Mauro Cozzolino and Giovanna Celia
The next December the most important symposium on psychotherapy in the world “The evolution of the psychotherapy conference” will be held in Anaheim. It is an event that sees the participation of the most important therapists in the world as representative of the major therapeutic approaches, who update the community on their clinical developments, their brilliant insights, and/ or innovative techniques. The conference is held every 4 years reaching the 12th edition this year. Starting in 1984, it has an average presence of around 8,000 psychologists, medical doctors and psychotherapists from all over the world. The latest edition was held in December 2013 precisely when Mauro Cozzolino and Giovanna Celia took part as co-faculty in the presentation of Ernest and Kathryn Rossi’s report entitled The Next step in the evolution of Psychotherapy: Facilitating the Psychosocial Genomics of Creating Consciousness” (Rossi E., Rossi K., Cozzolino M., Celia G. (2013)).
Exactly at the end of the 2013 Conference, The National Psychologist published a very critical article on the poor evolution that psychotherapy have had from the early 70s until 2013 claiming, as it can be well understood from the title of the article, namely “No improvement for 40 years”, that there hadn’t been essential changes in the way of doing therapy. In the same article, besides the positive considerations for the big names of psychotherapy, which however have always been the same for many years, nothing new had happened from the author’s point of view. In the same article, together with the bitter consideration of the poor evolution of psychotherapy, two exceptions were reported: the first one referred to Scott Miller’s work on the effectiveness of psychotherapy and the other one was about the work done by Ernest and Kathryn Rossi and their group. In particular, these two contributions, albeit for different reasons, were considered to represent two isolated cases of innovation and evolution of psychotherapy.
Regarding Rossi’s work, and in particular the Psychosocial Genomics, the article said that attending to one of his workshop was like making a trip into molecular biology moving then to a clinical dimension of great depth and intensity somewhat comparable to transcendental meditation.
The question we can make four years later is “What happened in the meanwhile to this specific area of psychotherapy that is the Psychosocial Genomics, and to the MBT-T which had already appeared to be a great innovation in the world of therapy in expert eyes such as those of John Thomas ?”2. Below we will briefly try and see what the situation is so far by showing the developments and initiatives promoted by the Psychosocial Genomics International Team (IPSGT) in the period from 2013 to 2017. From that participation in the “The Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference”, many things have been achieved by the IPSGT: Ernest Rossi, Kathryn Rossi, Mauro Cozzolino, Giovanna Celia and Richard Hill. The group has attended the most important conferences in the world presenting original contributions and research, publishing many articles, books, and developing various innovative research projects. The Masters Ernest L. and Kathryn Rossi have edited other volumes of the collection of Milton Erickson’s works, they have also took part in many international conferences as Keynotes Speakers (Brief Therapy Conference, Couple Conference, International Ericksonian Congress etc.), and published numerous articles on renowned journals (see the references). Kathryn Rossi has also dealt with a prestigious interview with the famous monk Rinpoche, highlighting the important relationship between Yoga, Meditation and Neuroscience3.
Richard Hill has been the author of two very successful volumes4 where he emphasizes the importance of curiosity in psychotherapy, especially from a neuroscientific point of view, and he has also been the author of the most recent brilliant book written together with Ernest L. Rossi about the mirror hands technique5. Richard Hill has also held seminars and lessons in various countries around the world. Mauro Cozzolino and Giovanna Celia were present at the European Society of Hypnosis Congress in 2015, and also at the World Congress of Hypnosis in Paris in August 2015 making two speeches, among which one was about the effectiveness of Mind-Body Transformations Therapy (MBT -T) on Parkinson’s patients, they also presented two reports at the 2nd Congress of the Brief Strategic and Systemic Therapy World Network in Florence. They all then took part as a group in the 12th Ericksonian Congress in Phoenix. A major event to unite and develop the Psychosocial Genomics clinical and scientific community in the world has surely been the foundation of The International Journal of Psychosocial Genomics: Consciousness and Health Research which sees correspondents from every country in the world (China, India, Brazil, Australia, Europe, United States, etc.).
As many readers will know, a major research project is now engaging and involving the group in the experimental application of the MBT-T clinical protocol with women affected by breast cancer. Last but not least, as in 2013, Ernest and Kathryn Rossi and us in the working group will take part in the upcoming Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference presenting original and innovative contributions that synthesize the hard and continuous work done in the last years. Furthermore, we are proud that our work team is becoming increasingly stronger and above all that the community of colleagues interested in integrating their psychotherapeutic knowledge with the Psychosocial Genomics is growing ever more. This growth and the ever increasing interest in this new way of doing therapy demonstrates that many colleagues want to get out of the cages that therapeutic models sometimes create, in order to integrate approaches, techniques and even more disciplines, such as psychology, biology, medicine, neuroscience, meditation, yoga and spirituality. The goal of therapy can only be to support the health and well being of our patients, respecting their uniqueness and the natural self-healing form present in each of them.
In order to achieve this in the best way we have to abandon the ideological or categorical aspects and embrace all the new available knowledge and strategies of cure, without prejudice, especially when confronted with that precious relationship that exists between mind and genes.