Dr. Paul Cianconi is the scientific director at the Institute “A.T. Beck”, at the Centre for Migration Studies, ethnopsychiatry and cultural psychotherapy, created in order to understand the cultural variables introduced by migration and therefore develop and adapt approaches and methods of care.
Geo-social mobility is rapidly changing our reality and therefore also changes our territory as a nation-state. Migrations have changed and continue to evolve, while maintaining less of their modern features. Migrations transit where all the currently large flow systems are moving, taking on energy and aspects of transnational reorganization. Psychology and psychotherapy must find an answer to important questions, and contingencies to deal with a the continuous cultural diversity of our times, be these people foreigners and natives, striving to see if common therapeutic tools can be equally effective on differing systems of thought. Psychology needs to ask whether or not current treatment options can offer us access in the world of Islam and religious change, or in animistic and subordinate systems, as well as those of Latin America or sub-Saharan Africa, in the new millenarian cults that continually take shape.
As part of the Masters Program, yet separate from the actual course work, learners can participate in the activities of the international study carried out by Dr. Cianconi, among populations and groups of interest. The field studies are generally aimed at meeting and understanding traditional or native cultures or peoples, who are in transition towards modernity, or often close to collapse and the loss of cultural identity. Healing rituals in different religious practices are also studied, along with the theories, mythology, and techniques of sacred traditions and the altered states of consciousness associated with these devices (trance, concentration and meditation).