Lact - Palo Alto School Representative

Palo Alto School Representative

Center for training, intervention and research

Strategic systemic approach and hypnosis

 01 48 07 40 40  | 

      Make an appointment

      Associated stakeholders

      Claude de Scorraille

      Psychologist, Trainer,
      Supervisor, President of LACT

      Psychologist, psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer, she applies the systemic and strategic brief therapy of the Palo Alto School and the CTS of Prof. Nardone for over 15 years. She is also trained in conversational hypnosis. She has one generalist consultation in Paris and via digital. She teaches the Clinic of the relationship within the International School Lact/MRI/University of Paris 8 and  at the IAE of Paris as part of the Masters in Business Administration. She is also a worker and supervisor at the CSAPA in Montreuil, a consultation center specializing in addictions. She is president and co-founder of LACT where she develops individual and collective interventions with problem solving methodology for individuals and organizations. She manages at LACT the consultation center specializing in obsessive and compulsive disorders (OCD) in partnership with theOCD-clinic ®

      Olivier Brosseau

      Therapist, Trainer,
      Supervisor, LACT Associate

      Trained in the systemic and strategic interactional approach of Palo Alto (IGB graduate, 2005-2011), he is also certified MBTI (2010) and Executive Profiler (2011) in psychometric approach, within the framework of professional orientation for adults. and teenagers.
      Specialized in the development of relational resources, he intervenes in the field of the regulation of psychosocial disorders in the form of individual consultation and collective intervention within companies and institutions (executives, managers, employees), in various contexts of difficult situations. : change management, conflict management, harassment, burnout or professional exhaustion, incivilities, post-traumatic shocks, prevention of stress and psychosocial risks, etc. He teaches the "Organizations and behaviors" module at the IAE in Paris.
      Co-author  "When Work Hurts" , "Strategies for Change, 16 Therapeutic Prescriptions" .

      Gregoire Vitry, PhD

      Systemic Therapist,
      Researcher, Director of LACT

      Doctor-researcher in Psychology and Sociology at the University of Paris Descartes and Paris 8, graduated from the school of Palo Alto and the IGB, he has been passionate about the world of relational complexity for many years.
      A close collaboration with Teresa Garcia, Giogio Nardone, Wendel Ray, Eric Bardot and the MRI allows him to promote research and training in systemic approach. He provides consultation and supervision to the CSAPA in Montreuil. Since 2016, he has been developing SYPRENE, a research and practice network that brings together professionals who apply the systemic approach, notably allowing them to improve their practice in close collaboration with the University world. He is in charge of the international LACT school and the International Webinar Brief Therapy congress. He is also a graduate of EM Lyon and has a master's degree in Applied Mathematics. Co-author  "When Work Hurts" , "Strategies for Change, 16 Therapeutic Prescriptions" .

      LACT Consultations

      We work with adults, couples, families, children, health professionals, companies, who encounter and live in personal or professional life with difficulties and situations of suffering. 

      Book an in-office consultation in Paris Montorgueuil or remotely by videoconference

      We receive our patients from Monday to Friday.
      To make an appointment you can call us on +33 (0) 1 48 07 40 40 
      or +33 (0) 6 76 55 22 60 or even schedule it directly online using the form above.


      Approach and quality of practice

      “Sessions as close as possible to your needs
      thanks to questionnaires to assess your well-being and your satisfaction. »

      Our approach, Brief Systemic and Strategic Therapy , helps the person to get out of what is causing them problems or suffering as quickly as possible. The systemic aspect provides a depathologizing and empowering vision of the problems by placing them back in their interactional logic. The strategic intervention, centered on the resolution of these problems, is based on the cessation of attempts at a solution, the focus on what is happening in the present and the use of prescriptions.

      Seven specificities of systemic and strategic brief therapy

      1. Efficient and effective
      2. Global and interactional
      3. Strategic and paradoxical
      4. Active and pragmatic
      5. problem solving
      6. Process the emotions
      7. The Ericksonian method

      This approach aims to treat patients with a wide range of mental disorders, usually under 10 sessions.

      We interview you to answer the following questions:

      • What is really the problem?
      • Who is involved? 
      • When does this happen?
      • Where does this happen?
      • How does it work / works?

      We are interested in two levels: 

      • The way your problem manifests itself in your current life context: your relationships and your environment.
      • The way you live this situation: your perceptions, your emotions and all your actions attempted to solve this problem.

      Thanks to this information, we model the dynamics of your problem in the form of an interactional diagram which allows us to adapt our intervention strategy.

