It’s hard for me to map out a resume because over the course of my life, I haven’t taken note of the many things I’ve done, as one would need to in order to draft a complete cv. It is said that creative people “move on”….
So here I write what I remember. After the classical high school, the choice of faculty imposed itself. Undecided between physics, philosophy and medicine, I chose medicine. It seemed closer to real life than the other two faculties. I wanted to understand the yes and no to life. I wanted to know the human mind. So, psychiatry and, above all, psychotherapy. Degree, specialty, registration with the Adlerian psychotherapists. Adlerian school: because extremely concrete, attentive to everything that constitutes life, at any age, very sensitive to the educational aspect, the influence of the school.
As for didactic competence, unlike most psychiatrists, I was a child of art: father pedagogue, aunt assistant of Maria Montessori. Growing up amidst Montessori material, I have a diploma in Montessori teaching,
In 1976 I opened my professional studio, and for many years artists, body education experts, and teachers of various specialties collaborated with me. These are all activities that do not replace psychotherapy, but that can, and sometimes must, go hand in hand with it, opening up possibilities for knowledge, thought, and even work to people who need these stimuli and encouragement.
At the beginning, in my large studio there was also what today we would call, but with an improper name, a day hospital. In fact, some psychotic children spent the entire afternoon or even the whole day, engaged in various activities, with people capable of interpreting meaningful gestures or words, to increase their awareness of their own meanings or simply to convey to them the concept that everything has a meaning.
These years were serene, useful, of extreme and enthusiastic work. The legendary Tina watched over everything, a lady of incredible sensitivity who, in addition to taking care of billing and appointments, kept a watchful eye on everything that went on in the various rooms, with the exception of the psychotherapy room.
In 1983 the studio moved to Va Spiga, above Alfio’s restaurant: I used to compete with the waiters to see who would close later in the evening.
It was there that one day, tired of seeing me bring children suspected or diagnosed with various disorders, from learning disorders to personality disorders, and who turned out to have very high intellectual potential, I decided to open a school for them. In fact, it was at school that their problems manifested themselves.
Thus, in 1984, the “Emilio Trabucchi” school was born, named after the pharmacology luminary who, shortly before his death, had told me: “He will make her, he will make her great, he will make her beautiful”.
I had to close it in 1993, the expenses were too much compared to the income and I didn’t want to reduce the activities and the style.
I remember the happy and orderly atmosphere, the children’s faces, the smiles of the teachers.
I remember a little girl, now a writer, who, at the age of four, wanted at all costs to join the groups of those who wrote and read, and she insisted so much that she succeeded.
At the same time, I opened the residential psychotherapy house “The Dolphins” in Vernate (Milan), a Bettelheim model. Enzo Romagnoli had given us the farmhouse and the capital, while I worked there and ran it. We hosted many children and young people among the most serious in Italy, with an extraordinary method and dedication, mine and of many educators, as well as the doctor and the people of the village.
Unfortunately, the Dolphins were opposed by society. Bettelheim (now unjustly deplored, who had unknowingly worked by exploiting mirror neurons) sent me a letter of support, which I keep with love. In 1993 I had to close, not because it did not work well, but because the external obstacles were insurmountable.
We were left with a great regret: we had promised the kids protection until they were able to participate in “normal” people’s lives, and we unwittingly had to betray them.
For me, it was a great experience of how things and people go. Among the few collaborators who remained faithful until the end, I remember Dr. Primino Botta, an enlightened doctor of perennial availability and great competence.
The media of that time, televisions and newspapers, had given great importance to the house of psychotherapy and above all, to the school. Talking about intellectual hyperdensity in those days was quite revolutionary. Egalitarianism was replaced by equal opportunity, massification was at work, in schools as everywhere. It was not easy to explain the disadvantages and injustices connected to giving everyone the same programs, the same notions. It was not easy to show the inevitable isolation of high potential students, the harmful incomprehension on the part of the majority of teachers, the psychological and cultural damage that was being done to the most intelligent students as well as to society, which needs high intellectual potential. I write about all of this in detail in the book published by Erickson, “High intellectual potential, didactic-educational strategies and development paths from childhood to adulthood” (italian title: “Altissimo potenziale intellettivo, strategie didattico-educative e percorsi di sviluppo dall’infanzia all’età adulta”). I was committed to spreading the truth about those 5-3% of students with abilities extremely superior to the average; I wanted to bring awareness of their existence and their characteristics in schools, perhaps to the Ministry.
My collaborations with the media, not only on psychology but also on culture, customs and even fun tests, were many: I collaborated for decades with almost all the national newspapers and with many periodicals, both Italian and from Ticino. And for Italian TV, for the national networks, for Mediaset, Antenna tre, Telenova, as well as for Swiss Radio and Television. Now I am “out of the loop”. But now remains the delightful “Giornalemetropolitano“, directed by Gallizzi, which allows me to write when I want what I want.
The vastness of the topics I have spoken about has opened to me an enlarged vision of culture and the realities of life, a vision that has broadened not only my knowledge and interests, but also my understanding of patients. An understanding that even today I understand can never be complete.
They asked me what the ultimate goal of my work was. It was and is to increase degrees of freedom and possibilities for joy.
Speaking of joy, at a time when the existence of depression was being publicized and the effect of certain drugs was being exalted, I organized a conference on education for joy, aware of the education for depression that we have been receiving for a long time, especially from the media.
