Report of Medical and Mental Health Professionals' Training at University of Florence, Italy

 

DEPARTMENTO DI PARMACOLOGIA PRECLINICA E CLINICA

50130 Firenze

Viale G. Pieraccini 6
Tel. (055) 421.287
diretto:     4271323

Fax: (055) 4271.280

[email protected]

Mario Aiazzi Mancini

UNIVERSITÀ DEGLI STUDI DI FIRENZE

Prof. Piero Dolara

 

To whom it may concern                                                           Florence, April 7th, 2010

 

In the period autumn 2009 – spring 2010, we organized in the University of Florence, Italy, a series of seminars on Transformative Mindfulness.

The main teacher of the course was Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw, with Valentina Dolara as the translator and assistant and with the academic and organizational supervision of myself. About 15 professionals enlisted for the course, made up of psychiatrists, psychotherapists and hospital MDs of various specialties. Some of the classes were done directly in Florence with Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw, others remotely using a Skype connection from Canada or the USA.

During the classes, the participants were given general instructions about the theory and the practice of Transformative Mindfulness, assigned various exercises on self practice with the body scan and transforming problems techniques. The exercise material was examined jointly by Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw and Valentina Dolara, both on site and remotely through the Skype connection. The participants were also instructed to select case studies, to be followed using the practices learned during the course. Informal group exercises were organized in Florence, in which the participants used the various techniques amongst themselves.

The group developed a very close inter-personal connection and a good working relationship with the teachers. At the end of the course, all the ones who attended regularly and submitted case reports were evaluated by Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw and given an attendance certificate.

As a whole the experience was a real success. The participants quickly learned the essentials for approaching the chosen cases, and eagerly applied them. In the last session of the course, they reported the results obtained. These results were mostly very satisfactory. In fact, the techniques employed were accepted eagerly by all patients with no exception, who documented mostly an improvement of the pre-existing condition.  In one case, a strong panic reaction was totally cured. Given the relatively short teaching experience received, the results indicate that the methods of Transformative Mindfulness can be transferred from the main teacher and inventor of the approach to specialized professionals and applied with promising clinical results. This opens also the possibility of organizing future clinical trials to verify the applicability of such methods to different medical and psychological problems as a promising complementary therapeutic approach. In conclusion, I strongly recommend the implementation of such teaching methods elsewhere.

 

Prof. Piero Dolara,

Professor of Pharmacology