      Despite your efforts, the problem persists? Your strategy is ineffective.  

      This is why we are interested in what keeps your problem in the present and we focus on finding solutions.

      Once we understand how the system (dys) works, we lead you to perform one or more different or even contrary to your habits tasks. 

      Our requests are sometimes surprising and contrary to common sense (but always simple to implement).

      We try to understand how you live this situation that makes you suffer.

      Our goal: to relieve your psychological suffering as quickly as possible by leading you to new experiences that allow you to face the present and the future in a more serene way.

      The goal ? Make the first changes appear, initially minimal but concrete, which allow you to create a virtuous circle towards change and deep emotional modifications in relation to your problem.

      It is an approach that is active, empowering and mobilizing.

      We use a problem solving approach which is a process of problem identification and alternative solution implementation aimed at creating lasting change. 

      The change is induced by the exchange, the questions, the reframings and the prescriptions of concrete actions.

      The results are emerging through new experiences to bring you to find peace.

      We reach out to your emotions, understand them and help you transform them according to your goals.

      It is a non-normative and depathologizing approach 

      All your symptoms, emotions and behaviors are the result of your adaptation to the context in which you live.

      You are neither sick nor doomed, you just need a new balance!

      To solve your problem, we use your language, your skills and your resources. We use therapeutic metaphors and suggestions that allow you to work with your more creative right brain to naturally change perceptions and beliefs that don't or no longer serve you.

      Our practice quality indicators

      1. Our practice development tool
      2. Our first results
      3. Your concerns, our priority

      We created SYPRENE®, a new international practice improvement research network based on the effectiveness and efficiency of strategic therapies. Thanks to a therapeutic work encoding system as well as your regular feedback, we evaluate our results according to 5 criteria:  

      1. The biopsychosocial axis : we observe your problem by including various perspectives (biological, psychological and social) as well as your active participation. We take into consideration your expectations, your beliefs, your behaviors and your life context in general.
      2. Circular process analysis : this allows us to understand the dynamics of your problem with you, others and/or the world by observing your solution attempts and your perception/reaction system.
      3. Efficiency : we aim for efficiency in a minimum of sessions and time.
      4. Problem solving : we measure the effectiveness of our therapeutic interventions using questionnaires and scales.
      5. Well-being : we regularly assess the evolution of your situation and your well-being.

      The first results of SYPRENE are promising. They suggest that strategic therapy helped patients achieve considerable improvement.

      The results indicate a rate of improvement in problem solving of 80% as assessed by practitioners and 90% as assessed by patients. 

       Additionally, patients reported a significant improvement in their psychosocial functioning with a large effect size.

      In 76% of cases, this improvement was assessed as achieving a reliable and clinically significant change. These results reflect the considerable improvement of the problematic situations of the patients and the reduction of the subjective suffering for the majority of the patients.  

       Encouraging results were obtained with an average of 5.4 sessions, in an average of 5.3 months, as well as an improvement in the therapeutic relationship and a significant reduction in the rate of abandonment of therapy.

      We constantly adjust our posture to meet your expectations as closely as possible and focus on your problem and your objectives. Our approach is specific to each problem: a patient, a problem, a different strategy.  

      For this, we send you evaluation questionnaires at each session concerning:

      (1) Your personal, interpersonal, social and overall well-being (ORS) enabling you to: 

      • Monitor the progress of your symptoms 
      • Explore the impact of therapy on your relationship
      • Observe the effect of the intervention strategy
      • Determine the next steps to achieve your treatment goals 

      (2) Your satisfaction with therapy and the alliance with your therapist (SRS) to: 

      • Make sure you felt heard, understood and respected
      • Check that we have worked on what you wanted
      • Guarantee the adjustment of the approach and our posture to your needs
      • Make sure you were satisfied with the session overall

      (3) A questionnaire to assess your general condition  (GHQ12) consisting of 12 questions is sent to you:

      • Before your first and fourth appointment
      • After your last appointment
      • 6 months later (even if you did only one session) 

      (4) We regularly assess your results using a problem solving scale from 0 to 10.

