The importance of psychodiagnosis in modern therapy for personality disorders, depression and anxiety

Diagnosis, psychodiagnosis, diagnosis for personality disorders, depression, anxiety

Index

Understanding Psychodiagnosis

Definition and Purpose of Psychodiagnosis

Psychodiagnosis involves the assessment and identification of psychological conditions and disorders. This process is fundamental to the field of clinical psychology and mental health care, serving as a foundation for effective treatment planning. By utilizing various diagnostic tools and psychological tests, professionals can determine the specific nature of a patient’s mental health issues, which helps in tailoring interventions that are both appropriate and effective.

Tools and Techniques Used

The tools used in psychodiagnosis vary widely but generally include clinical interviews, psychological tests, behavioral assessments, and sometimes neurophysiological testing. These tools help in gathering detailed information about a person’s emotional state, personality traits, cognitive abilities, and behavior patterns. Some of the most commonly used tests include the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and various projective tests such as the Rorschach Inkblot Test and the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT).

The Psychodiagnostic Process

The process of psychodiagnosis is meticulous and structured, typically beginning with an initial consultation where the therapist gathers comprehensive background information from the patient. This may include medical history, current symptoms, life circumstances, and any previous treatments or diagnoses.

Steps from Initial Consultation to Diagnosis

  1. Initial Consultation: Gathering comprehensive patient history and presenting problems.
  2. Assessment Phase: Implementation of specific psychological tests and assessments.
  3. Evaluation: Analysis and interpretation of the data collected during the assessment.
  4. Diagnosis: Identification of the psychological disorder based on the DSM-5 or ICD-10 criteria.
  5. Feedback Session: Discussing the diagnosis with the patient and planning the next steps.

Example of a Typical Psychodiagnostic Session

Imagine a session where a psychologist uses the Rorschach Test to evaluate a patient suspected of having borderline personality disorder. The session would involve presenting the inkblots to the patient, recording their responses, and later analyzing these responses in the context of established psychological theories and clinical judgment to derive insights about the patient’s personality structure and emotional functioning.

Qualifications and Training of Professionals

Psychodiagnosis should be conducted by a qualified professional trained in clinical psychology or a related mental health field. This professional typically holds a doctoral degree, such as a PhD or PsyD, and has undergone extensive training in administering and interpreting psychological tests and assessments.

Necessary Skills and Qualifications for Practitioners

  • Educational Background: At least a Master’s degree in psychology, preferably a Doctorate.
  • Licensure and Certifications: A valid license to practice clinical psychology; additional certifications may be required for specific tests.
  • Experience: Hands-on experience through internships and supervised clinical practice.

Importance of Continuous Education

Given the evolving nature of psychological theories and practices, ongoing education is crucial. Professionals must stay updated with the latest research and advancements in diagnostic tools and techniques. Continuing education not only enhances the accuracy of diagnoses but also ensures that treatment methods remain effective and are based on the latest scientific evidence.

In conclusion, understanding psychodiagnosis is essential for all mental health professionals. This section emphasizes not only the complexity and importance of accurate diagnosis but also the need for thorough training and ethical responsibility in the handling of psychological assessments.

 

Psychodiagnosis in Treating Personality Disorders

Characteristics of Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are characterized by enduring, inflexible patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that deviate significantly from the expectations of a person’s culture and lead to significant distress or impairment. These disorders are typically grouped into three clusters based on descriptive similarities:

  • Cluster A (Odd or Eccentric Disorders): Includes Paranoid, Schizoid, and Schizotypal Personality Disorders.
  • Cluster B (Dramatic, Emotional, or Erratic Disorders): Encompasses Borderline, Narcissistic, Histrionic, and Antisocial Personality Disorders.
  • Cluster C (Anxious or Fearful Disorders): Consists of Avoidant, Dependent, and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorders.

Each type presents unique symptoms and challenges, from the profound emotional instability and impulsive behaviours of Borderline Personality Disorder to the grandiosity and lack of empathy characteristic of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Role of Psychodiagnosis in Identifying Personality Disorders

Diagnosing personality disorders can be particularly challenging due to their complex nature and the subtlety of symptoms. Accurate psychodiagnosis is crucial because it influences every subsequent decision made in the treatment process.

