Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Milan Systemic Family Therapy

  • Pietro BarbettaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_240


Until the late 1960s, the mainstream of psychoanalysis was an asymmetric process in which the psychoanalyst guides the patient out of his/her “neurosis” via the infinite and intense “talking cure” process. During the end of the 1960s, things were going to change. In this presentation I will try to outline the main positions of a team, comprising Luigi Boscolo and Gianfranco Cecchin that broke with the psychoanalytical mainstream in Milan. This team became eventually, after the separation from Mara Selvini, the Milan Approach. The therapist who founded the Milan Approach developed their practices in Milan, with reference to Gregory Bateson (1904–1980). This break with psychoanalysis and the implementation of family therapy, under the influence of Bateson’s anthropology (Bateson, G., Toward a theory of schizophrenia. In G. Bateson (Ed.), Step to an ecology of mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972.), changed completely the setting and the therapeutic practice.

What is the future of the school? How the new generation of therapists is dealing with therapy, research, training, and theory? In this essay I’ll try to answer these questions.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro Milanese di Terapia della FamigliaMilanItaly
  2. 2.University of BergamoBergamoItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Margarita Tarragona
    • 1
  1. 1.PositivaMente & Grupo Campos ElíseosMexico CityMexico