Personalities in Psychotherapy

Theoretical models and clinical encounters

with the extraordinary participation of

Nancy McWilliams, Glen Gabbard, Otto Kernberg

and other major national and international Experts on Personality. The Personality Summit 2022 event is further enhanced by the scientific supervision of Prof Vittorio Lingiardi.

January 29 – 30, 2022

16 hours | 16 ECM in FAD
Access to records and materials for 12 months

A journey through different visions and therapeutic models that will allow you to explore the multiple roles of Personalities in Psychotherapy.

16 hours of Higher Education that will see Glen. O. Gabbard, Otto Kernberg, Nancy McWilliams, Vittorio Lingiardi, Franco Del Corno, Maria Ponsi, Benedetto Farina, Anna Ferruta, Clara Mucci, Galit Atlas, Elliot Jurist, Usha Tummala-Narra and Riccardo Williams in a new format that will see them talk together, with each other and with you, to offer you a valuable training experience ..


With the scientific supervision of Prof. Vittorio Lingiardi

What is the clinical intervention based on? How important are the personality characteristics of the patient and the therapist? And how much do they “influence” the choice of our theoretical models? How do you build the balance between your model and the spontaneity of the clinical encounter? How much technique is there in the relationship and how much relationship is there in the technique?

In these days of dialogue between important exponents of Italian and international clinical culture we will try to imagine answers to these questions (and we will question certainties that are too easy).

It will be a comparison between the technical soul of psychotherapy and the narrative one, between objective references and subjective paths, between the patient’s transference movements and our emotional responses. Always pay attention to some key words: diagnosis, personality, trauma, mentalization

Prof. Vittorio Lingiardi

I Docenti di Personality Summit

Prof. Nancy McWilliams

Nancy McWilliams teaches at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology and practices in Lambertville, NJ. She is the author of textbooks on psychoanalytic diagnosis, case formulation, psychotherapy, and supervision and helped to edit the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (2006; 2nd ed. 2017).  A former president of the American Psychological Association’s Division of Psychoanalysis, she is on the editorial board of Psychoanalytic Psychology. Awards include the Gradiva prize, Rosalee Weiss award for contributions to practice, Laughlin distinguished teacher award, Goethe Scholarship Award, Hans Strupp Award for teaching, practice and writing, and Division 39 awards for Leadership (2005), Scholarship (2012), and International Academic Excellence (2021). A former Erikson Scholar at the Austen Riggs Center, she has appeared in APA videos of master therapists. Her books are available in 20 languages.

Prof. Otto Kernberg

Director of the Personality Disorders Institute at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Westchester Division, and Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Medical College at Cornell University. Dr. Kernberg is a Past-President of the International Psychoanalytic Association. He is also Training and Supervisor Analyst of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. He was Book Editor of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association from 1977 to 1993. He has received numerous international awards and recognitions over the years, he is also the author of 13 books and co-author of 12 others, including: Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism; Severe Personality Disorders: Psychotherapeutic Strategies; Contemporary controversies in theory, techniques and their psychoanalytic applications; The inseparable nature of love and aggression; Psychoanalytic Education at the Crossroads; and, more recently, Resolution of aggression and recovery of eroticism

Prof. Glen O. Gabbard

Dr. Gabbard is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He is also a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies in Houston. He is the author or editor of 29 books and 365 articles. His books include Psychodynamic Psychiatry in Clinical Practice, now in its 5th Edition, Love and Hate in the Analytic Setting, Textbook of Psychoanalysis (with Bonnie Litowitz and Paul Williams), Boundaries and Boundary Violations in Psychoanalysis, Psychiatry and the Cinema, and The Psychology of The Sopranos. Prior to moving to Houston in 2001, he was Director of the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. He has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Sigourney Award in 2000, the Lifetime Achievement Award from Sapienza University in Rome, and the Adolph Meyer Award of the American Psychiatric Association. 

