The 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).

In 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.

As 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.

Located 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 spaces.
There will be 4 spacious schoolrooms, 2 ateliers for theoretical lessons and other small group activities, a break room, some locker rooms and restrooms.

Our address: Via Calatafimi, 10 - 20122 Milano

Surface transit:
Bus 94 - stop Piazza Vetra, Molino delle Armi
Tram 3, 15 - stops P.zza XXIV Maggio, C.so P.ta Ticinese, C.so Italia
Tram 29/30 - stop Viale Col di Lana

M1 and M3 - stop Duomo + tram 3 or 15
M2 - stop Cadorna or Sant’Ambrogio + bus 94
M3 - stop Missori + tram 15

Suggested routes from the main railway stations
Centrale and Rogoredo railway stations: M3 Missori + tram 15 (2 stops)
Cadorna railway station: M1 or M2 + bus 94 (6 stops)
P.ta Genova railway station: M2 + tram 9 (5 stops)


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 pathologies.
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 registered.
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 formulations.

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 themselves lost.."
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 setting.
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 setting.
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.


Lyceum - Associazione Culturale per la Formazione e l'Aggiornamento - Via Calatafimi, 10 - 20122 Milano - P.IVA 02742460161