Community Psychology in Italy has a long history starting from the seminal work of Donata Francescato in 1977 combined with social commitment of Augusto Palmonari and Bruna Zani at the University of Bologna and the theoretical contribution of Piero Amerio at the University of Turin. Italian community psychology as a national working team has been in existence since the early ’80s, and it has been expressed by the Italian Society of Community Psychology (SIPCO) since the 90’s.

The first European conference on Community Psychology was held in 1994 in Rome. At the turn of the millennium in Lecce Bianca Gelli organized the first PhD school in Community Psychology; furthermore, the 9th ECPA European conference of Community Psychology. was held in Naples in 2013.

Italian community psychologists are members of ECPA, and SCRA. Italian community psychologists are members of ECPA, which is an Associate member of EFPA (European Federation of Psychologists Associations). In EFPA there is also a Standing Committee of Community Psychology, formed by representatives of Members Associations, among which prof. Caterina Arcidiacono, nominated by the Italian psychological association (INPA). Italian community psychologists are active in various European projects led by the University of Bologna, University of Salento, University of Florence, University of Naples Federico II, University of Padua. In Italy CP is in the background of many associations, social, educational, clinical, intercultural psychologists, social workers and psychotherapists working with migrant families, interested in overcoming increasing gender, age and cultural divides, and also with work and organisational psychologists who are involved in retraining unemployed persons and dealing with continuous organisational changes. Conferences, workshops and events have been organized in different towns thanks to different associations: Laboratorio Link (Padua), Empowerment Sociale (Palermo), Labcom (Florence), Aspic (Rome) et al.

University Courses on Community Psychology and related topics are offered at the following universities:

Alma Mater studiorum- Università di Bologna;

Università degli Studi di Aosta;

Università degli Studi di Bari;

Università degli Studi di Chieti;

Università degli Studi di Firenze;

Università degli Studi di Genova;

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano;

Università degli Studi di Napoli, Federico II;

Università degli Studi di Palermo;

Università degli Studi di Padova;

Università degli studi di Roma, La Sapienza;

Università di Roma, LUMSA;

Università del Salento;

Università degli Studi di Torino;

Università Giustino Fortunato, Benevento.

For more information on the history of community psychology in Italy and its developments see:

Francescato, D., Arcidiacono, C., Albanesi, C., & Mannarini, A. T. (2007). Community psychology in Italy: Past developments and future perspectives. In S. M. Reich, M. Riemer, I. Prilleltensky & M. Montero (Eds.), International community psychology: History and theories (263-281). New York: Springer.

Santinello M., Martini E. & Perkins D.D. (2010) (eds) The special issue on Italian Community Psychology, in The Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community (Volume 38, Issue 1, January

Francescato D. & Zani B. (2017) Strengthening community psychology in Europe through more social activism or increased professional competencies and skills? Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice

Federico II of Naples, the first public university in Europe (1224), nowadays offers courses in all academic branches, leading to 155 graduate level degrees with current 97,000 students. Its educational network is being geared towards the establishment of life-long, high level professional training programs also supporting spin-off initiatives. The Department of Humanities (DSU) has research activities and didactic duties in all the humanities and scientific domains, with a specific section in the field of psychology and pedagogy. UNINA-DSU is staffed by 200 professors and researchers. Its research is characterized by the use and the development of quantitative and qualitative methods as action research. DSU has a specific team (COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY LAB) directed by prof. Caterina Arcidiacono (scientific responsible prof. Fortuna Procentese) collaborating with grass-root organizations and municipality specially involved in the promotion of migrant native dialogue and the fight against gender violence. It is worth noting that the team is also collaborating closely with architects from the Institute of Research on Innovation and Services for Development (IRISS) of the National Research Council (CNR), social enterprises collaborating with local bodies for social innovation and urban regeneration. This team is involved in projects of urban regeneration together with local bodies and grassroots associations facing Co-Creation aims and strategies; see: www.communitypsychology.eu

SIPCO – The Italian Society of Community Psychology (S.I.P.CO) is a cultural and scientific organization, founded in 1994, that promotes research and practices that apply community psychology principles in diverse settings and across disciplines. The goals of the Society are the following:

  • to promote theory development and research in community psychology;
  • to promote the development and the use of community psychology methods, supporting training and encouraging community action research;
  • to advance knowledge and to promote exchange and collaboration with other National and International organizations that have common scientific interests;
  • to promote mutual exchange of knowledge among academics and professionals, also from different disciplines; to bring community psychology to institutions and civil society

S.I.P.CO brings together academic community psychologists, practitioners and community stakeholders. The Society organizes biennial conferences: Previous one have taken place in Palermo (2018), Bergamo (2016), Cesena (2014), Milan (2012), Torino (2010), Firenze (2008), Lecce (2006), Palermo (2004) and Torino (2002). A significant part of S.I.P.CO members are engaged in promoting and applying community psychology principles outside academia: they propose projects to local authorities, municipalities, health services, schools and volunteer organizations. S.I.P.CO, besides the biennial conference, supports the organization of thematic workshops and training carried out in collaboration with other associations. Since 2015 SIPCO has promoted in Florence a biannual International Summer School in Community Research. This Summer School aims to provide participants with a theoretical outline on Community Research Methods, as well as practical tools to conduct community research. S.I.P.C.O promotes an international journal “Rivista di Psicologia di Comunità”. On the following website http://www.francoangeli.it/riviste/sommario.asp?anno=2011&idRivista=139 tables of contents and abstracts ( in Italian and in English) of the published articles are available for free. See: www.sipco.it

ECPA – The European Community Psychology Association brings together researchers, activists and experts from all around Europe connected with national and international networks and associations involved in community psychology. ECPA interests are deeply concerned with individual and social changes in our globalized world proposing a multi-level approach to social and psychological knowledge and interventions focusing on the interactions among the person and the context.

In October 2019 ECPA organized the “PhotoVoice Workshop for Social Action and Social Justice” in Naples. In 2021 together with the Norwegian Association the 12th European conference was organized in Oslo (Norway). The previous ones were held in Bratislava (2017), Newcastle (2015), Naples (2013), York (2011), Lisbon (2008), Paris (2007), Seville (2007), Opole (2006), Berlin 2004 arriving at the European conference of the previous network in Rome (1994). International summer schools were held in Lecce (2011) and Florence (2016). This requires engaging with the person-in-context, where ‘person’ signifies subjectivity, where ‘context’ signifies multi-level societal factors in reciprocal interaction over time and where ‘person-in-context’ signifies an irreducible unity with emergent properties. ECPA’s key task is then to understand the psycho-social processes through which inequality and social injustice at the societal level impact the individual’s psycho-physiology to result in bodily processes which result in unhappiness, illness and ultimately risk of premature death. ECPA underlines the need to work with people by rebuilding their trust and rekindling interpersonal and social ties. ECPA gives evidences that policies and intervention based on community psychology’s values produce more collective and individual well-being than those deriving from predominant neo-liberalistic, competition-oriented and consumerist values. European Community Psychologists have made significant contributions to the development of Community Psychology (CP) on stronger theoretical underpinning; they have also developed innovative theory driven intervention strategies to promote multilevel empowerment and achieved a high level of networking by creating in 1996 ENCP which then became the European Community Psychology Association (ECPA). In our globalized world ECP will be knowledge instrument for the de-ideologization, deconstruction and decolonization of psychology, contributing to a critical approach in human sciences.

See: www.ecpa-online.com


PSY-COM Aps is an organization of young psychologists supported by a rooted staff of administrative and business consultants helping them in their professional initiative concerning the community psychology domain.

President: dott. Gabriella Ferrari Bravo


Media communication: Emanuele Esempio

Virthual Human Dynamics Laboratory

Since 2008 the Virtual Human Dynamics laboratory at the University of Florence investigates topics related to virtual environments and the use of new technologies through statistical mechanics and complex system science tools. Particular attention is given to psycho-social and neuro-cognitive aspects of such dynamics. The laboratory’s scientific network composed of scholars from different universities and research fields allows reaching a multidisciplinary understanding of those human phenomena related to the Internet and technological artifacts. The purely multidisciplinary vocation of the laboratory allows the integration of neuro-cognitive (e.g., pupillometer, event-related potential), psychological and performance measurements, for the study of human interaction within virtual environments and through new technologies.