Prof. Vittorio Lingiardi

Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, he is Full Professor of Dynamic Psychology at the Faculty of Medicine and Psychology of the Sapienza University of Rome, where from 2006 to 2013 he directed the School of Specialization in Clinical Psychology. He is president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research-Italy Area Group (SPR-IAG). For the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) he was commissioner for the Assessment of the Eligibility of the Schools of Specialization in Psychotherapy (2013-2016) and for the National Scientific Qualification (2018-2021). With Nancy McWilliams he is scientific coordinator of the international Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual project (PDM-2, Guilford Press, 2017; Raffaello Cortina, 2018), with which he won the American Board & Academy of Psychoanalysis Book Prize.

Prof Franco Del Corno

Psychologist and psychotherapist, he is a founding member of the Association for Research in Clinical Psychology (ARP) and of ARP Studio Associato, past president of SPR-Italy Area Group (Italian section of the Society for Psychotherapy Research), director of the “Clinical Psychology Series and Psychotherapy ”of the publisher Raffaello Cortina. For more than twenty years he has taught Theory and technique of group dynamics, Theory and technique of personality tests, Clinical Psychology at the Universities of Bologna, Milan-Bicocca, Aosta. From 2006 to 2012, he was a Member of the Technical-Advisory Commission of the Ministry of University and Research (MIUR) for the recognition of Psychotherapy Institutes. In the new edition of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM-2) he is Editor (with Daniel Plotkin) of the Elderly Section and of the chapter Clinical examples and PDM-2 profiles (with Vittorio Lingiardi and Nancy McWilliams).

Prof.ssa Clara Mucci

Clara Mucci is Full Professor of Dynamic Psychology at the University of Bergamo.

After the Degree in Languages ​​he obtained a Doctorate (PhD) in English Literature and Psychoanalysis at Emory University, Atlanta, USA, a Doctorate in English Studies (Univ di Genova); the five-year degree in Clinical Psychology (University of Chieti) and the specialization in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the SIPP (Italian Society of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy) in the Milan office. He is SIPP associate member and Supervisor Teacher for the Italian Society of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy Sandor Ferenczi, part of the International Network Sandor Ferenczi.

She specialized with a one-semester internship at the Institute for Personality Disorders directed by Otto Kernberg in New York, continuing for years under the supervision of the Institute.

Prof. Benedetto Farina

Doctor, psychiatrist and psychotherapist, PhD in neuroscience, full professor of Clinical Psychology at the European University of Rome. Member of the teaching staff of the Doctoral Course in “Dynamic and Clinical Psychology” of the Sapienza University of Rome. Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. Lecturer in numerous Psychotherapy Specialization Schools. He was the winner of the Richard P. Kluft Award 2015 Best Article. Member of the editorial board of the Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, of Clinical Neuropsychiatry, of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, and Associate Editor of the International Journal of Multidisciplinary Trauma Studies. Author of over one hundred publications including monographs, articles published in indexed international journals and book chapters

Prof. Elliot Jurist

 Elliot Jurist, Ph.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology and Philosophy at the Graduate Center and The City College of New York, CUNY.  From 2004-2013, he served as the Director of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at CUNY. From 2008-2018, he was the Editor of Psychoanalytic Psychology, the journal of Division 39 of the APA. He is also the editor of a book series, Psychoanalysis and Psychological Science, from Guilford Publications, and author of a book in the series, Minding Emotions: Cultivating Mentalization in Psychotherapy, from the same publisher .  He is the author of Beyond Hegel and Nietzsche: Philosophy, Culture and Agency  (MIT Press, 2000) and co-author with Peter Fonagy, George Gergely and Mary Target of Affect Regulation, Mentalization and the Development of the Self (Other Press, 2002), the latter of which has been translated into five languages and won two book prizes.  He is also the co-editor of Mind to Mind: Infant Research, Neuroscience, and Psychoanalysis (Other Press, 2008).  His research interests concern mentalization and the role of emotions and emotion regulation in psychotherapy. 

