Professor Nicola Petrocchi Selected for the APS 2020 Young Investigator Colloquium
Professor Nicola Petrocchi has been selected as a Scholar for the APS 2020 Young Investigator Colloquium by The American Psychosomatic Society. This half-day Colloquium will be held on March 11, 2020, in Long Beach, California. The purpose of this event is to encourage the development of innovative and impactful psychosomatic research by bringing together the expertise of senior APS mentors with the innovative research ideas of postgraduate trainees. Professor Petrocchi’s selection is a significant accomplishment for a scholar.
The American Psychosomatic Society (APS) was founded by several academicians and practitioners to link developments in psychology and psychiatry to internal medicine, physiology and other disciplines. Its mission is to advance and integrate the scientific study of biological, psychological, behavioral and social factors.
The project that Professor Petrocchi proposed to the APS is a compassion-focused intervention on HIV+ patients, where the effects of mindfulness and compassion meditation on their psychological and physiological wellbeing are examined. The expected result is to find a reduction on inflammatory markers and an increase in cardiovascular health in the patients after 12 weeks of online intervention.
Compassion Focused Therapy
Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), created by Professor Paul Gilbert, a British clinical psychologist, is a system of psychotherapy that integrates techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy with concepts from evolutionary psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, Buddhist psychology, and neuroscience. The central therapeutic technique of CFT is compassionate mind training, which teaches the skills and attributes of mindfulness and compassion. CFT teaches how to develop more awareness and compassion towards oneself and others, as well as to be open to the compassion itself. Studies conducted in the field show that having a compassionate motivation will protect from stress, depression, and anxiety and will have a positive impact on the immune system and cardiovascular health
Professor Nicola Petrocchi, Ph.D., Psy.D, is a licensed CBT psychotherapist and student counselor who has been teaching psychology at John Cabot University since 2015. During his international Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Neuroscience at the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” he conducted research on the effect of Loving Kindness Meditation (LKM) on patients with mild depression. Professor Petrocchi is an accredited Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) therapist and trainer in Italy and Europe. He established Compassionate Mind Italia, the Italian association for the research, training, and dissemination of CFT in Italy. Prof. Petrocchi also worked with immigrants and refugees in Rome’s Immigration Center. He is the author of several national and international peer-review publications and book chapters.