This paper attempts to explore the cultural background for the adoption and practice of REBT by cognitive therapists in Italy since the 1980s. It is not an attempt to capture the history of Italian culture and philosophy from antiquity. Italian therapists tend to prefer the assessment phase of the ABC framework and not fully adopt REBT disputing interventions. They also attempt to link the ABC not only to the here and now but also to clients’ personal development. In our experience, they have combined REBT with constructivism and metacognition. These current features parallel the historical lack of confidence shown by many Italian philosophical thinkers—from Machiavelli to Gianni Vattimo—in the possibility of reducing reality to verification as well as the reproducible rules of logical rationality. The foregoing highlights the interest in exploring the emotional roots of politics, history, and concrete reality in the time frame following the 1980s. Some typical features of Italian social life, such as individualism, hierarchy, remote social distance, and competition can also be thought of as corresponding with the historical features of the way REBT has been adopted and functions in Italy.
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Giovanni M. Ruggiero, Diego Sarracino, and James McMahon are members of the editorial board of the Journal of Rational-Emotive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
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Ruggiero, G.M., Sarracino, D., McMahon, J. et al. Practicing REBT in Italy: Cultural Aspects. J Rat-Emo Cognitive-Behav Ther 35, 125–135 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10942-016-0246-y