Fondazione FranceschiFranceschi Foundation ONLUS

For psychological therapy, research and training

Registered Private Association by decree of the President of the Region: n° 4629, from 28/09/2009

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Project in the development stage


The non-verbal communication as a possible means of assessing the effects of the therapeutic intervention

Premise: generally, the preferred channel through which the therapist can quickly verify the effects of therapeutic work is what is reported to him by the patient. Indeed, the patient, through his direct feedback to the therapist (a description of his condition at the beginning of the treatment, during and at the end of it), may confirm or not the suitability of therapeutic intervention.

However, to obtain this feedback by the patient it is necessary that he has become aware about the change that is taking place into himself. Often the "improvement" can occur in the person before he realizes it, while he expresses it through other channels, that is through non-verbal language.

Hypothesis: might the observation of non-verbal language be an instrument to assess the degree of comfort or discomfort experienced by the patient during the course of therapy?

Might the non-verbal language be useful to identify potential problematic areas and therefore be a means to address in a more effective way the therapeutic intervention?

Might the identification of the non-verbal signals serve as a predictor of the success of therapy?

Overview of implementation: first, a theoretical study on the communication and on the channels through which it is expressed will be made. In particular, we will deepen those studies that have identified and assessed, in terms of communication effectiveness, the non-verbal signals. We will search a reference grid of non-verbal indicators for assessing the comfort/discomfort degree showed by the patient during the therapy session and we will study the best suited screening method for this type of data. The research will go on with the observation, according to the reference grid, of video recordings about some sessions of patients with different types of disturbance.