Challenges in Diagnosing

  • Subjectivity in Patient Reporting: Patients’ self-reports may be biased or incomplete.
  • Overlapping Symptoms: Many personality disorders share symptoms with each other and with other mental health disorders, complicating the diagnostic process.
  • Resistance to Diagnosis: Due to the nature of these disorders, individuals may have poor insight into their own behaviors and may be resistant to discussing them or seeking help.

Case Studies Illustrating Successful Identification

Consider a case where a young adult male presents symptoms that could indicate both Narcissistic and Borderline Personality Disorders. Through detailed interviews, specific psychodiagnostic tests (like the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire), and observation, a psychologist might determine the predominant disorder, aiding in focused therapeutic intervention.

Impact on Treatment Planning

An accurate diagnosis is foundational for effective treatment planning in personality disorders. It not only helps in choosing the appropriate therapeutic approach but also in setting realistic treatment goals and expectations.

How Accurate Diagnosis Influences Therapeutic Approaches

For instance, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is particularly effective for Borderline Personality Disorder, emphasizing emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. In contrast, treatment for Narcissistic Personality Disorder may involve different strategies, focusing on fostering empathy and adjusting maladaptive self-perceptions.

Integration with Other Treatment Modalities

Effective treatment often requires a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and sometimes lifestyle adjustments. For example, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) might be used alongside pharmacotherapy to treat specific symptoms like anxiety or depression that commonly co-occur with personality disorders.

By integrating psychodiagnosis with a multi-modal treatment approach, mental health professionals can address the complexities of personality disorders more effectively. This section underscores the indispensable role of psychodiagnosis in unraveling the intricacies of these disorders, facilitating a deeper understanding and more tailored interventions. This precision ultimately leads to better patient outcomes, emphasizing the profound impact of an accurate and comprehensive diagnostic process in the field of mental health.

 

Psychodiagnosis in Treating Depression

Understanding Depression

Depression is a common but serious mood disorder that negatively affects how a person feels, thinks, and handles daily activities. It is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest or pleasure in activities. Depression can vary in intensity and duration and includes several subtypes such as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Persistent Depressive Disorder (dysthymia), and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), among others.

Symptoms and Types of Depression

Symptoms of depression can include:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Changes in appetite and/or weight
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment

Each subtype of depression has unique features that influence the approach to psychodiagnosis and treatment.

Statistics on Prevalence and Demographics

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders worldwide. It affects millions of adults and adolescents, with noticeable variations in prevalence among different age groups, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Understanding these demographic factors is crucial for targeted diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

The Importance of Accurate Diagnosis

An accurate diagnosis of depression is critical because it directly affects the treatment plan and outcome. Misdiagnosis can lead to inappropriate or ineffective treatment, potentially worsening the patient’s condition.

Differentiating Between Types of Depression

Differentiating between various types of depression involves a thorough psychodiagnostic evaluation, including clinical interviews, self-report measures, and sometimes physical examinations to rule out medical causes of depressive symptoms. This differentiation is crucial as it guides the choice of treatment modalities.

Identifying Co-occurring Disorders

Depression frequently co-exists with other mental and physical illnesses, which can complicate diagnosis and treatment. Common co-occurring disorders include anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and chronic health conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Recognizing these co-occurring conditions is vital for a holistic treatment approach.

Treatment Strategies Based on Psychodiagnosis

The choice of treatment for depression depends heavily on the specific type and severity of the disorder, as well as the individual’s preferences and previous responses to treatment.

Personalized Treatment Plans

Effective treatment plans are highly personalized. They may include psychotherapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Interpersonal Therapy (IPT); pharmacotherapy, such as antidepressants; and lifestyle interventions, including exercise and nutrition guidance.

Example Treatments and Their Outcomes

For instance, a patient diagnosed with mild Major Depressive Disorder might benefit from psychotherapy alone, while someone with severe depression may require a combination of antidepressant medication and psychotherapy. Treatment effectiveness often hinges on the precision of the initial psychodiagnosis, which should be regularly revisited to adapt the treatment plan as the patient’s condition evolves.