Prof. Galit Atlas

Prof. Galit Atlas is on the faculty at NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and faculty at the Four Year Adult and National Training Programs at NIPShe is the author of The Enigma of Desire: Sex, Longing and Belonging in Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2015) and Dramatic Dialogue: Contemporary Clinical Practice (co-authored with Lewis Aron, Routledge, 2017). She is the editor and a contributor to When Minds Meet: The Work of Lewis Aron (Routledge,2020). Her new book Emotional Inheritance: A Therapist, Her Patients and the Legacy of Trauma will be published in 2022 in 12 languages including Italian (Cortina, 2022). Atlas serves on the editorial boards of Psychoanalytic Dialogues and of Psychoanalytic Perspectivesand is the author of articles and book chapters that focus primarily on gender and sexuality. Atlas is a psychoanalyst and clinical supervisor in private practice in New York City. 

Prof. Anna Ferruta

Psychoanalyst, works in Milan. Ordinary member with training functions of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society, of which she was Scientific Secretary and Director of the National Training Institute. Full Member of the International Psychoanalytical Association, past Member of the Monitoring and Advisory Board of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. He has taught at the School of Specialization in Psychiatry of the University of Pavia and at the School of Specialization in Life Cycle Psychology of the Bicocca University of Milan. Consultant and supervisor in psychiatric teams and research institutes (2015, Genetic diagnosis: a dialogue for treatment, (with Astori and Mariotti). Franco Angeli). He is a Founding Member of Mito & Realtà-Association for Therapeutic and Residential Communities (in 2012 the volume was published, written together with Le Comunità Terapeutiche.Psychotics, borderline, adolescents, minors. (With Foresti and Vigorelli). Raffaello Cortina Editore)

Prof. Maria Ponsi

Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, member of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society and of the International Psychoanalytical Association.

He worked for 15 years as a psychiatrist in the public psychiatric services.

Since 1987 he has been practicing psychiatric, psychotherapeutic and psychoanalytic freelance activities.

She is the author of various publications on clinical psychoanalysis topics (preconscious, interaction, enactment, acting out, therapeutic alliance, psychodynamic diagnosis, transference, countertransference, narcissism, empirical research, free association, neuro-identity).

Prof. Usha Tummala-Narra, Ph.D

She is the director of community-based education at the Danielsen Institute and a research professor at Boston University. Her research and fellowship focuses on immigration, trauma, race and cultural competence, and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Her publications include over 90 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. She mainly works with trauma survivors from different socio-cultural backgrounds. Dr. Tummala-Narra is an associate editor of the Asian American Journal of Psychology and an associate editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues. She is the author of Psychoanalytic Theory and Cultural Competence in Psychotherapy, published by the American Psychological Association Books in 2016. Her book, Trauma and Racial Minority Immigrants: Turmoil, Uncertainty, and Resistance (APA Books) was published in January 2021.

Prof. Riccardo Williams

Associate Professor of Dynamic Psychology at “Sapienza” – University of Rome. He is the author of numerous publications in the context of national and international collaborations that have as their main themes the development of traumatic relationships on personality development, and the assessment of emerging personality pathology in adolescence and adulthood. In particular, he investigated the relationship between narcissistic and borderline personality pathology and suicidality in adolescence and perinatal maternal distress. As part of his psychoanalytic training at the Italian Psychoanalytic Society, he deepened the possible areas of dialogue between psychoanalytic theory and contemporary knowledge from neuroscience, cognitive sciences, developmental psychology and philosophy of mind. He edited the book “Trauma and Relationships for the Cortina Publisher. Contemporary clinical and scientific perspectives “.

The Personality Summit Format

Personality Summit is an unprecedented format that will see some of the most renowned therapists in the world talk together, among themselves and with you, to offer you a valuable training and professional experience.