      (5) Six months after your first appointment, we send you a follow-up questionnaire (with or without an appointment) in order to:

      • Make sure things are better for you
      • Check the maintenance of your results over time



      Problems and Disorders Treated




      Book an in-office consultation at Paris Odéon or remotely by videoconference

      We receive our patients from Monday to Friday.
      To make an appointment you can call us at +33 (0) 1 48 07 40 40 
      or +33 (0) 6 03 24 81 65 or even schedule it directly online
      via the form above


      Our counselors specialize in the treatment of various psychological problems and disorders such as:


      Alcohol, drugs, games, internet, sex, tobacco, work

      Anxiety disorders

      Phobias, anxieties, panic attacks, stress


      Obsessions, c ompulsions,
      obsessive thoughts


      Hyperphagia, anorexia, bulimia, vomiting


      Dark thoughts, loss of motivation, procrastination


      Moral, physical, sexual, school and workplace harassment


      Suffering at work, exhaustion, leadership problem, burnout


      Relational crisis, conflicts, couple difficulties, sexual disorders


      Self-confidence problem, inability to say no, social anxiety


      Anxieties about change, existential crises, doubts





      on the suffering at work





      Book an in-office consultation at Paris Odéon or remotely by videoconference

      We receive our patients from Monday to Friday.
      To make an appointment you can call us on +33 (0) 1 48 07 40 40 
      or +33 (0) 6 03 24 81 65 or even make it directly online
      by clicking here:



      Our global and systemic vision of well-being at work makes us experience that it is the relationship between the individual (or a group of individuals) and their environment that allows them to understand their situation in conditions of well-being. . The quality of life at work, confidence, the feeling of happiness emerge when we manage to overcome each and together the challenges of work according to a satisfactory balance.

      In the event of suffering at work, we observe that it is these individual and collective regulations that are ineffective and become pathogenic. Within a framework of guaranteed confidentiality, we help the individuals or the teams concerned to mobilize their resources so that they can apprehend their situation again in conditions of well-being.

      You wish :

      • put in place intervention mechanisms that respond to individual or collective complaints

      • support one or more employees who are suffering from a situation for which no one can find a solution

      • be able to act effectively and quickly in a virtuous resolution of the situation of suffering

      • control and avoid costly side effects

      • act on complex situations such as:

        • Problems of suffering at work linked to a behavior of transformation 

        • Suffering at work (burn-out, conflicts, harassment)

        • Or crisis (strikes, threats of suicide attempts or events where there could be post-traumatic stress)

      We support you:

      • any manager : who can wonder about the strategy or the communication to adopt within the framework of an individual or collective device of accompaniment of suffering at work

      • any manager : who can wonder at a given moment about his way of interacting with one or more members of his team. The assistance will enable him to exercise a more strategic managerial influence, both from the point of view of the context and its challenges, and from the point of view of communication and the relational style to be implemented,

      • any employee : suffering (manifestation of worrying symptoms) or in relational conflict in his professional activity,

      • any staff representative or medico-social staff : who wishes to better understand an employee's complaint and feels the need to be guided on the best strategy and communication to implement. This support is particularly effective for complex situations and/or situations with exacerbated emotional components.

      Our device:

      • The systemic and strategic coaching interview focuses on the way in which the beneficiary approaches the professional situation in which he is experiencing difficulties in order to bring out a different perception of it. Because he may perceive his situation differently, the way he will be able to approach it will be different and in this way allow the rapid disappearance of the unwanted symptoms or the problem encountered.  

      • A network on French territory and abroad of around thirty certified operators 

      • The interview process includes:

        • Perception of the situation experienced by the coachee according to his point of view and in concrete, current, interactional and dynamic form: "who complains about what and does what to whom and with what consequences", distinctions are made between complaint, request and symptoms in order to better define the mechanism of the problem and its stakes.

        • Investigation of current resources and limits in the 4 dimensions: rational, emotional, behavioral and relational,

        • Highlighting the difficulties experienced by the employee and the challenges of change,

        • Consideration of the repercussions of the difficulties encountered at the personal, relational and contextual levels,

        • Contractualization of a clear, concrete, realistic and significant change objective in a three-dimensional perspective: strategy, communication and relational.

        • Prescription of targeted and specific actions to be implemented in situ.

      • Practical modalities of the interviews

        • from 1 to 10 interviews maximum per beneficiary,

        • the number and pace of interviews are set by the speaker in agreement with the coachee,

        • the beneficiaries are referred to LACT through management and/or Human Resources and/or occupational medicine.

        • Interventions can be ordered on a case-by-case basis or as part of a Lact Assistance scheme. This device provides a solution to deal with emergencies while giving flexibility to management, prescribers and stakeholders.   