This section of the article highlights the critical role of psychodiagnosis in managing depression effectively. It emphasizes that a nuanced understanding of the disorder through comprehensive psychodiagnostic evaluation not only aids in distinguishing between different types of depression but also facilitates the integration of treatments to address both the primary symptoms and any co-occurring conditions.

 

Psychodiagnosis in Treating Anxiety Disorders

Overview of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders encompass a range of conditions characterized by excessive and persistent fear and anxiety that interfere with daily activities. Common types include Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Specific Phobias, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Each has unique features but shares the core element of disproportionate worry or fear.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry, and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.
  • Panic Disorder: Involves recurrent, unexpected panic attacks—sudden surges of overwhelming fear and physical symptoms like heart palpitations, chest pain, or dizziness.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: Involves overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations, often centered on a fear of being judged by others or acting in a way that might provoke ridicule.
  • Specific Phobias: Involves an intense, irrational fear of specific objects or situations, such as heights, spiders, or flying.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which severe physical harm occurred or was threatened.

Common Symptoms and Triggers

Symptoms across these disorders can vary but typically include feelings of panic, fear, uneasiness, sleep problems, not being able to stay calm, cold or sweaty hands, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, dry mouth, nausea, tense muscles, and dizziness. Triggers can be specific to the disorder and the individual, ranging from certain social situations and phobic objects to thoughts of past traumas.

Diagnosing Anxiety with Psychodiagnosis

Proper diagnosis of anxiety disorders is essential for effective treatment. Psychodiagnosis uses a combination of clinical interviews, symptom assessment, and sometimes physiological monitoring to identify the specific type and triggers of anxiety.

Tools and Methods Used in Diagnosis

  • Clinical Interviews: Structured and semi-structured interviews help uncover the nature and extent of anxiety.
  • Psychological Assessments: Standardized anxiety assessment tools such as the Beck Anxiety Inventory or the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale gauge the severity of anxiety symptoms.
  • Physiological Monitoring: In cases like panic disorder, monitoring heart rate or other physiological responses can be useful.

The Importance of Contextual and Cultural Factors

Understanding the patient’s cultural background and environmental context is critical in diagnosing anxiety disorders accurately. Cultural norms can influence how symptoms are expressed and perceived, which can impact both diagnosis and treatment.

Tailoring Treatments to Specific Anxiety Disorders

The specificity of the psychodiagnosis allows for treatments that are tailored to the individual’s unique anxiety profile, enhancing treatment efficacy.

Case Studies on Effective Interventions

For example, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been highly effective in treating several anxiety disorders by helping individuals alter thought patterns to reduce anxiety. For PTSD, trauma-focused CBT or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) have shown success in reducing symptoms by processing the trauma.

Role of Therapy and Medication

Treatment often involves a combination of psychotherapy and, if necessary, medication. SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed for their efficacy in reducing symptoms of anxiety, although the latter is generally recommended for short-term use due to potential dependency issues.

This section emphasizes the importance of accurate psychodiagnosis in identifying the specific type and underlying causes of anxiety disorders, which guides the subsequent choice of targeted therapeutic interventions. By thoroughly understanding each disorder’s nuances through detailed psychodiagnostic evaluation, mental health professionals can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals struggling with anxiety.

 

Challenges and Ethical Considerations in Psychodiagnosis

Common Challenges in Psychodiagnosis

Psychodiagnosis, while invaluable, is not without its difficulties. Professionals face a variety of challenges that can impact the accuracy and effectiveness of diagnoses.

Misdiagnosis and Its Consequences

Misdiagnosis can occur due to a variety of factors, including overlapping symptoms between disorders, inadequate patient history, and clinician bias. The consequences of misdiagnosis are significant, potentially leading to inappropriate or harmful treatments, increased patient distress, and unnecessary stigma.