The event is made up of 4 macro modules: Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon. Each module, lasting 4 hours, will see the simultaneous participation of 3 great Therapists and will develop on 3 phases:

PHASE 01: each of the 3 teachers holds their Lectures
PHASE 02: the 3 teachers compare themselves with respect to their respective Lectures / positions
Phase 03: the 3 teachers meet with all the participants in the Question Time

In particular, Saturday will focus on the more technical, structural, objective aspects of psychotherapy, while Sunday will focus on the more narrative and subjective ones. More generally, this dynamic and interactive format will allow you to enter the concrete clinical practice of these great therapists, grasping their unique and peculiar aspects, offering you valuable theoretical and clinical insights on the influence of personalities in psychotherapy, on how to “build” the better the clinical encounter, between technique and relationship.



JANUARY 29th 2022 – Saturday morning 09:30 a.m – 01:30 p.m

Vittorio Lingiardi
Prof. Vittorio Lingiardi

The role of personality in constructing a diagnosis – Prof. Vittorio Lingiardi

In the field of mental health, a diagnostic system in order to be useful for a clinician has a) to connect the patients’ existential discomfort as well as their psychopathological conditions to their personality organization and diverse dimensions of mental functioning, such as, for instance, defense mechanisms; b) to place the diagnostic hypotheses along the diverse specific phases of the life-cycle; c) to take into account the relational elements of the clinical encounter; d) to detect not only the patient’s weaknesses but also to correctly identify her or his resources. All this is what the Diagnostic Psychodinamic Manual (PDM-2) and the Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure (SWAP-200) have pursued as a main goal. These two systems much owe to Otto Kernberg who has taught us to interpret the diverse personality configurations along a continuum ranging from the healthy-neurotic to the borderline psychotic functioning. This is the only way to compound the unique aspects of the patient I am facing with the most general ad inclusive categories that can lead to a sensible diagnosis for sensitive clinicians. This process is about integrating the information derived from the diagnostic assessment with the narrative of the case formulation in sight of taking in charge the patient or referring her or him for treatment. If we isolate the diagnostic label from the aims and potentials of treatment, we run the risk of acting like the foolish who looks at the finger when the sage points to the moon.

Maria Ponsi
Prof.ssa Maria Ponsi

Psychotherapy: art or technique? Prof. Maria Ponsi

“Psychology may be a science but psychotherapy is an art” is the phrase that Nancy McWilliams places at the beginning of the volume in which she outlines the principles on which psychoanalytic psychotherapy is based. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is not a unitary entity, defined by theoretical coordinates and specific techniques, but a set of models that have been formed over time starting from the common origin in the psychoanalysis of its founder. Although on the theoretical level psychoanalytic thought has differentiated itself into several strands so as to envisage more psychoanalysis, on the clinical level – the “what to do” in the concrete of therapeutic practice – there is a greater homogeneity of views between the various models. How much of the psychoanalytic method of listening, investigation and intervention can be condensed into a technique? And how much instead escapes a normative discipline and manifests itself in extemporaneous ways and creative syntheses?

Franco Del Corno
Prof. Franco Del Corno

The terminable and interminable construction of a psychodynamic psychiatry  – Prof. Franco Del Corno

Psychodynamic psychiatry is the result of a long and complex process of integration between a categorical diagnostic model of mental disorders and a specific attention to the role of personality factors in the genesis of the disease, as well as in its course and treatment. A good example of this continuously in progress work is represented by the two editions of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM), which stressed the importance of personality diagnosis as a prerequisite for understanding the patient’s symptoms and mental functioning. In terms of clinical encounters and professional practice, the psychodynamic approach in psychiatry translates into the proposal of a psychotherapy model (but also of any other form of psychological treatment: from rehabilitation to prevention), which he found in the works of Glen Gabbard his most widespread formalization: a continuum of interventions that goes from an expressive extreme, traditionally identified with the analysis of the defenses and the elaboration of the transference, to a supportive extreme, focused on patient support, with all the intermediate possibilities of clinical work.

JANUARY 29th 2022 – Saturday afternoon 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Nancy McWilliams
Prof.ssa Nancy McWilliams

Patients with borderline personality: critical differences between masochistic and depressive dynamics  – Prof. Nancy McWilliams

Nancy McWilliams will address the differences between masochistic and depressive dimensions in individuals with borderline level personality organizations and will illustrate some steps in the treatment of a woman with self-destructive dynamics attributable to the conceptualization of a “narcissistic-masochistic” character according to Arnold Cooper.