      Other services
      to improve and develop the Quality of Life at Work

      Manage the QVT approach and the PSR prevention system


      Intervene on the suffering at work

      psychological action solution


      For more information, contact us on 01 48 07 40 40 or by email:





      Brief and effective treatment of OCD
      and anxiety disorders

      The OCD and Anxiety Disorders Clinic®
      is a partner of the European network OCD Clinic ®

      It is now established in Ireland, Malta, Italy and France

      The OCD Clinic® is Ireland's only clinic dedicated entirely to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in all its forms. The main goal of our clinic is to provide the most effective, brief and efficient treatment for all forms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

      From hand washing to counting, obsessive fixations to hair pulling, binge eating or vomiting and self-harm, our unique treatment is developed and advanced through our ongoing scientific research.

      Our clinical research process involves the coordinated and continuous feedback from each of our clinics in Ireland, Italy, Malta and France, in which we continually seek to perfect our treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

      We help our patients overcome their obsessive compulsive disorder. Our goal is to provide you with the understanding and keys necessary to resolve this disorder.

      At the Clinique des TOC®, it is possible to permanently overcome obsessive compulsive disorder. With our effective professional treatment and the support of family and friends when needed, it is possible to eradicate all traces of OCD in a person's life.


      Using over 25 years of clinical research and with thousands of patients successfully treated using our intervention model known as Brief Strategic Therapy®, we have proven (Gibson 2014, 2016, 2019a, 2019b, 2019c, Nardone 2013, Portelli, 2007) that while human problems can be persistent, complicated, and painful, we don't always need some long, drawn-out form of intervention to fix the problem and alleviate the suffering.

      Our model has proven to be the most effective and efficient form of treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder currently available anywhere (Ray & Nardone 2007).

      Whether you suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder or are a family member, friend, or healthcare professional, this site aims to provide you with information about the signs, symptoms, and effective treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder.


      Understanding OCD


      Understanding OCD


      Types of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

      OCD can be diagnosed when the obsessions and compulsions:

      • consume too much time in people's lives
      • Cause significant distress and anguish and interfere with daily functioning at home, school, or work, including social activities, family life, and relationships

      OCD signs and symptoms

      • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
      • pure obsession 
      • Perinatal / postnatal OCD
      • TOC for children and adolescents
      • Body dysmorphic disorder (dysmorphophobia)
      • Hypochondria / Pathophobia
      • Social anxiety and phobia
      • Panic disorder
      • Phobias
      • Trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder)
      • Vomiting
      • Self-harm / cut, scratch, burn

       This is not an exhaustive list and obsessions and compulsions can take many forms.

      Types of compulsions

      • Count
      • Check
      • Pray
      • Order objects in a specific way
      • Hair pulling - Trichotillomania
      • Self-harm, cut, scratch, burn, etc.,
      • accumulate, store
      • Repeat
      • mental rituals
      • wash and clean
      • Continuous health checks

      Types of obsessions

      • Irrational thoughts of harming others, especially loved ones, as well as fear of being a pedophile or murderer, etc. (also very common after having a baby)
      • Fear of contamination
      • accumulate, store
      • Gender and sexual orientation
      • Religious ideas, thoughts
      • Symmetry and accuracy
      • Health and disease

      Eating disorders that are forms of OCD

      • Binge eating / binge eating
      • Bulimia
      • Vomiting syndrome
      • Self-harm with or without binge eating

      body dysmorphophobia

      Also known as body dysmorphic disorder, can also be referred to as dreaded ugliness disorder. It is an obsessive disorder in which a person is preoccupied with a perceived flaw in their physical appearance and usually does a number of things like:

      • Check how they look
      • Be reassured about their appearance
      • Triturate/scrape his skin to make it smooth or just right
      • Repeated care of hair, eyebrows or makeup to "feel" just right
      • Avoid mirrors to avoid being triggered by their reflection

      How many people are affected?

      Many studies report that between 1 and 5% of the general population have OCD and it is equal for men and women, but we believe it is closer to 15% to 21% (Nardone and Portelli , 2015, Gibson 2016, JS Abramowitz, Taylor, & McKay, 2009; Foa, 2010; Karno, Golding, Sorenson, & Burnam, 1988), although the disorder is more commonly seen in boys than girls.

      Other psychological disorders associated with OCD include major depression (Doron, Moulding, Kyrios, & Nedeljkovic, 2008), as well as additional phobias, panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorders, and severe work, social, and family consequences.

      When Common Sense Goes Wrong

      “The human mind is so flexible that we can drive ourselves crazy and by its own reason. - G. Lichtenberg.

      The logic behind obsessive compulsive disorder is that something that is rationally okay to do can become irrational and unhealthy just by the number of times it is ritually repeated. This repetition eventually becomes infuriating and it is at this point that a person can go from logical to seemingly illogical.