Overcoming Biases and Ensuring Accurate Assessments

Clinicians must be vigilant about their own biases and preconceptions, which can influence diagnostic decisions. This includes biases related to gender, race, age, and socioeconomic status. Training in cultural competence and ongoing supervision can help reduce these biases, ensuring more accurate and personalized diagnoses.

Ethical Considerations

Ethical practice in psychodiagnosis is paramount. The sensitive nature of psychological assessment demands a high standard of ethics, including confidentiality, informed consent, and respect for patient autonomy.

Confidentiality and Patient Consent

Maintaining confidentiality is a fundamental ethical obligation in any therapeutic setting. Patients must be assured that their personal information and diagnostic results are handled with the utmost discretion. Additionally, obtaining informed consent before beginning any diagnostic assessment is essential. Patients should be fully aware of the nature and purpose of the evaluations they will undergo.

Handling Sensitive Information

The information revealed in psychodiagnostic sessions can be extremely personal and sensitive. Clinicians must be skilled in handling such information with empathy and professionalism, ensuring that it is used solely for the benefit of the patient’s treatment.

Ethical Dilemmas Faced by Practitioners

Practitioners may encounter various ethical dilemmas, such as decisions about disclosing information to third parties (in cases where there might be a risk to the patient or others) or managing conflicts between what the clinician believes is in the patient’s best interest and the patient’s own preferences.

Conclusion

This section underscores the complexities and responsibilities inherent in psychodiagnosis. It highlights the importance of accurate, unbiased assessments while also respecting the ethical considerations that safeguard patient welfare. As the field of psychology continues to evolve, so too must the standards and practices around psychodiagnosis, ensuring that they remain robust, sensitive, and above all, patient-centered. This ongoing commitment to ethical and effective practice not only enhances diagnostic accuracy but also builds trust and promotes better therapeutic outcomes, ultimately supporting the overarching goal of improving mental health care.

 

Conclusion

The vital role of psychodiagnosis in modern therapy for personality disorders, depression, and anxiety cannot be overstated. As we’ve explored throughout this article, accurate psychodiagnosis serves as the cornerstone of effective mental health treatment, enabling clinicians to devise targeted and individualized treatment plans that address the specific needs of their patients.

Summary of the Importance of Psychodiagnosis

Psychodiagnosis allows mental health professionals to understand the complex interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors that contribute to mental disorders. By identifying the precise nature of a disorder, therapists can apply the most appropriate therapeutic techniques and interventions, whether that involves medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of approaches.

Future Outlook on Psychodiagnostic Methods

Looking ahead, the field of psychodiagnosis is poised for significant advancements. Innovations in technology, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, promise to enhance diagnostic tools, making them more accurate and accessible. Furthermore, increased awareness and understanding of mental health issues are likely to reduce stigma and encourage more people to seek help when needed.

Final Thoughts on Improving Diagnostic Accuracy and Treatment Effectiveness

The future of psychodiagnosis and therapy lies in continued research, education, and policy development. Mental health professionals must commit to ongoing learning and adapt to new methods and findings to keep their practices current and effective. Additionally, the integration of cross-disciplinary approaches, encompassing genetics, neurology, and social sciences, may offer deeper insights and more refined treatment strategies.

The Impact of Policy and Advocacy

It is also essential for mental health advocates and policymakers to collaborate in creating supportive environments and policies that facilitate access to care and promote mental health awareness. Effective policies can help ensure that sufficient resources are allocated to mental health services, training for professionals is adequately provided, and cutting-edge research is supported.

By embracing these advancements and challenges, the mental health community can continue to improve the lives of those affected by personality disorders, depression, and anxiety. Through diligent practice, ethical consideration, and compassionate care, we can achieve greater outcomes in mental health treatment and ensure a brighter, healthier future for all individuals struggling with these conditions.

Dr. Irene Pinucci

Psychiatrist

Dr. Irene Pinucci is a psychiatrist specializing in diagnostic assessments and pharmacological prescriptions.

After graduating in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Florence, she specialized in Psychiatry at Sapienza University in Rome.

