EUROPEAN FAMILY THERAPY ASSOCIATION
CONNECTING FAMILY THERAPISTS AND TRAINERS
Born in 1933, Medical doctor, specialized in Psychiatry
Born in 1933, Medical doctor, specialized in Psychiatry, systemic thinker, he trained in systemic family therapy at the Mental Research Institute (MRI) in Palo Alto (California) in the early 1960s. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Professor Emeritus of Global and Community Health and of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University
Mauro Mariotti: In 1979 I received a letter of introduction for Alma Menn, Palo Alto, at the Mental Research Institute, Middlefield road 555. She is the director of the Soteria house project, largely funded by the democrats then in government, for the treatment of youth psychosis without neuroleptic abuse. I introduced myself to her, speaking little English. She reassures me – ‘don’t worry‘ – they don’t speak English either, they speak schizophrenic geargon. And she adds: ‘We have here with us a very prepared person who speaks good Spanish and a little Italian, maybe you understand each other‘. It is Carlos Sluzki who, in the first lesson I attend, presents his scheme from roles to rules. It is the beginning of a journey that continues to this day. From 1979 until 2018 – the covid will stop me – I spend every year several months – in two or three separate trips – in the United States, mainly in Carlos Sluzki’s court. I have followed him from San Francisco to Pittsfield, from Pittsfield to Santa Barbara, from Santa Barbara to Washington, involving him in countless adventures and trips between the United States and Italy. I have written a metaphorical novel-book in Italian about my adventure with him, it is called The Seasons of the Ocean, the thread running through it is precisely the restlessness of the soul that with mental bridges unites places divided by oceans.
Carmine Saccu: I remember the first meeting with Carlos Slusky in Rome at the end of the 1970s when he proposed 20 formulas for Family Therapy; I remember meeting him again in the following years when Carlos was able, having adopted the second-order cybernetics paradigm to find all his creative vein as a ‘special’ storyteller the way he has always been.
Once he was at the Institute with Maurizio and myself, we decided to see a family with a psychotic transaction. He entered with me. At the time we used to provoque the identified patient as a door to enter the system. I started working and he looked shocked as much as to leave and go behind the one way mirror. I followed him out and understood he would have not re-entered with me. I preferred him to conduct the session since the attenders wanted to see his work. His style was tender and delicate and he was the trainer the students wanted to see.