View Event

Decision making and Accountability

LFA 7th International Working Conference

Friday 20th October 2017 - Sunday 22nd October 2017

Casa Emmaus, Maccagno (VA), Italy

Il Nodo Group

Primary Task
Info & Fees
Web Sites


Participants learn directly by sharing their life and forming a Temporary Learning Community for the length of the event, developing fundamental competences for all those who work in residential or semi-residential institutions, and more generally in mental health institutions.

Such competences are highly valuable for a wide range of professionals such as educators, nurses, assistants, administrators, managers, consultants, psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, neuropsychiatrists, social workers, carers, etc.

However, as has already been successfully experienced in past editions, professionals working in other areas, like profit and corporate worlds, are also most welcome to join the conference.

The main learning objective of the conference is to enhance the participants’ understanding of conscious and unconscious dynamics affecting Decision-Making processes both at an individual and at a group level, along with their organisational and institutional implications.

Individual members will have a chance to explore their own role and the way they operate within and on behalf of the whole system (the temporary learning organisation), reflecting on nonverbal and unconscious communication.

Consequently they will be encouraged to take responsibility for their contribution whilst taking part in the daily life and relationships within the community. Members of the conference and staff together will constitute a temporary LEARNING COMMUNITY.

A further learning objective of this event is to explore the various dimensions and connections between action, thinking and learning, so that the acquired insight can then be transferred and applied to different workplaces and practices.

The working conference will create an opportunity for a direct experience of the different elements that come into play when making decisions, and will stimulate reflection on what might constitute a democratic practice and an environmentally sustainable use of available resources in a healthy institution. All learning will be experiential and action-led, with no formal teaching or lectures.

All participants will be given the opportunity to share everyday life within the community, becoming involved with organising, sharing, cohabiting and reflecting individually and as a group. The focal themes will be decision-making processes and accountability as a way of thinking and as a practice.

top of document

Conference Aims and Primary Task

The primary task of this working conference is to offer an opportunity to explore how unconscious and nonverbal communication shapes Decision-Making processes and influences accountability and various other aspects of ‘working together’ in this temporary learning community.

top of document


“I really fell in love with LFA. It was like seeing many of my most significant experiences merge and integrate; I suddenly saw the disclosure of a wholly new and revitalizing perspective from which I could watch several areas of my professional and personal life. As a consequence, my mind keeps coming up with new contributions I might give to such areas”
(D. Catullo, Psychotherapist/CT Coordinator).

This experience represents a very effective method to learn about unconscious behaviour in groups and about one’s own role in the group’s behaviour.
(G. Bratko, a participant from the US).

The key-word of the LFA Working Conference is then «real»: that is, a temporary organization which is, indeed, provisional, but not abstract/fictitious: it is, instead, immediate and concrete: precisely, real.
(G. Foresti, 2015 Staff Member).

top of document


The idea of these Working Conferences originates in the early 2000s from the joint thinking and cooperation between Robert D. Hinshelwood and Enrico Pedriali. This type of conference is now an item in the Standard Quality Manual of Community of Communities.

The “Learning from action” Working Conference draws on the Group Relations model (www.ilnodo and is aimed at helping community staff and carers to explore and study the value of their daily activities as a form of communication.

top of document


This is a residential event and all participants are required to attend for the whole length of the conference.

It is highly recommended and particularly useful for participants to repeat their attendance to these conferences: those attending for at least the second time will form a Senior subgroup within the event and will be offered a personalised programme with specific learning opportunities. The programme for the senior participants will begin on Friday 20th October 2017 at 10.30 am.

In order to facilitate the learning process, it is essential that participants read through this brochure carefully and repeatedly.

Accommodation for participants is in shared rooms. Participants will be responsible for managing and tidying up their personal space. The basic needs of community life will be dealt with by forming groups aimed at the following tasks:

• catering;
• cleaning and tidying communal areas;
• organizing leisure activities;
• organizing other activities agreed upon during the course of the conference.

As in any other community or institution, participants will witness the emergence of interpersonal dynamics related to cohabiting and sharing, such as taking and delegating responsibility, working for others, making decisions, relating to authority and leadership, managing relationships between individuals and within groups, managing conflicts, using or wasting resources and much more.

In order to achieve these learning objectives the conference will employ a “Learning from Action” methodology and it will be organised around a programme with a number of daily events, such as: Opening and Closing Plenary, Decision-Making Event and Decision- making Groups, Activity Groups, Morning and Evening Community Meetings, Review and Application Groups and possible Emergency Meetings.