During her studies, she spent several months in Paris and Amsterdam. She is passionate about scientific research and is currently a PhD candidate in Clinical Experimental Neuroscience and Psychiatry. She conducts clinical work with patients from all over the world in both English and French.

The disorders for which she has the most clinical experience include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and related disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, sleep disorders, and disorders related to physical conditions such as oncological diseases.

Dr. Emanuele Ruggeri

Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist

Emanuele graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at “La Sapienza” University in Rome.

He has a strong experience in the field of psychiatric disorders and worked as a researcher at Careggi Hospital in Florence.

Later on, he deepened his knowledge in mood disorders, personality disorders, and eating disorders.

Today, Emanuele works at Syracuse University in Florence.

In his career, he has worked in different fields, from eating disorders to substance abuse and personality disorders.

Dr. Ruggeri loves working with students, helping them reveal their potential and skills.

Emanuele has a passion for helping people find a balanced way through the challenges of everyday life.

Emanuele specializes in psychopharmacology, helping people achieve their goals in work and social relationships through drug therapy if necessary.

Emanuele strongly believes in collaboration between psychiatrists and psychotherapists in order to improve and achieve well-balanced mental health.

Trust, empathy, and competence are the basis of Dr. Ruggeri’s work.

Dr. Alina Charnavusava

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Alina dedicates her sessions to helping individuals achieve a better quality of life. She assists clients in harmonizing their internal relationships with themselves and others, expanding their awareness of emotions, thoughts, and needs, and guiding them towards personal growth and equilibrium in new life circumstances.

She employs a therapeutic approach based on Gestalt Therapy, Art Therapy methods, and Mindfulness meditation. Her sessions promote a peaceful and clear state of mind, fostering a better understanding of one’s nature and encouraging personal growth and well-being.

Dr. Alina works with individuals of all ages who seek to understand themselves better and build profound and harmonious relationships with themselves and others. She supports those struggling with anxiety, depression, sleep difficulties, and relational issues related to communication, emotional regulation, and separation within couples and families.

She also has extensive experience working with managers in international companies, offering valuable insights into corporate relational dynamics. She helps them increase motivation, manage stress and anxiety, and achieve a healthy work-life balance.

Dr. Alina guides therapeutic groups and workshops on various psychological topics. These group sessions provide essential psychological support, fostering awareness of interpersonal relationships and discovering new perspectives and coping tools for life’s challenges.

Dr. Alina offers therapeutic services in Italian, English, and Russian. She applies her international experience, empathy, and clinical expertise to facilitate personal development and self-discovery at all phases of life.

Dr. Maria Gonaria Demontis

Psychologist & Psychotherapist

Maria Gonaria Demontis is a psychologist and licensed psychotherapist. She is also specialized in HR (recruiting and Training), she is a Mindfulness Teacher and a MBSR trainer (Mindfulness -based stress reduction).

Her professional career begins in the HR field, as a freelance consultant, working for different consulting companies and organizations. At the same time as a Psychologist, she worked for Telefono Rosa Association, for many years, supporting and helping women victims of domestic violence as well as gender-based violence.

She also worked in a Casa Famiglia, an organization dedicated to protect and support women and children in precarious situation, supporting and helping them get trough tough times.

Her experience as psychologist continuous in a NGO, where one of her main responsibilities was psychological support with migrants. In addiction, she was working tightly with territorial institutions or specialized organizations on identifying vulnerable cases, victims of human trafficking of sexual exploitation, and victims of tortures and abuses.

Maria Gonaria Demontis still actively works as psychoterapist helping people to identify and manage the factors that contribute to live psychics suffering conditions.

She is specializeded in treatment of acute anxiety, panic disorders and Phobias, traumas, mourning process. She also offers psychological support during the migration process, both to the foreigners immigrating to Italy and the Italians moving abroad.
Maria Gonaria works with adults and couples.

She is is firmly convinced that psychotherapy is a great opportunity for overcoming the difficulties encountered during life, to fortify emotional and mental health, and she believes that is strong chance for personal growth.

Dr. Leelt Retta Gebru

Clinical Psychologist & Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapist

Graduated in clinical Psychology Degree with great distinction from the university of LUMSA, Rome.

