Gli e-poster del Congresso Europeo di Psichiatria 2016 – 4/4

Clinical neuroscience and psychosocial rehabilitation

Vaccaro A.(Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist), Zoppellaro C. (Psychologist, Psychotherapist)

There is a symbolic world with different meanings, the social relationships and, of course, a physical world. Neuroscience considers brain as a biological machine. Social science studies the human relationships. Accordingly psychiatry swings between these two poles, in a dichotomous mode.

The social behavior is closely linked to complex brain circuits through an infinitely large number of neural connections. If the physical brain becomes damaged, this may inevitably affect the social behavior as well as the social experiences can modify the cerebral structure in a mutual and constant conditioning. It follows a mutual shaping of which is difficult to define whether prevail material parameters or abstract ones. We can consider the human species as a formidable combination of matter and abstraction (“embodied subject” according to Mario Maj). In an objective sense we are similar to a hardware made of brain but expressing a software that can reshape the hardware itself.
The real-life functioning of individuals with schizophrenia shows deficits in several daily-life abilities, in social relationships and in the work activities. According to literature and clinical practice, basic criteria are: bio-psycho-social vulnerability, stressful life events, coping strategies as well as social and relational competence

According to the results above, we can affirm the importance to adopt integrated and personalized therapeutic-rehabilitative program for the treatment of schizophrenia and other serious mental disorders.

Neurocognitive activity shows a straight correlation, albeit indirect, with the real-life functioning. Positive symptoms, negative symptoms and disorganized behavior can considerably influence the real-life functioning. While social and relational competence, the general functioning and resilience are protective factors that can positively condition real-life functioning. Moreover, welfare services (i.e. assisted job placement; disability subsidies; etc.) and a good family and social network can considerably influence the results.


  • Vaccaro A. G., (2011), Libertà, autonomia. Indipendenza. Indicazioni e prassi per gli operatori della riabilitazione psicosociale. Franco Angeli, Milano.
  • Liberman R.P., (a cura di), (1997), La riabilitazione psichiatrica. Raffaello Cortina, Milano.

Dr. Ascanio G. Vaccaro