International conferences

These conferences have been organized by the Istituto di Terapia Familiare  (1975/1992) and by the Accademia di Psicoterapia della Famiglia (1993/2024) and directed by Maurizio Andolfi.

European Family Therapy network

Since 1975, Andolfi, who had just returned from the United States, has been very active, together with Mony Elkaim (who in turn returned to Belgium), in establishing the European Family Therapy Network which would be transformed in the European Family Association (EFTA) in 1990.

1975 | Rome

Family therapy in the community

The first international conference was held at the National Research Council in Rome with the participation of leading figures of the Ackerman Institute (Don Bloch, Kitty La Perriere, Peggy Papp, Olga Silverstein) and the Child Guidance Clinic in Philadelphia (Harry Aponte). 

1978 | Florence

Family therapy in the community – 2nd edition

The second international conference was organized in 1978 in Florence with the support of Rodolfo de Bernart  and with the participation of the world leading  pioneers of family therapy such as  Bowen, Framo, Minuchin, Withaker, Bloch, Zwerling, Stierling, Scheflen, Skinner, Elkaim, Selvini Palazzoli, Haley and Madanes and signed the explosion of family therapy all over the world. 

The dehospitalization process initiated in Italy by Franco Basaglia allowed to replace the conteinment and over medication of mental illness with family and community resources. However, Family Therapy had to face big struggles between the psychoanalytic world, which accused F.T. of superficiality, and by the anti-psychiatry movement, which saw in the “new techniques” an enemy to be demonized.

It was the cultural and social marginality of its beginnings that allowed the family therapy movement to evolve and grow stronger, fighting for the affirmation of its ideas and clinical innovations.

From this historic conference came out a book Dimensions of family therapy, Eds. Maurizio Andolfi and Israel Zwerling.

1982 | Venice

A teaching trialogue

Whitaker, Minuchin and Andolfi  gave a week course in Venice on “How to teach Family Therapy” at the Querini Stampalia Foundation. This important international gathering had the participation the most significant European family therapy teachers of that time. Among them can be mensioned Byng-Hall, Alain Cookling, Gill Gorell-Barnes, Elida Romanò, Edith Golbeter, Piero De Giacomo, Camillo Loriedo, Giovanna Todini, Rodolfo de Bernart, Carmine Saccu. 

1987 | Rome

Couples in crisis

In 1987, the international conference was organized at the Urbaniana University in the Vatican with the participation of leading figures such as Don Bloch, Willi Pasini, Jay Haley, Cloe Madanes,Mara Sevini Palazzoli, Alan Cooklin, Byng Hall, Alfredo Canevaro, Vittorio Cigoli, Eugenia Scabini, Noga Nabarro.

Virginia Satir was a later deep relationship and to her memory the volume La crisi della coppia, published by Raffaello Cortina, was dedicated after her participation to an international conference in 1987 at the Vatican’s Urbaniana University.

1992 | Sorrento

Feelings and systems

The aim of the first EFTA conference was to reconnect system theory with the fundamental dimension of the feelings. The feelings of the patient, the feelings of the family, the feelings of the therapist.  
In doing so there was a return to the individual and his life experiences as well as the shift to a more humanistic approach in therapy.

An Italian book Sentimenti e sistemi, published by Raffaello Cortina, came out from this Conference.

2000 | Rome

The pioneers of family therapy

In 2000, this conference was organised jointly by APF, the Scuola Romana di terapia familiare (Carmine Saccu) and the Istituto di terapia familiare di Firenze (Rodolfo de Bernart) with the presence of Salvador Minuchin, Kitty La Perriere, Luigi Boscolo, Gianfranco Cecchin, Alfredo Canevaro Ema Genikovic, Luigi Onnis, Camillo Loriedo to celebrate the main pioneers of family therapy.

The Italian book I pionieri della terapia familiare, published by Franco Angeli, came out from this conference Andolfi Ed, and Franco Angeli publisher.

2006 | Oaxaca

Working with marginalized families and communities

This conference focused on Working on the trenches with marginalizes families and communities in different parts of the world. The presenters were coming mostly from countries devastated by wars, forced migrations and poverty and they showed how to work and support families in traumatic situations.

In 2006, this conference was organized in Oaxaca, Mexico by APF and directed by Maurizio Andolfi with the collaboration of Marichu Albuerne (Puebla), aimed to have the south of the world presenting  while the north of the world was listening. Very touching conference.

A Spanish/English book came out with the title of the conference.

2012 | Rome

Children on the edge

This international conference was organized at the Seraphicum University in Rome with the participation on 1200 people and with the presentations of leading figures such as Froma Walsh, Michael La Sala, Peter Fraenkel, John Rolland, Lars Blok, David Denborough, Eliana Gil, Adalberto Barreto, Eia Asen, Mustafa Qossoqsi. 

The conference focused on the condition of many children who were exposed to any sort or trauma, loss and abuse caused by migration, war, poverty in many different part of the world. The speakers talked about how to intervene with a systemic multicultural approach helping children and their families to heal and restoring health and wellbeing inside the community.

2023 | Assisi

Family therapy: the road that connects individual and social resources

The  international conference in Assisi on July 6-7-8, 2023, organized by the Accademia di Psicoterapia della Famiglia, was attended by 1000 therapists from around the world.

The main topics were children problems and resources, Adolescents at high risk, Couple crisis and divorce, Trauma loss and resilience, Mental disorders, Social and cultural discrimination.

The Assisi Manifesto

The Conference had have an extraordinary and lasting resonance amplified by the Assisi Manifesto whose drafting has being worked on by an International Faculty of 14 therapists from around the world, coordinated by Maurizio Andolfi and Mary Hotvedt.

This manifesto is an outgrowth of that Conference and it is a published declaration outlining the common principles of  family therapy practice and evidence for those principles.

Download the Assisi Manifesto here