European Federation of Psychology Students’ Associations (EFPSA)

European Federation of Psychology Students´ Associations (EFPSA) celebrates its 35th anniversary this year since it was established in 1987, at the first International Congress of Psychology Students in Portugal. It is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation Federation that currently consists of 30 psychology Member Organisations and two Observer Organisations. Currently EFPSA organises eleven events across Europe and hosts several online resources. EFPSA also runs its own training service, a research programme, a fully-reviewed and open-access Journal; facilitates studying, working and travelling abroad; and makes a positive impact on society through social impact campaigns. Altogether EFPSA provides psychology students with unique and exciting opportunities for academic, professional and personal development.

At the heart of all EFPSA activities are four core goals:

    • To serve psychology students

    • To contribute to society

    • To improve psychology

    • To link professionals, academics and students

More information about EFPSA can be found at the webpage via this link: http://efpsa.org/.

Associazione Italiana Psicologia

The AIP (Italian Association of Psychology) from 1992 is the national benchmark for psychologists working in universities and research organizations

CNR -IRISS  Institute for Research on Innovation and Services for Development

The mission of the CNR -IRISS is to study innovation and services to support the international competitiveness of companies and territories, contexts in which economic, cultural and human value is generated. Research themes are addressed through a systemic and interdisciplinary approach that combines the economic and business perspective,

the territorial planning and management perspective and the legal perspective, which interact in the research activities of the Institute. The CNR IRISS carries out activities for knowledge enhancement and transfer to institutions, businesses, policy makers, associations, organisations and citizens in order to contribute to the environmental, social and economic development of the territory in a sustainable perspective.

We are engaged in initiatives addressed to local communities and stakeholders, reached through public engagement methodologies and tools to activate co-creation processes able to generate positive impacts at the local level. Thus, research opens the door to the territory, civil society, businesses and local authorities.

Aurora Alliance

Aurora is a partnership of 9 like-minded and closely collaborating research intensive European universities, who use their academic excellence to drive societal change and contribute to the sustainable development goals.

It aims to make stronger and more integrated collaborations with external stakeholders and students in education, research and outreach – at local, national, European, and global levels to revolutionize the quality and competitiveness of European higher education. https://aurora-universities.eu/ Federico II University, Duisburg University and Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam are part of this research-intervention team.

CNOP- National Council of the Board of Psychologists

The National Council of the Board of Psychologists is based in Rome. It is the institution that in Italy represents the profession of psychologist at national and international levels. The National Council of the Order of Psychologists was established by Law no. 56 of 1989. It is composed of the Presidents of the Regional Councils, of the Autonomous Provinces of Trento and Bolzano, and a representative of section B of the Register. The Board of Psychologists protects the interests of end-users and promotes the quality of psychologists’ professional work, also through the application of the Deontological

Code; moreover, it is responsible for holding and updating of the Register of which all talian psychologists are members. Approximately 125.000 psychologists are enrolled to date. It has the task of preparing and updating the code of ethics, which is binding for all members, and submitting it for approval by referendum. It ensures compliance with the laws and provisions concerning the profession in matters of national importance; it appoints the Order's representatives in bodies and commissions at the national level. The National Council of the Order of Psychologists established also, the Foundation named “Adriano Ossicini”, in honor of the outstanding Senator, former Member of Parliament and Minister of the Republic, hero of the Resistance, who promoted- thanks to a twenty-year commitment that led to law 56/89 – the recognition of the profession of Psychologist’ and the birth of our Order. The foundation’s purpose is to promote study, research, experimentation and project activities useful for the development of the profession through agreements with institutions and public and private bodies. Alongside and beyond the Order's field of action, the Foundation will be able to build i nitiatives, synergies and activities to expand the resources useful for the development of the profession.


Conference Management