“Masochism is not a unitary construct. The term has been used to refer to a range of phenomena that have different psychological origins and serve different psychological functions, with the common denominator of an (apparent) investment in suffering. Masochistic clients tend to reenact with a therapist the drama of the child who needs care but can only get it if he or she is demonstrably suffering.”

Otto Kernberg
Prof. Otto Kernberg

Transference-Focused Psychotherapy with Severe Personality Disorders – Prof. Otto Kernberg

Otto Kernberg, following his model of transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP), will review his contributions on the different models of transference, differentiating their dynamics based on neurotic, borderline or psychotic personality organizations and narcissistic and schizoid personality syndromes.

“I think that psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis are probably the methods that promote the best changes in case of severe personality disorders, through the mechanism of analyzing of the transference, the split off, dissociated, primitive object relations that determine and are an expression of identity-fusion, bringing about normalization of the patient’s identity, integrating his self and concept of significant others.”

Glen O. Gabbard
Prof. Glen O. Gabbard

Psychodynamic Treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorder – Prof. Glen O. Gabbard

Glen Gabbard will offer an overview of narcissistic conditions, particularly the most severe, whose dynamics deeply afflict the patient and challenge clinical work.

“Narcissistic patients spend their lives trying to find someone who can see them, hear them, and ‘get’ them. [We psychotherapists] hope to promote this imperfect, but always worthwhile, search for a useful ‘fit’ between what the patient may need and what the therapist may offer.”


January 30th 2022 – Sunday morning 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Clara Mucci
Prof. Clara Mucci

Embodied witnessing: working with borderline patients through affective regulation, intergenerational trauma and re-enactment modalities – Prof. Clara Mucci

Working intersubjectively with the patient with severe borderline and narcissistic personality disorders implies the activation, in the patient and in the therapist, of the right hemisphere, seat of an implicit unconscious container of somatic memories and unresolved traumatizations. Clara Mucci’s intervention will start from the description of the effects of trauma by the human hand and then move on to describe the dysfunctional modalities at the level of affective dysregulation, impulsivity, dissociation, creation of the victim-persecutor internal dyad with possible attacks on the body, such as cuts, suicidality, abuse of food, alcohol, drugs. Clinical examples will accompany the intervention.

Benedetto Farina
Prof. Benedetto Farina

In what ways does developmental trauma impact personality formation? – Prof Benedetto Farina

An influential and well-established scientific literature shows that experiences of maltreatment and abuse in childhood represent the greatest risk factor for all mental disorders including those of the personality. It is also clearly demonstrated that these traumatic experiences of development constitute a negative prognostic factor and resistance to treatment, regardless of the therapeutic approach and the clinical picture presented by the patient. As we can also learn from the afternoon presentations, it is also demonstrated that the psychopathogenic processes involved in developmental trauma are multiple and intertwined: from genetic and epigenetic vulnerability to neurobiological processes triggered by the sense of threat up to the consequences of adaptation to a family context. and sociocultural abuse. This presentation aims to introduce the dis-integrative pathogenetic process and its interactions with other pathogenetic processes in determining childhood trauma vulnerability. The clinical and therapeutic effects of the model presented will also be described.

Anna Ferruta
Prof.ssa Anna Ferruta

Psychotherapy, a discipline that deals with the living in relationship – Prof. Anna Ferruta

Psychotherapy is placed in the context of the disciplines that deal with the living, that is, processes that involve both the individual and the environment and that present, instead of a defined and definitive static conceptual structure, a dynamic, ever-changing trend. A therapeutic path is part of a process that impacts with an obstacle that blocks its dynamics: it is possible to treat a subject without also paying attention to the environment that contributes to giving shape to his psychic life, from the traces left by the parental figures (as he will tell Galit Atlas) to the culture and resources of the contexts in which he lives (as we will hear in Usha Tummala-Narra’s report).

