Research & Teaching

Nephrology/Hemodialysis

Clinica Nefrologica Dialisi e Trapianto

Ospedale San Martino

Genoa, Italy

(current study)


A multiple-phase study addressing staff and patient wellbeing in peritoneal and hemodialysis: 

  • Evaluation of burnout measures for nursing staff, before and after experiential training in Metaphoric Affect Processing, and again after a second stage of implementation of MAP with dialysis patients.
  • Quantitative evaluation of effects of MAP on wellbeing for dialysis patients, with particular focus on dietary compliance.

Psychiatry

Acute In-Patient Care

Ospedale Galliera

Genoa, Italy

2018


Assessment of metaphor-mirroring as a means of productive emotion-communication: exploration of correlations between TAS-20 alexithymia scores and metaphoric reflections of affect state elicited by metaphoric affect processing. Evaluation includes administration of an adapted version of the 2009 Russell-Barrett Circumflex Model of Affect to quantify shifts of mood quality in relationship to feeling-content, even when feelings themselves remain unchanged.

Neonatology/Maternity

Pre- and Post-Partum Affect Assessment

Ospedale San Martino

Genoa, Italy


Designing methodology to evaluate the metaphor-mirror document as a qualitative indicator of present-moment emotion-states, and as a possible screening tool for post-partum depression. 

Palliative Care

S.I.M.P.A.

Italian School of Medicine and Palliative Care

Milan, Italy

2016


Theoretical and experiential workshops in Metaphoric Affect Processing for doctors, nurses and psychologists in cancer, palliative and hospice care.

Oncological Chemotherapy

Day Hospital 

Ospedale San Martino

Genoa, Italy

2011-2015


Metaphor-mirroring as support for patients' wellbeing before, during and after chemotherapy treatment sessions, with metaphoric inquiry facilitating open communication and anxiety reduction.

Post-Surgical Oncology

Post-surgical recovery 

In-Patient Care

Ospedale San Martino

Genoa, Italy

2012-2014


Metaphor-mirroring to facilitate participants' self-awareness and reporting of emotion-states while improving a sense of wellbeing in the context of treatment and hospitalisation.

Psychiatry

University and Public Health Service

In-Patient Care

Ospedale San Martino

Genoa, Italy

2011-2015


Facilitated communication for groups and individuals through the metaphoric identification and verbalization of feelings, particularly among those individuals for whom this posed a challenge.

Post Traumatic Stress and SAFER - Secure Affect Framing, Expression and Regulation

When used to identify and verbalize emotion surrounding trauma, metaphor-mirroring helps keep participants grounded in the present both conceptually and sensorially. It guides exploration of the feelings being experienced now, in the present with regard to the past, rather than directly exploring the past experience itself.

 

In MAP, participants actively refrain from revisiting the trauma itself. Instead, present moment sensations of current emotion are explored through a process codified to facilitate an intuitive verbalisation of one's emotional "now", which can then be regulated (experientially "edited") and improved upon through strategic use of metaphor. "Re-experiencing" is actively avoided. While past events and reactions cannot be rewritten, experience shows that present ones can.


Metaphoric affect processing has been codified to keep its participants positioned implicationally (as opposed to propositionally) with regard to difficulties being verbalised. The metaphor-guided introspection is inherently metacognitive. Participants explore feelings from the safe distance of symbolic emotion-perception. Combined with MAP's objective, "definitional" approach to commentary, the result is an introspection that is less likely - than when stimulated by more straight forward dialogue - to trigger counter-productive associative thought-patterns and habitual relational modes, ruminative tendencies and anxiety. 


While anecdotal experience has shown MAP to be a productive tool for engaging symptoms of trauma as they present in various contexts, a future research interest is the quantification of effects of Metaphoric Affect Processing in work with PSTD during various stages of treatment.