Participants will be given beforehand, a document with the description of each event and task, as well as the indications and rules of cohabitation.

The main language for the international working conference will be English.

top of document


Director of the working conference:
Giada Boldetti  
Consultant psychiatrist, freelancer, who worked in public structures until October 2016, since 2014 Director of NH Psychiatric Service 1 (ULSS 16) in Padua and since 2000 she has been in charge of of the rehabilitation service Linea Riabilitativa. Coordinated 4 structures 4 In-Patient Services (therapeutic communities and residential homes) and the development of residential rehabilitation pathways. Deals with training and supervision in therapeutic communities. Member of the staff of ALI 2010- 11-13-14-16-17.

Project Administrator:
Simona Masnata  
T.C. therapist, administrator of Il Biscione SCS Onlus, in charge of ECM Fenascop, organisational and management consultant, coach, member of GRC ALI staff from 2012 to 2015, partner of Il Nodo Group.

Associate Administrator:
Lili Valko  
Clinical psychologist training in group analysis. Is part of the therapeutic community Thalassa Ház in Budapest, Hungary for more than nine years in different roles, currently deputy manager.

Consultants will be chosen from the following:
John Diamond  
Director of the Mulberry Bush UK. An international expert in Mental Health Communities for children and adolescents, he is the author of several papers and books in this area. He is an associate of OPUS and a member of the International Journal of Therapeutic Communities. He has a passion for painting.

Gilad Ovadia  
Clinical and Educational Psychologist Supervisor, Organization consultant. Senior staff member and director (dim) of the Psychological Community Centre Hevel Eilot, Israel. Member of OFEK and of the The Tel Aviv Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis.

Giovanni Foresti  
Consultant Psychiatrist and Visiting Professor at the Scuola di Specializzazione in Psichiatria, University of Milan-Bicocca, Giovanni Foresti works and lives in Pavia. Ordinary member of the Italian Psychoanalytic
Society (SPI) and of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA), member of IL NODO Group, Turin, and an Associate of OPUS, London. He is also a supervisor and organisational consultant.

Scientific consultant (not attending the conference):
Robert Hinshelwood  
Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst, former director of the Cassel Hospital, London. Member of the British Psychoanalytic Council, fellow member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Professor at the Centre for
Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex, UK.

Co-Director and director of the activities:
Luca Mingarelli  
Psychologist, Social Entrepreneur, founder and director of therapeutic communities for adolescents, President of the charity “Rosa dei Venti Foundation”, President of Il Nodo Group and board member of “Mito
& Realtà”, OPUS member, staff member of GRC ALI since 2006. Founding member of the International Network democratic Therapeutic Communities. Author of the book “Difficult Adolescents”, Ed. Ananke. 2009.

top of document

Info and Fees

The residential International Working Conference will start on 20th October at 13,15 and will end on Sunday 22nd October at 15.15.

We recommend that participants arrive on time on Friday for registration and allocation of rooms between 11.45 and 12.30. Lunch on Friday is not included. A snack will be available.

The fee for the conference is € 540 +vat for enrolment by the 1st of October and € 690 +vat for enrolments from the 2nd of October.

A few bursaries up to €100 are available to participants
upon application, for which the deadline is 16th September.

Senior fee is € 560+VAT.

Discounts are available to participants from outside Italy and to affiliated organisations.

Maccagno is a coastal village on Lake Maggiore. Due to its location at the estuary of the River Giona, the village is divided in two sections: Maccagno Superiore, North of the river and bordering with Vedasca Valley, and Maccagno Inferiore, South of the river, nested within a natural, sheltered harbour along the coast.

Casa Emmaus is surrounded by a park and a private parking area. It is conveniently located right by the lake shore, within a quiet, green residential area. The structure is made up of 7 independent units. It has a central hub for community activities including a conference hall, a large dining room, a kitchen and a leisure room. Guests may arrive the evening before, paying an extra 25 Euros.

To register:
Agenzia Mosaico - Via San Secondo, 31 - 10128 Torino (Italia)
Tel. +39 011 5681238 / +39 011 5684423 - Fax + 39 011 505421
e-mail: -

Application Form:

Project administrator: Simona Masnata:
The registration form can be downloaded online from the site

top of document

Web Sites

Application form:
Appartamenti Emmaus:
Il Nodo Group: http://

top of document