Concluded four years of Specialization in Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy in the Skinner’s Institute school of Psychotherapy, Rome.

In the past five years she is practicing her profession as a clinical psychologist in different settings, from the third year of her specialization course she is running a private activity as a cognitive behavioral psychotherapist.

Works with a variety of clients, who include children, adolescents, adults, couple and families, to replace dysfunctional constructs with more flexible and adaptive cognitions, to find healthy perceptions of themselves and strengthen their relationships, so they can know themselves as peaceful, complete, integrated and safe individuals.
Specialized to treat variety of psychiatric and psychological disorders, including Anxiety, Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorders, Personality disorders, Mood disorders, eating disorders, specific learning disorders, Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, parenting problems, relationship problems, couple problems, and others.

Trained in a range of techniques and strategies to deal with every individual based on his problem, including: Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical behavior Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavior Family Therapy (CBFT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Biofeedback and autogenic training, Progressive relaxation, problem solving techniques, and others.

As a therapist describes herself as someone who is patient, empathic, understanding, and nonjudgmental, making clients feel accepted and respected.

Besides her work burden and family responsability, for the last many years decided to immerse in this vast field of study, because she strongly believes psychological well-being is the key to good health, success and happy life.

Dr. Paola Acca

Clinical Psychologist & Psychotherapist

Dr. Paola Acca is a practicing clinical psychologist, specialized in relational systemic psychotherapy.

She graduated in Psychology at the University of Bergamo. Over the years, she also obtained master degrees in Mindfulness and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR). After having collaborated for a long time with hospitals and public mental health facilities, she decided to devote herself to her private practice and she currently works in her private studio based in Milan (Città Studi).

Throughout her career she has worked with adults, adolescents, families and couples who have sought support for a wide range of emotional, developmental, and social challenges (such as anxiety, mood and personality disorders, trauma, bereavement, couple dynamics, etc.). She also gained considerable experience in sports psychology, counselling and supporting both athletes and teams.

Paola truly belives that therapy should be a collaborative process built on mutual respect, genuineness, and trust. She aims to create a space where clients feel comfortable engaging in critical thinking and introspection and helps you to identify your values and take actionable steps towards creating positive change in your life.

Dr. Camilla Ballerini

Psychotherapist

Dr. Camilla Ballerini is a psychologist and psychotherapist with over ten years of experience in both public and private settings.

Currently, she works at a private medical center in Rome, where she provides therapy to adolescents, adults, couples, and families facing various psychological and emotional difficulties. Her mission is to ensure high standards of intervention through a careful study of each case, as the essence of psychotherapy lies in the uniqueness of the individual, who can never be reduced to just a category or diagnosis.

Dr. Ballerini began her academic career in Florence, specializing in Clinical and Community Psychology, and graduated with honors from the University of Turin in Criminal and Investigative Psychology. She completed her training with a specialization in Psychotherapy, also with honors, at the Cognitive Post Rational Psychotherapy School in Rome. Her experience as a psychologist ranges from leading group therapy for patients dealing with suicide among close relatives, to supporting psychiatric patients in alternative detention regimes, and practicing psychotherapy for severe psychopathology in public mental health centers. These varied contexts have allowed her to enhance and strengthen her diagnostic and treatment skills.

Coming from a multilingual family, Dr. Ballerini has developed a sensitivity to the different ways people perceive the world through the lens of diverse cultures. In her clinical practice, this has enabled her to assist patients from other cultures, helping them overcome language barriers and access psychological support.

Dr. Giorgia Pro

Psychologist

Giorgia Pro is a psychologist based in Rome. She graduated in developmental and educational psychology which provides a solid foundation for understanding the psychological growth and educational needs of individuals across different life stages.

She is specialized in Psychodiagnostics, equipping her with advanced skills in psychological assessment and diagnosis, and DSA Tutoring offering personalized support for students with Specific Learning Disabilities (DSA), helping them navigate educational challenges and achieve their accademic potential.

Presently, she’s specializing in relational psychotherapy designed to support the mental and emotional well-being of children, adolescents, adults, families and parents through the recognition of the role that relationships play in the shaping of daily experiences.

