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09, 2000

40� Anniversary of  CIANS Foundation

Piestany (Slovak Republic)

G.F. Goldwurm: Proposals for future activities of CIANS


The future comes from the past Milan Horvath described CIANS�s history so well that he has outlined its future, too. Like in all Societies there are critical moments and moments of recovery, and this, I hope, can be a positive moment in CIANS. Remembering my personal history, in the mid Fifties in the Pharmacology Institute of Milan�s University, (directed by Prof. E. Trabucchi) I started studying psychotropic drugs with the Conditional Reflex Method. This brought me to study the works of Pavlov and of his main students such as Bikov, Asratian, Anochin, etc.  Thereon in the Psychiatry Institute of the University of Milan (directed by Prof. C.L. Cazzullo), when applying the Conditional Reflex Method to man, through poligraphic studies, I was pushed to know other Authors such as Moruzzi, Bovet, Gastaut, Fessard, Agathon, Sokolov, Russinov,  Rabinovich, Voronin, Simonov, Galambos, Hernandez Peon, Stern, Ban, Jasper, Corson, Astrup and many others. 

But I can say, Horsley W. Gantt and Joseph Wolpe gave me the experimental basis and stimulus for my future profession as a psychiatrist and a behavioural and cognitive psychotherapist. In the mid Sixties the meeting with Gantt took me into CIANS of which now I am honoured to be President. In 1968 we organized the first Congress of CIANS in Milan.

This allowed me to meet a lot of both experimental and clinical scholars both from the East and from the West, who were then, like today, oriented in considering the study of the healthy and the sick man in an holistic bio-psycho-social way. These works focus on the integrative function of Higher Nervous Activity, they consider the human organism as a whole consisting of interdipendent and integrated organs and functions, connected to its natural and social environment within their historical development. Since then, many things have happened in CIANS�s history and in my own. Now, what function and perspective can there be in the future of  our Collegium with an ancient heart?

First of all, I think we can outline the aims of CIANS today which put us in the picture in which we move

 �Its goal is to realize the purposes of CIANS, that are:

  • a) to promote the interdisciplinary scientific meeting in the field of cognitive and behavioural sciences, psychology, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, biomedical sciences and other disciplines concerned  with health and disease, emphasizing the role of integrative Higher Nervous Functions.

  • b) to foster collaborative studies, both experimental and clinical, concerned with the development and integration of biological, psychological an social sciences relevant to the treatment, rehabilitation and  prevention of disease and disability, and the Promotion of Health and Quality of Life.

  • c) to spread knowledge of the impact of cognition, behaviour, life style, the stressful life events and other psychosomatic factors on Health and Health Related Quality of Life.

  • d) to foster the education of social and health care professionals , emphasizing integrative approaches to Health Promotion�

These can be considered general objectives in the long term.  In our everyday activity we must try to be more realistic and practical, and try to obtain achievable objectives each time. Taking into consideration the great specialistic development of biomedical, psychological and social sciences and of many Scientific Societies representing these disciplines and developing their internel debate, CIANS function can be to supply a means and stimulus for an interdisciplinary debate, to promote methodologically rigorous meetings between experimental and clinical sciences and between the different disciplines. The final goal is the Promotion of Health and the individual and social Well-Being from different points of view from the molecular one to the one human behavior. CIANS must be an active interdisciplinary means stimulating confrontation of different views and the integration of the different branches of knowledge. It can be metaphorically intended as a bridge that makes communication easy, between the different Societies, between the National Groups, between Eastern and Western scholars, Northern and Southern scholars, and between International Associations. However after having outlined the role that CIANS proposes to have, each one of us could indicate some concrete activities that come to fill the space of interdisciplinary meeting.

CIANS can promote, support or simply divulge specific researches that suit its purposes. A focus on behavior modification has been suggested. Horvath�s work regarding the Work Place Health Promotion and his initiative in the field of organizers� education of Health Promotion in the working place is important. Kukleta highlights the importance of sanitary education and of teaching both in basic schools and in medical schools to spread the knowledge of Psychosomatics, Behavioral Medicine for Health Promotion and improvement of Quality of Life. To this purpose development and knowledge of behavioral modification techniques and cognitive sciences are important. The works on the effects of stressful events are very up-to-date (especially on the Post traumatic Stress Disorders, and Acute Stress Disorders). In these cases we see social-environmental aspects, behavioral and cognitive aspects coming together a long with biological modifications and very diverse pathological outcomes. The specialistic psychotherapeutic activity too (the cognitive behavioral one in particular) needs neurobiological and psychosocial knowledge. Not only when referred to Behavioral Medicine and Psychosomatics, to Health Psychology or to Psychotic and Disabled Rehabilitation, but also when intervening on neurotic patients. This is because here too the final goal is to promote bio-psycho-social Health and Quality of Life. There would be a very long list of problems and each working group could put forward its own  suggestions. Therefore meeting in CIANS could be our common denominator :

  • 1 Promote experimental and clinical researches with the aim of interdisciplinary integration

  • 2 To make communications easier between the groups

  • 3 To develop school and university teaching and specialist updating

  • 4 To favour knowledge application for Health Promotion

To tackle these objectives can be summerized as follows

� The means for realizing the goals of CIANS shall be through  organizing congresses, conferences, courses, workshops and other types of scientific meetings and activities, through cooperating with other scientific societies, groups or institutes, through supporting the scientific work of CIANS members, through promoting the circulation of the official journal of CIANS "Homeostasis", through publishing a News Letter and spreading CIANS news by Internet or other means�.

With the creation of the CIANS web site and with the issue of the News Letter we think communication between the groups ( all of which can have access to these commodities) can be made easier. Furthermore it would be interesting to create a Forum in these spaces to pursue a scientific dialogue among interested scholars, this could be useful for  preparing  different meeting. A short term goal achievable by CIANS would be to organize small mono or polythematic meetings and issue on the web site an official meeting calender as suggested by Fedor Jagla. This would facilitate comunication, co-ordination and collaboration between full members, affiliate members, national groups and international societies. It is my opinion, given the complexity of our works, that it is necessary to create specific properly coordinated work groups, whose indications can affect the whole Collegium. Last but not least is the economical problem which must be solved to accomplish these projects and to make our organisation efficient. 

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