Maurizio Andolfi, M.D., is a psychiatrist, child anallyst, and family therapist, working both in Italy and in
He is Professor of Psychology at the Universita La Sapienza, and Director of the Accademia di Terapia Familiare, both in Rome, Italy.
He is past President of the Italian Family Therapy Society and co-founder of the European Family Therapy Association. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Italian family therapy journal Terapia Familiare.
He has been recognized by the American Association of Marital & Family Therapy with their award for Special Contribution to Marital and Family Therapy.
He is author of a number of books in both Italian and English, including
Family Therapy: An Interactional Approach,
The Myth Of Atlas: Families & The Therapeutic Story (with Claudio Angelo and Marcella de Nichilo),
La crisi della coppia. Una prospettiva sistemico-relazionale (as editor),
and, more recently,
Teen Voices: Tales from Family Therapy (with Anna Mascellani).
From an age when therapists in formation had much more experience actually doing therapy (as opposed to a focus on learning theories or studying psychopharmacology as the core focus of one's training), came his stressing the importance of the therapist's personal role in helping, not hindering, the therapy process.
What can be seen is that the ideas, beliefs, understandings of the therapist will be deeply respected by the family, but in ways that may block the therapy from addressing the most vital questions (as when the therapist is uncomfortable about some issue, which the family, or individual, will then sense and thereafter typically avoid bringing up). Oddly in such situations, the therapist’s own turbulence over some issue is a hindrance. This, of course, undermines the idea that the therapist is there to help people deal with issues that would otherwise be too stressful to address.
His inspired and powerful work
has impacted my understanding of the role of the therapist in any individual or family work, whether or not with extremely distressed and disturbed family members, especially the need of the therapist to be creative and fully present, and to maintain an overview of the entire therapeutic situation (including the initial frustrations and the ultimate yearnings of the family members).