Home Formateurs en ISTDP de H. Davanloo

Dear Colleagues,

We have enthusiastically accepted the D/istdp’s invitation, extended by its president, Ms A. Firouz, to give a one day presentation on H. Davanloo’s ISTDP (Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy) in Geneva.

The D/istdp is the Swiss Training and Research Institute endorsed and recognized by Dr H. Davanloo. The D/istdp, through its members and president, keeps close personal and professional ties with Dr Davanloo and its members are officially part of the Dr Davanloo’s Research Team in Montreal Canada.

We are the founders of the Italian Institute for Teaching and Research in H. Davanloo’s ISTDP, and we have been directly trained by Dr H. Davanloo since 1991 to current. Dr Rosseti is also the President of the European Federation for Davanloo’s Techniques (EFDT), which gathers the official European Training Institutes in ISTDP, Including the D/istdp.

We train ISTDP Therapist in Italy and Denmark since, respectively, 2000 and 2004, and we are proud to share with you the result of our longstanding learning.

Many years ago, we joined the Training given by Dr H. Davanloo, MD, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, McGill University, Canada, first in Europe in 1991 and then in Montreal, Canada, as we have always believed that a scientific approach to Dynamic Psychotherapy is essential in bringing this discipline out from the field of art, magic and make-believe to a verifiable, metapsychologically solid, scientific based ground, and when in 1988 we met Dr Davanloo for the first time in Glion sur Montreux we decided that ISTDP was the answer we had been searching for to this quest.

Let us briefly explain why, and what we are talking about.

As we all know, the field of Dynamic Psychotherapy has always been, since its beginnings, a challenging one.

What makes it so is the nature of what is dealt with, the unconscious and its forces, which, for many years, have obliged therapists and patients to blindly work with a paradoxical structure: elusive, and at the same time very visible in its effects. This has generated over time a number of techniques that rely more on the therapist’s personal characteristics, like intuition or, to use a concept often paired with Psychotherapy, The Art, instead of – as is the case in other areas of Science, like Medicine – true parameters, that may help and guide the therapist and the patient in the exploration of such a dark area, towards the resolution of the problem, whatever it may be.

H. Davanloo’s groundbreaking research, initiated nearly 60 years ago, first identified a number of parameters that could be used, and are still used, to monitor the unconscious process during the session. This led to the development of a psychotherapeutic technique, called ISTDP (Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy), which, using those parameters as guidelines, aims at the rapid mobilisation of the unconscious Resistance in the Transference, the major factor preventing the access to the unconscious nuclear conflict.

When promptly activated, the Resistance becomes something real, a parameter that visibly moves to the foreground in the Therapeutic Relationship (i.e. not just the imagined byproduct of an interpretation) and the destructive effects of which can directly be known and experienced in the relationship (not allowing the closeness between two human beings) by both the Therapist and the Patient. This, contrary to Psychoanalysis and to those Techniques which are directly derived from it, allows an early, direct and joint work in the transference against the forces of the Resistance. The persistent tension between the Therapist and the Resistance allows the functioning self of the patient to identify with the work of the therapist and to turn against the Resistance from the beginning, so that the access to the dynamic forces which sustain the symptom and character pathology can take place even in the very first session, via the direct experience of the Transference feelings. This in turn leads to the emerging of the nuclear conflict, and to the resolution of the psychopathology.

This Technique of working actively in the Transference against the forces of the Resistance is easy to understand and complex to master, but can be learned by any therapist when properly trained, as the Training, as it has been developed by H. Davanloo, deals from the beginning with those parts of the character of the Therapist (the Resistance of the Therapist) which are unavoidably activated during the work in the Transference and work against the therapeutic result.

A proper training is important in any field, when one wants to learn and apply a technique. Here, it is even more important, as it directly involves the unconscious of the therapist, and this requires a constant and special attention, to help therapists overcome their unconscious difficulties, besides dealing with the technical ones.

We have struggled and we still do with a difficult technique, first as trainees and now as teachers, but we have kept pursuing it, to the point that we, as a few others, have created in our respective countries, with Dr. H. Davanloo’s full agreement and endorsement, Training Programs where every effort has been made to guarantee that this Technique is transferred as it was supposed to be.