Therapist and patient are looking for new worlds, both to cope with the discomfort of living, and for a desire for exploration, Seeking, one of the seven primary sources of knowledge of mammalian animals identified by Panksepp’s research, affected without representation, such as basis of any other cognitive development. It is important not to deprive anyone of the wealth of their unconscious or their internal world.

January 30th 2022 – Sunday afternoon 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Galit Atlas
Prof.ssa Galit Atlas

Personality and Trauma  – Prof. Galit Atlas

Atlas’s presentation will focus on the ways trauma shapes our personality and comes to life in the analytic dyad. Presenting ideas from her new book Emotional Inheritance, she will bring us into the room where analyst and patient live together a dangerous reality and a painful, often tantalizing, history. She will illustrate how patients and analysts enter each other’s inner world and discover themselves as participants within each other’s psychic life, and how they both change together. Through the clinical material, Atlas will describe the patient’s traumatic history and the ways it impacts his defenses, his perception of reality, his relational structure, as well as his ability to change. It is the ghosts of the past who have to live in the analytic dyad, as Atlas and her patient go on a journey to revisit his trauma and listen to the little boy he used to be, the boy he left behind when he ran away in order to save his life. Atlas will present a relational perspective to address the legacy of abuse, the regulation of aggression as well as the power of analytic love.

Elliot Jurist
Prof. Elliot Jurist

Personality and Minding Emotions – Prof. Elliot Jurist

Personality is shaped by many forces, many of which are beyond the control of individual choice—like temperament, early life development, family, and culture.  Psychoanalysis can be understood as an effort to reckon with these forces and to create space for individual choice.  This means coming to terms with one’s genetics and bodily self, key aspects of one’s developmental history, one’s family of origin and extended family, and the values that are emphasized by the culture that one identifies with (which can be complicated by multiple identifications).   I propose that the optimal path to come to terms with all of these forces is through mentalizing their emotions.  My talk outlines this challenge by differentiating three components (identifying, processing and expressing emotions), and I illustrate how to help patients to mentalize their emotions with case examples.    

Usha Tummala-Narra
Prof.ssa Usha Tummala-Narra

“Is this a cultural thing?”: Personality, culture, and context in the therapeutic encounter – Prof. Usha Tummala-Narra

In psychoanalysis, there is a common question that arises when considering the role of sociocultural context in theory and practice: “Is this a cultural thing?” Specifically, therapists ask whether the patient’s distress is rooted in the patient’s culture or in the patient’s personality. In other words, there has been a tendency to separate the psyche and the social throughout the history of psychoanalysis, and tensions persist in theorizing about this issue. In this presentation, I will explore how personality is shaped by sociocultural context, and how experiences of one’s sociocultural context rely on personality, family dynamics, and trauma. In particular, nuanced understandings of individual experiences of sociocultural context will be emphasized as we consider how personality and sociocultural context intersect and interact in the therapeutic relationship. A culturally informed psychoanalytic approach will guide a conceptualization of the therapist’s and patient’s personalities, sociocultural backgrounds, and sociopolitical climate, and their impact on psychotherapy process. I will provide case illustrations to help translate this theoretical frame to practice, and call attention to the importance of recognizing and grappling with multiple sociocultural perspectives in our ability to listen with more attunement to our patients and to ourselves.

Terms of Participation

Personality Summit will be held on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th January 2022 for a total of 16 hours of specialized training. The event releases 16 ECM credits in FAD, therefore without the obligation to attend all live broadcasts.


Valid until Sunday 17 October 2021
  • 16 hours of training
  • Accesso illimitato per 12 mesi
  • Attestato di Partecipazione

Early Booking

Valid until Sunday 23 January 2022
  • 16 hours of training
  • Accesso illimitato per 12 mesi
  • Attestato di Partecipazione

Costo di Partecipazione

From Monday 24 January 2022
  • 16 hours of training
  • Accesso illimitato per 12 mesi
  • Attestato di Partecipazione

Personality Summit organizers