------------------------ English-speaking-psychologist-psychiatrist - Doctors in Italy ------------------------


  • Are you struggling with feelings of isolation, shame, and harsh self-criticism?
  • Are you often disapproving and judgmental about your own inadequacies?
  • When you are feeling down, do you start to obsess and fixate on everything that’s wrong?
  • Is it hard for you to be kind and reassuring with yourself when things go wrong in life?


Whether you live permanently in Rome, or you are in Italy for a short study program abroad, or simply traveling through on holiday, you or your loved ones may experience various forms of distress and mental health issues. You may be feeling depressed, anxious, lonely or you might need some professional consultation in relation to your relationships.


Research on psychotherapy continues to demonstrate that cultivating a calm and compassionate mind can help us to alleviate and prevent a range of psychological problems, including anxiety and shame. Rather than being a soft option, becoming compassionate towards ourselves and others can generate the courage and psychological flexibility we need to face life’s challenges, and step forward into lives of meaning, purpose and vitality. Compassion focused therapy (CFT) is a psychotherapy developed by Prof. Paul Gilbert that integrates techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy with meditation techniques derived by Buddhist tradition, like mindfulness and compassion meditation. The central therapeutic techniques teach you the skills and attributes of compassion and help transform problematic patterns of cognition and emotion related to anxiety, anger, shame, self-criticism, depersonalization, and hypomania. People undergoing CFT are first taught to calm their minds through mindfulness-based practice: they learn how to slow their breath down to generate a psychophysiological state of tranquility and self-reassurance. They then learn to generate feelings of warmth, kindness and compassion toward themselves or others. Science is showing that cultivating a mindful and compassionate mind can really help you build the resilience you need to face the inevitable ups-and-downs of life, and manage emotional reactions that might negatively impact on your quality of life.  


  We can help you with:
  • Anxiety, Worry and Panic Attacks
  • Personality disorders
  • Intrusive Thoughts and Compulsive Behaviours
  • Low mood /Depression/ Lack of Confidence /Low Self-Esteem
  • Relationship Issues and Family problems
  • Stress and Post Traumatic Stress Reactions
  • Work-Related Issues
  • Body Image Concerns/ Eating disorders
  • Phobias and Trauma
  • Drug related disorders: abuse, dependence, drug-induced symptoms, enduring symptoms following occasional drug use.
  • Alcohol-related disorders: recurrent excessive drinking, harmful drinking, alcohol dependence.
  • Substance dependence: anxiolytics, painkillers, sedatives, sleeping pills
  Doctors in Italy offers:
  • short-term individual counseling (initial assessment with validated psychological questionnaires and 6 to 12 individual sessions with final assessment)
  • longer-term therapy
  • emergency consultation
  • mindfulness and compassion based stress reduction courses (8 sessions, both individual and group format)
Doctors in Italy provides evidence based therapy drawn from cutting edge science and scientifically validated innovative techniques in order to ensure that patients receive from our psychiatrist or psychologist the care shown to be most effective in addressing the presented problems.  

Cognitive Behavioural therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. It is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but it can be useful for other mental and physical health problems. It is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle. CBT aims to help you crack this cycle by breaking down overwhelming problems into smaller parts and showing you how to change these negative patterns to improve the way you feel. Unlike some other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current problems, rather than focusing on issues from your past. It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.  

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a psychological therapy designed to aid in preventing the relapse of depression, and recently applied also to other forms of mood disorders. MBCT employs traditional cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques and adds in newer psychological strategies such as mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. This combination of cognitive behavioral techniques and mindfulness practices helps patients in disengaging from self-criticism, rumination, and dysphoric mood. The MBCT program is an intervention that lasts eight weeks with weekly sessions with the therapist. However, much of the practice is done outside of classes, where the participant uses guided meditations to cultivate mindfulness in their daily lives. Research has shown that MBCT increases present-moment awareness, decentering, and acceptance, in addition to decreasing maladaptive cognitive processes such as judgment, reactivity, rumination, and thought suppression.  

Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

Shame and self-criticism make coping with life difficult for people with a range of different problems. People who intensely experience these negative emotions may struggle to ever feel relieved, reassured or safe. This lack of emotional safeness can cause severe difficulty in living rewarding lives. Compassion Focused Therapy is an approach specifically designed to reduce self-criticism, increase self-confidence and compassion both for ourselves and others. It is a mindfulness based approach, which means that clients learn how to become more present, less distracted by rumination and intrusive thoughts, and more aware of their painful emotional pattern, that are often linked to deep emotions of shame, guilt and isolation. Patients are also guided to discover the origin of their shame and self-criticism, and learn meditation based techniques to create a more self-compassionate approach towards their own symptoms and difficulties. Recent research is showing that CFT is effective in helping patients with a broad range of difficulties, such as mood and anxiety disorders, but also personality and eating disorder. (For more info: http://compassionatemind.co.uk)

Family Therapy

Family therapy is indicated for any family in which one member has a serious problem that is affecting the rest of the family. Many types of cases are seen by family therapists, including:
  • child and adolescent behavioural problems
  • mental health conditions, illness and disability in the family
  • separation, divorce and step-family life
  • domestic violence
  • drug or alcohol addiction

Couples Therapy

When dealing with a relationship crisis or other hard times for a couple (after an affair, for example), couples therapy can help rebuild a healthy state of mind for both partners. Both partners talk in confidence to a therapist to explore what has gone wrong in the relationship and how to change things for the better. It can help couples learn more about each other’s needs and communicate better. Ideally, both partners should attend the weekly sessions of one and a half hour, but an alternative could be to see one person at a time.  

Our Doctors

  Dr Nicola Petrocchi, Ph.D, is a licensed psychologist and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy psychotherapist based in Rome, with a specialization in Compassion Focused Therapy. He got his specialization in CBT at SCP, one of the most recognized schools of psychotherapy in Italy. He is specialized in the treatment of mood, anxiety and personality disorders. He treats both individuals and couples, and currently leads mindfulness and compassion based stress reduction courses (Compassionate Mind Training) for both patients and individuals with no specific symptomatology. He has over 8 years of experience practicing with English speaking clients. He delivers Compassion Focused Therapy both as a standalone intervention (to individuals who want to soften their shame and self-criticism, and increase their self-compassion), and in combination with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to treat specific psychological difficulties such as Anxiety and depressive disorders, eating disorder, low self-esteem and personality disorder. He obtained his PhD in Psychology and Social Neuroscience at La Sapienza University of Rome, after one year of visiting scholarship at Boston University in the lab of Prof. Stefan Hofmann. After more than 7 years of direct training and supervision with Prof. Gilbert, he is now accredited Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) therapist and trainer in Italy and Europe. He also founded Compassionate Mind Italia, the Italian association for the research, training and dissemination of CFT in Italy and Europe. His research and clinical practice focuses on the activation of compassionate motivation towards ourselves and others as a way to overcome pathological self-criticism and improve psychophysiological wellbeing. He is the author of several national and international scientific papers and book chapters, and the editor and translator of the Italian version of Compassion Focused Therapy: Distinctive Features by Paul Gilbert. He is now adjunct professor of psychology at John Cabot University (Rome).                     

English-speaking-psychiatristDr. Matteo Pacini, MD Specialist in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. His research and clinical practice is focused on substance abuse and various kinds of addiction. Since 1998 active clinical researcher on Drug abuse, in particular Heroin and Cocaine dependence as member of the Pisa-Sia Group (Study and Interventions on Addictions), University of Pisa Since 2005 Editorial coordinator of the official journal of the European Association for the Treatment of Opiate Addiction – Europad. Since 2013 Professor at the Master on Dependence and Drug abuse Disorders and Mood Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pisa.  

How to book a session with our English speaking psychologist, psychotherapist or psychiatrist

Contact us to book a first session with our specialists in Rome. If possible, give us some information on what is your reason for requesting this kind of assistance, this will help us choose the best therapist for your need. If you have a specific therapy approach you wish to choose, make sure to let us know. We will do our best to fit you in on short notice for a first session.