Art Therapy Training Course, or Formazione, is bringing ahead the
long-term experience taken together with ASPRU Risvegli Onlus Association,
which since late Nineties hosted in Milan the activities initially
led in Turin by the "Il Porto ADEG" center. The Formazione
Training Course has shared for several years the same society mission
as the ASPRU Risvegli Onlus Association, gaining a first local recognition
for the professional profile of the art-therapist, finally seen
as a professional working in multi-disciplinar teams, ie. in social-sanitary
contexts such as Daytime Centers for Handicapped People (CDD), Socio-Educational
Centers (CSE), and Assisted Sanitary Residences (RSA).
December 2006 the Formazione Training Course decided to act independently
and joined the Lyceum Association, a qualified organization certified
by M.I.U.R. per la Formazione, with which the Course has been carrying
out for years training activities concerning Art Therapy , as well
as meetings and seminars.
of September 1st 2015, LYCEUM will have a new location, less than
a km away from our current position, in one of the most tourist-attracting
areas in Milan.
on the second floor of a social and educational building, and surrounded
by a centuries-old park, our new center will have larger and brighter
There will be 4 spacious schoolrooms, 2 ateliers for theoretical
lessons and other small group activities, a break room, some locker
rooms and restrooms.
TO REACH US
Our address: Via Calatafimi, 10 - 20122 Milano
Art Therapy’s Origins
Ever since the ancient times Art has been considered a powerful
treatment. In the tribal culture, the shaman was able to treat sick
people through carved or painted images, which were believed to
have magic powers. And what is more, the shaman himself led ritual
dances which often surrounded the sick person, who received treatment
and positive energies. The main particularity in this kind of rites,
currently performed by primitive peoples, is the patient’s
passive role during the ritual. (1)
The art’s therapeutical and catartic function found propitious
configuration and esthetic concept only in recent times, as the
Romanticism began. For several centuries the artistic activities,
especially figurative arts, were considered a job just like many
others. The Romanticism introduced instead the artist as a special
and sensitive, almost mad person whose way to express something
he considers lost and unreachable is, indeed, creating a work of
art. The work in this context is seen as a therapeutical means for
its creator, who sometimes, but not always, reaches to avoid madness
and to transmit to the others his fantastic and alienated personal
world. In this case, the relation existing between art and therapy
concerns extra-ordinary people and hardly represents an experience
affordable by anyone. (2)
During the XVIII and XIX centuries, following the development of
psychiatric institutions, some doctors noticed that the patient
showed an urgent need to create.
In 1880-1882 Cesare Lombroso drew the public’s attention to
the graphic production of mentally ill people and prisoners.
He wanted to point out the existing connection between madness and
genius, and, therefore, tried to give a mostly esthetical interpretation
of the patients’ works.
Earlier in 1872, In France, Tardieu had underlined the need to communicate
he had noticed among mentally ill people, and in 1876 Max Simon
had tried to classify drawings by relating them to various psychiatric
His classification awakened a great interest among the readers,
and opened the debates and researches which later led to new studies
and formulations by scholars and psychiatrists such as Vinchon (1924),
Cesar (1951), Minkowska (1949), Bobon (1962), and so forth.(3)
Beginning from XIX century, as soon as psychiatric structures were
founded, some artistic ateliers got also opened, following the belief
patients should be able to change as long as they draw and create.
Some of the works produced in these ateliers have been proved and
In 1919, for instance, a project about collecting the works created
inside psychiatric institutes was started. The starter of this project
was Karl Wilmanns, while the collection’s editor was Hans
Prinzhorn. Prinzhorn in 1922 also published an essay, “Mentally
ill people’s Artistic Production”, a little less than
a revolutionary book with plenty of pictures, which in the first
post-WW I period would have become a source of inspiration for several
artists in Germany and France, and later on, even in the United
States, being of particular interest for Surrealists. (4).
