Setting in intercultural psychotherapies: personal experience with a team of Russian and Ukrainian patients in a psychiatric department of diagnosis and treatment


Paper presented at the XXIV S.I.P.I. National Congress – “The settings in Individual Psychology”, Turin, 2013.

The full article is available for download in Italian only.

Summary. The adlerian setting has a significant therapeutic role in the treatment of patients from other cultures. This setting is able to organize ways of relationship that allow the expression of mental distress and the recognition of unconscious cultural representations, both by the patient and the therapist, encouraging an appropriate intercultural communication. The personal experience with nine Russian and Ukrainian inpatients immigrated in Turin is referred. The patients performed a dynamic adlerian psychotherapy, along a supportive – expressive continuum of interventions with particular attention to the intentional use of the counter-transference. The adlerian setting was characterized by a calm and warm atmosphere permeating the relationship between patient and therapist that was “free and, if not equal, at least not too distant between two people”. So the adlerian setting resulted culturally  appropriate, facilitating communication and allowing to capture the non-verbal aspects too. In this way it was possible to develop an empathic relationship and trigger a changing process not only in relation to the psychopathological conditions but also to the clinical and existential situation.

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