Dr. Giulia Regoli

Psychotherapist

Dr. Giulia Regoli is a psychotherapist based in Rome, Italy.

After graduating in clinical psychology from La Sapienza University, she completed her Ph.D. with honors in Humanistic/Bioenergetic Psychotherapy and began her practice, offering both face-to-face and online sessions.

She has over 15 years of experience helping patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and social or interpersonal problems of all kinds.

Additionally, she provides life-coaching sessions to empower students and adults in their careers and personal growth.

Deeply committed to global community support, she collaborated for many years with the international charitable foundations Words of Peace and T.P.R.F., contributing to their events in Europe, the U.S., and Australia.

As a therapist, her passion lies in helping people unlock their potential and achieve stable emotional well-being.

Her approach integrates a variety of techniques that emphasize the uniqueness of each individual through empathy and sensitivity.

Dr. Alexandra Kraslavski

Clinical Psychologist & Psychotherapist

Dr. Alexandra Kraslavski is a Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist in Milan, Italy.

She graduated with honors in Clinical Psychology from Vita Salute San Raffaele University, where she published her research thesis on a case-control study investigating the mechanisms underlying addictive behaviors. Concurrently, she has also trained within the Psychiatry Department for Alcoholism and drug addiction, treating patients affected by addictive disorders such as behavioral addictions and substance abuse.

Additionally, Dr. Kraslavski had the opportunity to work within the department of Bariatric Surgery at ASST Fatebenefratelli Sacco in Milan, treating patients affected by obesity and clinical overweight. Alongside, she collaborated on publishing a scientific research about Emotional Regulation in Pathological Eating Behavior Styles in bariatric patients.

She has studied and trained in London, Tel Aviv, and Milan. She is also an EMDR therapist and trained in CBT-E for Eating disorders and Obesity. She specialized in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and her clinical practice is based on continuous training, enabling her to utilize innovative and scientifically validated treatment protocols. She believes that the therapist-patient relationship is a crucial part of the healing process.

Dr. Kraslavski has two private practices: one in the area of Cernusco sul Naviglio and another in Milan. She collaborates with Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi at Istituto Palazzolo as a neuropsychologist, carrying out neuropsychological interventions for patients with dementia, cognitive impairment, and neurodegenerative disorders.

Dr. Damiano Crivelli

Clinical Psychologist

Damiano graduated with honors in Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology from the University of Milano-Bicocca in 2018. In 2019, he obtained a Second-level Master’s degree from the Catholic University of Milan in Clinical Neuroscience. In 2023, he completed his PhD in Psychology at the Cognitive Neuropsychology Center of the ASST Grande Ospedale Metropolitano Niguarda and the University of Pavia.

Throughout his education and work experience, he has had the opportunity to work with individuals affected by both psychopathological conditions (at the Psychology SSD of San Gerardo Hospital in Monza, within the outpatient clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of anxious and depressive symptoms) and organic/neurological conditions (at the cognitive Neuropsychology center of Niguarda Hospital in Milan). Additionally, he spent a year (2022) working at the prestigious University College of London (UCL), leading a research project aimed at understanding how the brain generates bodily awareness and how this awareness influences cognitive, emotional, and physiological activity. Damiano is also the author of several scientific publications on the matter in international journals (e.g., “Cortex,” “Proceedings of the Royal Society,” “Neuropsychologia”…).

Currently, he is continuing his education at the NOUS Psychotherapy School in Milan, which integrates the cognitive-constructivist approach with mindfulness practices and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).In his clinical work, he emphasizes the idea that for an individual’s psychological support and counseling journey to be effective, it needs to be personalized and “tailor-made” to the individual’s needs.

Dr. Chiara Campisano

Clinical Psychologist

Chiara Campisano is a clinical psychologist specialized in the treatment of behavioral and mood disorders.

Chiara graduated with honors from the Faculty of Cognitive Psychology of Chieti.

She helds a strong experience in the field of psychiatric disorders, where she practiced as a young psychologist. Later on, she deepened her knowledge in neuropsychology, studying brain aging.

