accent, we kind of recognized each other and we got along together very smoothly ever since: same energy level, same Austrian background, sympathy, friendship …
    A teacher/student relationship was born. For the first time I understood the difference between first and second cybernetics (the former dealing with static processes tending to status quo, the second with evolutive ones), and the difference between first order and … Read the rest...

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  • La dimensione spirituale in psicoterapia

    La dimensione spirituale in psicoterapia

    Umberta Telfener[1]



    Ci sono solo due modi per vivere la vita. Uno come se niente

    fosse un miracolo. L’altro come se tutto fosse un miracolo.  A. Einstein


    Voi siete qui per consentire al divino scopo dell’universo

    di manifestarsi. Ecco quanto siete importanti! E. Tolle


    “Che cos’è l’illuminazione?”, “La fine della sofferenza” Buddha



    Sono “nata” come terapista sistemica alla Filadelfia Child Guidance Clinic a metà degli anni settanta, strategica per imprinting, coinvolta nella terapia sistemico-relazionale che predicava la connessione e l’appartenenza. Parallelamente ho cominciato a leggere Castaneda e sono andata tutta la vita a visitare sciamani in giro per il mondo, incuriosita da quello che c’è tra cielo e terra, dalle dimensioni eteree, dal rapporto tra umano e natura. Ho fatto emergere un’altra faccia della mia personalità lavorando con i migranti in un dialogo che potesse non riproporre i vincoli tutti occidentali della psicoterapia; un’altra faccia parlando con le donne che sanno aprire il … Read the rest...

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  • Gregory Bateson and the Promise of Transdisciplinarity di Alfonso Montuori

    di Alfonso Montuori[1]


    Gregory Bateson was a thinker beyond disciplines, contributing not only to specific disciplines ranging from Communication to Family Therapy to Ecology, but also helping us to think about the nature of inquiry, thought and disciplinary organization. In this paper I argue Bateson was a transdisciplinary thinker, and illustrate how his work can lead us to a new approach to inquiry. I conclude by outlining the 5 central features of transdisciplinarity: inquiry-driven rather than exclusively discipline-driven; meta-paradigmatic rather than intra-paradigmatic; informed by thinking that is complex, creative, contextualizing, and connective; inquiry as a creative process combining rigor and imagination.



    When I tell people that several of Gregory Bateson’s works are being re-issued in the book series I started at Hampton Press, I inevitably get some puzzled looks. The puzzlement is principally because Gregory Bateson just does not seem like the kind of author who would or should ever be out of print. But the … Read the rest...

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  • What I learned from Gianfranco Cecchin: the freedom of a jazz improviser

    “We don’t improvise by chance”
    Stefano Bollani, jazziest piano player


    “We refuse to be what  you want us to be, we are what we are,
    and that’s the way it’s going to be” Bob Marley


          My interest in via Leopardi started in  September 1979 when I had the occasion to spend three days behind the one way mirror of the group, still then composed by Mara Selvini Palazzoli, Luigi Boscolo, Gianfranco Cecchin and Giuliana Prata. I was back from the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic three years training. I was there with Lynn Hoffman and we shared a dialogue which was rich and challenging. The group’s proactive attitude in difficult moments, their search for resources, and their respectful and curious attitude, convinced me I wanted to learn from them and follow their clinical work. I had finally found my masters!!
    In 1977 Boscolo and Cecchin had started their training and were “translating” their thoughts to adhere to the public … Read the rest...

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  • Lynn Hoffman, dialogo con una pioniera

    Lynn Hoffman è una mia amica. L’ho conosciuta per la prima volta alla Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic a metà degli anno ’70. Si vociferava che fosse innamorata di Jay Haley e per questo aveva collaborato con lui su un libro uscito nel 1967. Lui le aveva però preferito Cloe Madanes, peccato. La sono poi andata a trovare varie volte all’Akerman Institute di New York dove lavorava. All’epoca collaborava con Bradford Keeney e Peggy Papp e faceva interventi puntuali come un laser. Nel 1980 insieme a lei sono andata per la prima volta dietro lo specchio del gruppo di Milano. I quattro erano ancora insieme e abbiamo passato dei giorni molto intensi, ragionando sulla possibile teoria di una pratica assolutamente innovativa e brillante. Le conseguenze sono state molto interessanti per ambedue, io sono entrata nella scuola come allieva didatta, Lynn ha scritto un libro con Luigi Boscolo, Gianfranco  Cecchin e Peggy Penn (1987).
    Ai primi di novembre di quest’anno c’è stato … Read the rest...

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The premises of the website

Systemics Voices and paths within complexity

Umberta Telfener, Luca Casadio


Ludwig Wittgenstein observed in his Philosophical Investigations (1953, no. 18) that language “can be seen as an ancient city: a maze of little streets and squares, of old and new houses, and of houses with additions from various periods; and this surrounded by a multitude of new boroughs with straight, regular streets and uniform houses.” In our view, this analogy also captures the evolution of the various forms of knowledge (collective, individual, family, cultural, aesthetic, religious, etc.) and scientific knowledge in particular, with its “constructions”, interaction with other styles, and landscape. Read More