I was born in Parma, in 1954. I studied Philosophy in Florence and later Psychology in Rome. I got my university degrees in Philosophy (with a thesis on Sensation, space, and time in the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl) and in Psychology (with a thesis on Infantile autism). I gained a further clinical specialization at the Istituto di Psicoterapia Analitica of Firenze.
From 1984 to 2004 I worked in treatment centers for infantile autism, psychosis and mental retardation (A.I.A.B.A. and O.D.A. in Diacceto, previously Istituto Medico-Neuro-Pedagogico Provinciale, Florence area). From 1988 I also began private practice as psychoanalyst.
In 1988, the Institute for Psychoanalytic Therapy to which I belong experienced a relational turn thanks to a fruitful and lasting collaboration with Jay Greenberg and Steven Mitchell. My Institute also became a member of the International Federation of Psychoanalytical Societies (IFPS) and from 1994 to 2008 I have been a member of the executive board of IFPS. I have also contributed to the creation of the IFPS archives for the history of psychoanalysis.
From 1998 to 2004 I have been “professore a contratto” (professor with a short-term contract) of History of psychology and Dynamic psychology at the Faculty of Psychology of the State University of Florence. From 1998 to 2016 I have been a faculty member of the School for interpersonal psychotherapy of the Istituto H. S. Sullivan in Firenze (Istituto di psicoterapia analitica), where I have been teaching mainly Psychodynamics of trauma, Origins of psychoanalysis and Theory and technique of psychoanalysis according to Ferenczi and Balint.
I have collaborated with the Center for historical studies on psychoanalysis and psychiatry in Florence, of which I have been President from 1996 to 2001. In 2002 I took an active part in the establishment of the Center of psycho-traumatology at the Military Hospital of Florence of which I have been president from 2003 to 2005.
I have collaborated with several international journals, primarily with the International Forum of Psychoanalysis, of which I have first been editorial reader and then, from 1999 onwards, Associate editor. I am part of the International editorial board of international advisors of Psychoanalysis and History (since 1998), The American Journal of Psychoanalysis (since 2001); Contemporary Psychoanalysis (Corresponding editor since 2002), and other journals. I have received the PEP (Psychoanalytic Electronic Publications) Author Prize “Top 400 Authors Downloaded” in 2010 and in 2011 (an award given to authors who have most contributed to the journals of psychoanalysis in the last twenty years).
I have been particularly active in the contemporary psychoanalytic movement known as “Ferenczi Renaissance”. In 2006 I have created, together with Judit Mészáros, the “Ferenczi House project”, which in 2011 enabled the acquisition of the office, in Budapest, where Sándor Ferenczi wrote the Clinical Diary in 1932. The Ferenczi House is presently an international study center. Since 2007 I have been a member of the Board of the International Sándor Ferenczi Foundation established by André Haynal in Budapest. I have also created, together with Franco Borgogno, the Associazione culturale Sándor Ferenczi, of which I have been president from 2007 to 2012. I have been one of the promoters of the International Sándor Ferenczi Network (ISFN) which has been established in 2015, on occasion of the International Sándor Ferenczi Conference in Toronto. Part of the network are the associations, study centers and the journals which are actively engaged in the Ferenczi renaissance. I have also been elected First President of the Network and Chair of the next International Sándor Ferenczi Conference which will be held in Florence on May 3-6, 2018.
In 2015 I have published the first volume of The Cut and the Building of Psychoanalysis, in the Relational perspectives book series, Routledge. The second volume will appear in 2016.
I am also an artist and the author of the exhibition "Il tempo prima del tempo" (The time before time), in 2009.