At the closure of the school I founded, at the urging of Jean Brunault, the association Eurotalent Italia, and I became vice-president of the OING Eurotalent, a position I held until my resignation in 2017.
I have participated for decades in the meetings of the Council of Europe, being part of the committees “Culture and Education”, for which I gave a report precisely on child hyperdoption, and the committee “Prevention and Health”, for which I gave a report on the research we conducted on 250 children and young people with hyperdoption: “Correlation between anxiety and depression and hyperdoption”. I have presented reports, in addition to some international conferences (I remember Barcelona and Toronto) at the “World Council for Gifted and Talented Children”, at the Oslo Conference on Human Rights 2010 (Impossible to say “rights of the person”, I tried …) with a report on “Droits de l’homme en faveur de l’Egalité des Chances pour tous les Enfants en matière d’Education”.
In 2021 I was admitted to the Commission for Education of the World Council, I participated for Human Ingenium in the World Conference of 2021 (with a video) and I am among the three delegates for Italy in the same World Council.
My resignation from Eurotalent: unfortunately, the brilliant and generous founder Jean had been facing for many years an invalidating and progressive disease. He could no longer speak and his energies were running out, and with them the imprint to the association. At the same time of my resignation, I founded the OING Human Ingenium, which joins Eurotalent Italia and is also dedicated to adult and non-measurable talents. This is in response to the (mis)diffusion of assessment tests and the consequent I.Q. The topic that years ago was unthinkable, today has become thoughtlessly widespread. It is therefore necessary to remember that IQ is not exhaustive of the complex and largely unknown reality of human intelligence. Besides the fact that not everyone who measures it knows how to do it well! We must also remember that children who are not understood, those who are inhibited from developing and even appreciating their gifts, often become dissatisfied adults. For these reasons, I intend to popularize the recognition of gifts in adults as well, with the understanding that even starting to express and study “late”, at 40 as well as 60-70 years of age, can yield valuable results. For what a technique requires, one will not have expertise equal to that of someone who started from a young age, but the product may have unique characteristics, due to the experience of a life different from that of someone who has always practiced an art.
To this have been dedicated the last two conferences (Milan, Vicenza) and participation in Bookcity 2018, dedicated to present “High intellectual potential,” with added talents that can not be measured (intuitive and creative thinking, artistic gifts) and the talents of adults.
In this path, my main profession is always that of psychotherapist; my experience teaches me that the more you expand your knowledge in artistic, sociological, cultural fields, the more you enrich the possibilities of being a good psychotherapist.
In addition to these activities, I taught for some years Education to creative thinking at SUPSI in Lugano, where I also held a course on Historical reasons of the current situation, also psychological, of women. Then I taught Sport Psychology at the University of Teramo (but it is not my specialty) Creative Writing at the Faculty of Design of Bolzano (LUB) and at the Faculty of Education of the University of Bressanone.
I’ve lost count of the number of seminars held on intellectual giftedness, among which I remember, among the schools in Milan, Marcelline, Maria Consolatrice, Salesiani, Setti Carraro school. And then Barletta, and the secondary school Galateo in Lecce … I know I forgot some, I’m sorry. I also lost count of the conferences, among which with particular pleasure I remember those of SIPPS, the great association of pediatricians led by Prof. Massa, who invited me to speak on various topics since 2012. I also remember the AIRIPA convention, in Turin, in 2016, and the huge biennial conventions of the publishing house Erickson, in Rimini, with a turnout worthy of a stadium.
Among the conferences created by me – of which I have lost count – I remember the first international one on hyperdoping (Carisio, 1993), the “Spring computer”, on the Montessori method, “The magic in everyday life” (Parma-1997) and “Education to Joy”, held at the House of Notes then directed by Alice Mazzei.
With great pleasure in 2017 I spoke on sacred art, in Vigo di Fassa, invited by Andrea del Guercio, who was the first to welcome and direct figurative meetings for children. Accepting commitments other than those required by my real profession is a precious opportunity for study and unforeseen knowledge. I remember “Italians, Ladins, Romansh: poems and poets, songs and singers”: a beautiful conference that I conducted and conceived at the Centro Svizzero in Milan.
A separate chapter concerns the Armenian House in Milan (HY DUN). Contacted when I was thinking about building the show “L’andar dei popoli,” the journey experienced by some peoples, interpreted by their music”, I have never left it. I presented some shows, among which “The history of Armenia outlined by music and poems” – with the participation of Albano Carrisi and Moira Cauzzo – and the first conference on non-measurable talents, followed by a conference in Vicenza, which also included an exhibition of the pictorial and photographic works of adults and children.
Beside these activities, since gifts can become talents even when one is an adult and even an old person, I studied the diatonic accordion with the guidance of Zoran Lupinc (I have a diploma of the IV year of the Glasbena Matiça school, Trieste) and I compose music. A cd has been produced by Classicaviva, entitled VAI QUI, the same title of my last book of poems, published by Kimerik.
An “Autoharp“, one of the magical instruments in whose strings the history of peoples lives, has recently entered my studio. The study of Russian has also entered. Maybe in a few years I will be able to say a few sentences.
Still from Kimerik, is published “The chains of the stars” (psychiatry in verse) and “Fruits of the sun fruits of kings”, poems dedicated to Armenia, with translation in Armenian in front.
I won some poetry awards (Lerici Peia, Carpena opera prima, Abano, Il Carro delle Muse, Histonium, Abano per medici scrittori, and others that I don’t remember.
The surprises are not finished: I will add them as they come!