Today Chiara works in Rome with different age groups, from childhood to adulthood.

She’s attending and she almost finished her specialization school path in psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

In her career, she has worked in different fields, from motherhood challenges to women victims of violence. She also worked in the field of substance abuse.

Dr. Campisano loves working with teenagers, helping them to build a strong and healthy identity and self-esteem. When it comes to students, Chiara has a passion for helping them find their way through the challenges of academic life.

Chiara is specialized in supporting families, helping family members to improve their communication skills, in order to create a functional and serene family environment.

Chiara strongly believes in the power of psychotherapy as a big chance to personally improve and achieve a very well balanced mental helth. Trust, empathy and competence are the basis of Dr. Campisano’s work.

Dr. Arianna Antonelli

Clinical Psychologist

Arianna Antonelli is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist in training.

Her approach integrates traditional therapy with the use of Collaborative Assessment. In Collaborative Assessment psychological testing is used to help people understand themselves better and find solutions to their persistent problems; its primary goal is to facilitate positive changes in clients.

Arianna is also a lecturer and teaching assistant at Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan and she works with the journal of the International Society for the Rorschach as an editorial assistant.

Dr. Benedetta Cereda

Clinical Psychologist 

Benedetta, a Milan native, is a highly accomplished psychologist. She earned her degree with top honors from the Catholic University of Milan. During her university years, she had the unique opportunity to study neuroscience in the Netherlands. Presently, she’s focusing on specialized psychotherapy using an integrated approach. Her practice is based at Milan’s San Raffaele Hospital, where she works primarily with children and adolescents. Benedetta’s expertise lies in addressing learning disabilities and ADHD.

Her true passion lies in helping patients achieve a sense of well-being, especially in the face of stress, anxiety stemming from life changes, or during moments when individuals seek deeper self-understanding.

Dr. Fabia Pietersen

Clinical Psychologist & Psychotherapist

Fabia Pietersen is a psychotherapist with over 10 years of experience helping clients heal from trauma and addiction.

She is a skilled and compassionate therapist who offers a variety of evidence-based treatment approaches in both Italian and English.

Fabia is a graduate of the University of Pavia, where she earned a Master’s degree in Psychology. She then completed a specialization in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at the University of Milan. She is also a certified EMDR therapist and has extensive experience working with clients who have experienced trauma.

Fabia has helped clients who have experienced a variety of traumas, including childhood abuse, sexual assault, and war-related trauma. She has also worked with clients who are struggling with addiction, anxiety, and depression.

Fabia is a dedicated and experienced psychotherapist who is committed to providing her clients with the best possible care. She is a valuable asset to any psychotherapy practice.

Dr. Francesca A. Boccalari

Clinical Psychologist & Psychotherapist

Dr. Francesca Boccalari is a psychotherapist and director of Therapsy, a psychotherapy clinic in Milan, Italy.

She has over 10 years of experience helping patients live more fulfilling lives. Her clinical practice is based on continuous training, which allows her to use innovative and scientifically validated treatment protocols, and a strong focus on the therapist-patient relationship. She believes that trust is essential for therapy to be a successful and healing experience.

Dr. Boccalari graduated with honors in Clinical Psychology from Vita Salute San Raffaele University and specialized in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has studied and trained in Milan, New York, and Singapore. She is also an EMDR therapist and is trained in Schema Therapy. She is currently training in TMI, a new area of expertise.

Dr. Boccalari has three private practices in the Milan area. She is also responsible for the listening desk service at IED (Istituto Europeo di Design) in Italy. She collaborates with Istituto Marangoni as a psychotherapist consultant and is responsible for the counseling desk service. She also works as a psychotherapist for Sacac, the largest psychotherapy clinic based in Singapore.

Dr. Boccalari was among the first psychotherapists to promote therapy in English in Milan. She has worked with expats and foreign students from the very beginning of her clinical practice. This experience has had a profound impact on her understanding of therapy and has led her to create the Therapsy project, with the goal of making quality psychotherapy accessible to all.