Thierry Bonfanti. Psicologo di formazione

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Michel LobrotNon-Directive Intervention (N.D.I.)

My approach is Non-Directive Intervention (N.D.I.). At university I studied diverse visions of man, including psychoanalysis and it was on the latter that I wrote a book. I agree with Carl Rogers' Person- Centred Approach, in particular at the level of the values it implies. Nevertheless, I believe that N.D.I. goes beyond this, both in terms of values and effectiveness. I have adopted this approach since the 1980s. It has inspired my work both in the field of psychotherapy and in education. One of the fundamental ideas of N.D.I. is that one cannot change positively, grow or learn by force. In other words, coercion and directivity are neither factors of positive change nor of personal growth or learning. Directivity might possibly lead to behaviour that is superficially fitting but it does not lead to a profound change in the person. This is where the difference lies between behavioural conditioning and education. Another fundamental idea is that the environment, like the air we breathe, is a factor of indispensable and inevitable growth. Thus, both the psychotherapist and the educator have to be a source of stimuli, questions, proposals, analyses, suggestions, etc. However, if all these interventions are to be truly effective, they have to be subordinate to the person’s actual desire. They have to be presented as a proposal, as an idea that the person alone can know whether this intervention is of help or not at a specific moment. Other environmental conditions described by Rogers are also necessary, for example: empathy, positive, unconditional consideration, and congruence in the sense of authenticity. The relationship with the client or person being trained is a relationship between person to person. Like Carl R. Rogers, in N.D.I. terminology we prefer to speak of a “client” rather than “patient”, not so much to connote some commercial aspect but to restore all the active and responsible aspects to the person in his/her initiative. Here the differences in roles are not differences in power. As in the Person-Centred Approach, underlying N.D.I. is the idea that we all know better than anyone else what is right for us. This fundamental trust in the capacity of a person to know what is right for him/her is the cornerstone of all non directive approaches. If this postulate is not accepted, any seizure of power over others is authorised. And this is when one hears: “It’s for your own good” or “You only want to do what you want and you're wrong". Nevertheless, knowing which way to go in a world when one's desires are not always clear, is not always easy. This is why we created the techniques called “desiderative” to help the client or participant to focus on their own true desires. Obviously, this short description of N.D.I. is insufficient and below is a list of just some of the many works that have been published on the subject in English.

A short English bibliography on Non-Directivity

Korczak Janusz, How to Love a Child (Jak kochać dziecko, Warsaw 1919, 2nd edition, 1920.
Rogers C.R., Psychotherapy and human relationships, Torino, Boringhieri, 1970.
Rogers C.R. and H. J. Freiburg, Freedom to Learn, 1993, New York, Merrill
Rogers C.R. and Dymond R.F, Psychotherapy and personality change, Press of University of Chicago, 1954.
Michael Mahoney, Cognitive and constructive psychotherapy, Editions Springer Publishing Company. Broadway 1995.
Michel Lobrot, The non-directive influence.