Upcoming The Bottom-Up Approach in Multigenerational Family Therapy: The Child as the Family Guide [Hybrid]

The idea of the child as a therapeutic resource has been absent from the main theoretical models. The child in family therapy has been seen mainly as a problem to be labeled or as a victim of different forms of abuse. In this presentation, the main reasons that led to neglecting the child will be explained and a pathway to move from child protection to child respect will be indicated. Seeing the problem-child as a main resource in family therapy is an idea that Maurizio Andolfi and his school developed in the 90’s and his role as a consultant was well described in the book Please Help me With This Family (1994).

In order to establish a special alliance with the child, it is necessary to reframe the child’s symptoms instead of labeling them and to find a relational meaning for the problems as soon as possible. Once the child’s voice is heard and their relational competence appreciated, the child can become a special guide to enter the emotional world of their family. With the child’s genuine help, relevant family events (losses, hostile divorces, betrayals, secrets, abuses, cut-offs, forced migrations, chronic diseases, gambling, additions, etc.) can be explored.

The genogram is the map of the family world and provides a wonderful platform to start this therapeutic journey. Using a multigenerational lens, Andolfi will describe how the therapist can explore family development with a “bottom-up approach”, asking the child “intergenerational questions”, which refer to adversities experienced by parents or grandparents in their past history. The results of this intimate journey with the family are evaluated according to two principles : the resolution of children’s symptoms/disorders and a deep transformation of family emotional bonds. Both principles need to be satisfied at the end of treatment and checked in follow-up sessions.

Learning Objectives:

  • To use the family genogram as the map of the family world
  • To move from child protection to child respect
  • To see the child as a family guide in therapy
  • To understand the main elements of the multigenerational approach


Maurizio Andolfi, MD is a Child Psychiatrist and internationally renowned Master Family Therapist. He was a fellow in Psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Visiting Professor at Hahnemann Medical College, and Professor at the Dpt. of Clinical & Dynamic Psychology at La Sapienza-University of Rome. He studied at Ackerman Institute for the Family, Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic with Salvador Minuchin and Jay Haley, and University of Wisconsin with Carl Whitaker.

Dr. Andolfi is currently the director of the Accademia di Psicoterapia della Famiglia and president of the Silvano Andolfi Foundation in Rome, as well as Editor-in-Chief of the Italian journal, Terapia Familiare. Dr. Andolfi is a founding member of European Family Therapy Association and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Family Therapy Academy in 2016. Dr. Andolfi received the title of Distinguish Talent from the Australian Government in 2012 and an award for his contribution to family therapy from the Australian Association of Family Therapy in 2021. He is Honorary Member of the Asian Family Therapy Association and opened the Andolfi Family Therapy Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

His latest books are The Gift of Truth (2022) and Intergenerational Couple Therapy co-authored by Anna Mascellani (2021). He has published widely in English, Spanish, French, Italian and several other languages.


Return to Workshops

  • June 21, 2024
    10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Maurizio Andolfi, MD

5 CE Contact Hours

Online and In-Person

Location:   Hybrid Event


A link to join via Zoom will be sent one day in advance of the training. To attend, you will need a computer or mobile device and an internet connection.

936 Broadway, 3rd Fl.
New York, NY 10010

Details Price Qty
Tuition (Online) $200.00 USD  
Tuition (In-Person) $200.00 USD  

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