Giovanna Calabrese


Type of intervention: Lecture

Title: Transpersonal Goes Social

Abstract: A particular branch of psychology is emergency psychology (EP). It started since after the first world war when it was evident the effect of the conflict on the soldiers’ psyche. Whenever a social emergence weighs on the population EP focuses not only at the individual level but at a social level as well, trying to provide emotional support along with logistic and practical assistance, not just for the victims but for their relatives as well (A.C. McFarlane 2012).

In Italy the Society of Emergency Psychology (SIPEM) works in collaboration with Civil Protection Department to provide such a support in cases of natural disasters, such as earthquakes or floods, or in cases of major accidents, when such events involve not just the single person but also the social and environment in which they live.

Since the 30th of January 2020, when pandemic was declared by the OMS, the COVID‐19 became a worldwide stressful event. Threat, fear and loss became part of everyday life for the population, to which the isolation, due to the lockdown adopted by many governments, was added. The psychological burden of this situation was a concern since the very beginning (M.A. Reger 2020). For this reason, in Italy the Lombardia section of SIPEM organized an online psychological support for the population, following the guidelines of EP (as described in the Mental Health Gap Action Program WHOUNHCR document). Some transpersonal psychotherapists and trainees of the transpersonal psychotherapy school in Milan enrolled as volunteers.

In this lecture I will report our experience, on how transpersonal psychology can be helpful in a social emergence context and what transpersonal psychotherapists can learn from the experience of working in the field with EP,

Resumed biography: Giovanna Calabrese is a psychiatrist and a transpersonal psychotherapist. She is the Research Department director at the ITI in Milan, where she teaches Neuroscience and Research Methodology and tutors trainees in their clinical residency program.

Country: Italy

Language of the intervention: English