The attention towards mentally ill people's artistic works lets
the "psychopathological production" become a part of the
Art Brut, known to the public and to the critics, as a result of
the interest Jean Dubuffet had had towards some psychiatrists' initiatives.
A relevant example is Carlo Zinelli, who has been followed during
both his life and artistic activity from Vittorino Andreoli, at
the San Giacomo Psychiatric Hospital in Verona.
But it soon became clear that the graphic language was unable alone
to provide certain principle-based structures, or to give definitions
through specific rules: it only gained relevance inside the special
and exclusive relationship between the patient and his therapist,
and further theoretical help was provided by the psychoanalytical
The Formazione's methodology is just the same used at the Il Porto
ADEG school, which first set this activity in Italy thanks to the
cooperation with the New York University and to Edith Kramer's work
back in Europe, who in the early Eighties had been asked by Raffaella
Bortino to join the first Four-Year Training Programme. Raffaella
Bortino together with Gustavo Gamna also published one of the first
issues about Art Therapy, consisting in a wide collection about
creative arts linked to psychiatric therapies in Italy, Europe and
America (see note 1).
Several teachers attended the "Il Porto ADEG" training
activities, such as Ikuko Acosta, Raffaella Bortino, Wilma Cipriani,
Attilia Cossio Bellia, Catherine Free, Jyll Scher Sacks, New York
University's Elizabeth Stone and Vera Zilzer, and Karin Danneker
from Berlin University in Germany.
Generations of Art therapists have graduated here, and many of them
are playing an essential role in our Art Therapy Training Activities.
The Formazione Course bears the name of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and
Edith Kramer, pioneers of the ArtTherapy, whose basic methodology
has been kept and enriched with updated and widened contents .
Edith Kramer once said that " Art Therapists should be artists
or people who have been working hard and joyfully, and therefore,
people who beyond their necessary skills also enjoy using artistic
tools, that are a precious and fascinating ingredient of Art, and
this kind of experience is essential in order to be able to lead
Art Therapy sessions and to let others want to create.
Art therapists should be able to introduce non-artist people to
Art, to accept the abort, the odd, the pathologic without getting
Formazione handles then with the relevance of Art, seen not as a
virtuosity, but as the art therapist's passion and constant exercise,
together with a time-oriented therapy process, following an up-to-date
The three-year training programme will give the students a theoretical
basis to refer to during their clinical praxis, and through both
practical and theoretical experiences, it will be able to provide
the students with a solid background and with the ability to handle
with both artistic and mental processes.
Formazione Triennale in Arteterapia, in association with the ISIPSè
-Istituto di Specializzazione in Psicologia Psicoanalitica del Sé
e Psicoanalisi Relazionale- Center in Milan, also introduces the
students to a many-sided but specific area of the contemporary psychoanalysis,
that is, the one regarding Self's Psychoanalytic Psychology, Intersubjectivity
and Relational Psychoanalysis. This area often and intensively interacts
with Research activities in several other fields of human sciences,
such as infant research, attachment studies, cognitive sciences,
neurosciences, and will let the student approach the newest psychoanalysis
The training program consists in three compulsory years, whose courses,
including theoretical and practical exams, will be scheduled in
two alternate weekends a month, on Saturday and Sunday, plus an
intensive week in summer every year.
Besides practical and theoretical activities and supervision, more
training hours will feature observation and internship activities
in Institutions or Centers already featuring or either wanting to
feature Art Therapy Ateliers.
During internships the students will have to deal with several users
and to write down some process notes after each meeting. Activities
concerning the internship will be rewarded with bonuses.
The training program will also be partially carried out through
the FAD - Formazione a Distanza System, that helps the students
communicate with supervisors between group meetings, and is a powerful
tool in deepening theoretical aspects.
If needed, a fourth year will be available to complete the compulsory
internships and to attend further optional postgraduate workshops.
Bachelor's thesis discussion will take place opposite a board of
inner and outer experts.
The full plan of studies is as follows:
-1150 classroom hours
-150 FAD hours
-250 internship hours
This articulation meets the European requirements.