Meneghetti Award Psichosomatics

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Psicosomatica Fondazione Meneghetti

Award Winner 2019

Research topic: Is anxiety an outcome of a decreased sense of self-control due to impairment of inhibitory control?

Anxiety disorders represent the most prevalent mental health pathology worldwide. This project will assess the hypothesis that anxiety severely impacts inhibitory control, decreasing the feeling of one’s self-control, which, thus would not feel confident about the results of their future actions.

Understanding if an impairment of inhibitory control is at the core of the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders will open the doors to novel psychological treatments. Inhibitory control represents a crucial executive function: moderate levels of anxiety could even improve one’s performance, whereas high levels of anxiety are detrimental.

In line with the ontopsychological approach, this project aims to understand the dynamics of the mental processes affected by underlying anxiety disorders and to provide crucial help for the symptom management on neuro-psychobiological response to stress.


From the Cartesian separation between res cogitans and res extensa, up to the modern acquisitions of neuroscience, mind and body have often been two poles of investigation considered distinct if not opposed. Over the centuries, the different scientific currents have given their own different interpretation of this “dualism”: and the result is that today many schools of thought revolve around the question, there are at least a dozen different meanings attributable to the term “psychosomatic” and , in current language, we speak generically of “psychosomatic disorder” to refer to all those symptoms complained by the patient that they cannot be explained in the light of an organic alteration.
In Ontopsicology psychosomatic is defined as any organic alteration, both structural and functional, with exclusively psychic causality: the symptomatology, that is, as the effect of a project that the patient himself creates through the action of the psyche.

Ontopsicology intends to try to demonstrate the continuity between psyche and soma, overcoming the enigma of the “jump” posed by Freud and remained unsolved for his successors.
The ontopsychological method making use of the three discoveries (In Sé ontico, semantic field, monitor of deflection), tries to investigate with the proper rationality of the scientific realities the realities of the man, included therefore all the variants of the psyche.

Ontopsicology has an interest in understanding and explaining how this psychic planning takes place: is it the unconscious of the subject himself who designs the disease, exactly as an architect does from whose hand the project of a building is born? Does the building exist as an invisible project in his mind, even if only later will it become visible to everyone? .

Ontopsicology recognizes that every symptomatology is the effect of a project that the patient himself realizes through the action of the psyche. The method arises from the observations of clinical practice and from the continuous experimentation in the direct confrontation with the problem of the symptom, in more than thirty years of practice, orienting itself to verify that the disease does not exist without a “program” that overlaps with that of nature .

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