However, over the years, we have seen a phenomenon emerging: the growth of Therapists, and Schools, not connected to or endorsed by Dr. H. Davanloo, that, for whatever reason, apply under the name of “H. Davanloo’s ISTDP” something that in the best case is ISTDP in diluted form, if not something totally distorted and different, certainly no longer ISTDP as it has been conceived and it is supposed to be, but that is nevertheless carrying the name of ISTDP.

What is happening as a consequence is that professionals all around the world, Europe included, may see presentations of pseudo-ISTDPs, and believe they are seeing the real technique of ISTDP. But these techniques, presented as ISTDP, lack, in theory and in practice, the fundamental ISTDP defining elements, the elements that have changed the paradigm of the metapsychology of the unconscious. And we know that when something, be it diluted, distorted or frankly wrong, is repeated many times the risk that it may be believed to be the truth is very high.

This, in turn, has given a lot of space to these diluted/distorted ways of teaching/practicing ISTDP, to the point that many professional genuinely interested in H. Davanloo’s ISTDP, unknowingly seek training in pseudo-ISTDP Institutes, honestly believing that what they are going to learn is ISTDP.

But ISTDP is not just a name: there are identifying points, hallmarks of ISTDP, which allow the identification of the difference between ISTDP and any other technique, so that upon seeing one’s own work or the work of others one can tell whether what one is actually seeing ISTDP or is something else.

These points need to be identified and known, and Dr H. Davanloo has taught us that this becomes possible, when, and only when, one shows one’s step by step work as opposed to simply announcing or claiming that “this is H. Davanloo’s ISTDP ».

When we show our work, be it in a private or a public scientific presentation, or when we train our colleagues, we know that the only way to transfer the full Technique, as it is supposed to be, is by showing and commenting our video recorded clinical material, accepting to explain and openly and respectfully discuss it, with the aim of clearly demonstrating a process, rather than just presenting didactical clips of partial interventions in a therapeutic session focused on specific topics leading to an end result; participants need to see and understand a whole process leading to a result, the whole therapeutic session, the step by step way.

This specific way of teaching and showing our work is also a fundamental part of how Davanloo conceived ISTDP.

Our ongoing professional and personal relationship with Dr Davanloo has led us to be the only professionals and Institutes in Europe whom Dr davanloo officially endorses and trusts to apply the most advanced training methodology created by him in recent years: the Workshops of Mobilisation of the Unconscious, which can speed up the learning of ISTDP by directly working under close-circuit TV supervision on the Resistance of the Trainees. For 4 years now, the Workshops have become an integral part of the Italian as well as of the Danish official Training in ISTDP.

We have also been the promoters of the creation of the European Federation for Davanloo’s Techniques, so that selected, official reliable and dependable Training Centers in Europe, where ISTDP can be learned the way it should be, could be easily identified.

In this direction we have also crafted a one-day presentation in Geneva, on Saturday January 20th, 2017 with the aim of highlighting the points we have raised in the lines above. You can find details in the following page.

Looking forward to meeting you soon,

Dr Sandro Rosseti, Director of Training and Founder Italian Institute for Teaching and Research in H. Davanloo’s ISTDP – President of the European Federation for Davanloo’s Techniques

Dr Renato Bandettini, President and Founder of the Italian Institute for Teaching and Research in H. Davanloo’s ISTDP

Program: one-day presentation in Geneva, Saturday January 20th

The site of the presentation will be at :

D/istdp Institut Suisse pour Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy, Place de Grenus 8, 1er étage, CH-1201 Genève

The program is structured in four blocks of about 90 minutes audio-visual presentation, from 09:00 to 13:00 in the morning and from 14:00 to 17:30 in the afternoon, with coffee breaks and a one-hour lunch break.

The presentations will be followed by open discussions, questions and comments by the participants.

The language will be english, ongoing translation of the tapes.

Program :

09:00 – 11:00 : Dr. Renato Bandettini: An Introduction to ISTDP

11.00 – 11.30: Coffee Break

11.30 -13.00 : Dr Sandro Rosseti: – Audiovisual presentation of a first psychotherapeutic ISTDP session with a neurotic patient

13:00 – 14:00 : Lunch Break

14 – 16:00 : Dr Renato Bandettini: Audiovisual presentation of a first psychotherapeutic ISTDP session with a neurotic patient

16 – 16:15 : Coffee break

16:15 – 17:30 : Dr Renato Bandettini: Audiovisual presentation of the last session of the same patient.

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