      It might be healthy to be careful if you wash after using the toilet, but it's pointless to wash for hours afterwards due to an irrepressible doubt that you've touched something dirty and then after you being washed for a long time, you feel that you have not washed enough and therefore have to wash again. Or, before going to bed, it is certainly healthy to check the doors, faucets, gas, etc., but it is certainly absurd to wake up several times during the night and recheck everything. It may be healthy to think that you'll do well on a test, but it becomes insane when you start ritualizing specific behaviors that should be repeated over and over for reassurance.

      Apparently illogical behavior

      OCD behavior can be defined as an overwhelming compulsion to perform behaviors or thoughts in a repetitive, ritualized way in an attempt to reduce anxiety or fear, or achieve a specific feeling of pleasure. People with this serious problem will require effective clinical treatment.

      The Mental Trap of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

      If we analyze the mental prison represented by the obsessive compulsive disorder, we have observed that the attempt to seek comfort to manage a fear or the irrepressible tendency to feel a specific sensation, structures a very rigid and persistent problem.

      Types of rituals in OCD

       Rituals made to fix something

      Example :

      • Obsession: to be contaminated
      • Compulsion: excessive cleaning
      Rituals made to prevent something

       Example : 

      • Obsession: to be wrong, to forget
      • Compulsion: Excessive Checking
      Rituals that ensure everything goes well

      Example : 

      • Obsession: misfortune, sacrilege
      • Compulsion: conjuring rituals


      based on pleasure
      Rituals made to achieve a specific sensation

      Example :

      • Obsession: symmetry, exactness
      • Compulsion: arrangement, order

      5 positions from which OCD develops:

      1 - A doubt

      It begins with a doubt that triggers a series of protective rituals that repair or prevent the problem of fear.
      Example: I wore a green shirt to this test so I have to wear it again to pass again. Through this process, the irrational becomes rational through the irrational process. Evidence is also created for belief.

      2 - A rigid belief, ideology, morality or superstition

      For example, I should say a prayer for being so mean to that person. Take a shower to relieve myself of sexual urges. I have to make prayers every day to receive God's blessing (propitiatory). I have to read the horoscope before I meet this guy, etc. Vomiting or bulimia is also created in this process.

      3 - When something rational becomes irrational

      This process is created when someone thinks a lot to try to foresee all the consequences of a decision. This process, although based on a reality, becomes totally irrational when used to the maximum. Instead of helping, it creates an inability to act.

      4 - A preventive phobia based on health

      This is usually triggered to prevent something from happening, such as illness or infection to others, family, or us. In this process, the preventive process turns into a real phobia.

      5 - Trauma

      In this case, we see people doing things to calm down from trauma. It is very important to let them through the trauma so that the compulsions can be completely eliminated.

      Gold Standard International Clinical Treatment

      One of the reasons we have been so successful in developing a Gold Standard treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder is because of our study not only of the logic and mental processes that take place in obsessive compulsive disorder, but because that we looked at the logic and structure and purpose of each of the different types of rituals that a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder may perform.

      The rituals themselves have a very specific structure and basically have their own motivation. For example, some rituals we observed are performed to fix something that has already happened in the past (reparative ritual), others are performed to prevent something from happening in the future, such as washing hands or the prevention of contamination (preventive rituals) others can be done to make sure everything goes well, the rituals that are performed by football players, artists and students, etc., we call them ( propitiatory rituals). Although this may seem insignificant to non-specialists in our field, it is of the utmost importance to us, because if we can identify the underlying logic of the ritual, we can make our work much more scientific and much more focused. .

      Rituals and sensations

       Rituals can be performed to generate a specific feeling of pleasure or to reduce a feeling such as fear or pain and again this is extremely important information for the clinician to use as it will help them build a brief and effective highly targeted intervention.

      Depending on the structure of the ritual, an essential and unique aspect of the BST is to have designed several counter-rituals specifically prescribed to adapt to the different typologies of compulsive symptomatology (Gibson and Portelli, 2015,2014; Nardone and Portelli 2005 , 2013, 2014).


      Our treatment




      Our unique treatment at Clinique des TOC®

      Brief strategic therapy (BST) has shown the most effective results in the treatment of most forms of psychological suffering (Gibson et al., 2013, 2014 and Nardone, 1995). We have now formulated specific treatment protocols centered on our unique clinical dialogue and therapeutic interventions which have been created by adopting a scientific, empirical and experimental method to validate our treatment and to verify the results.

      The Advanced Model of Brief Strategic Therapy: Principles and Techniques

      The strategic approach evolved from sciences such as the theory of communication developed by Gregory Bateson, from the constructivist theory of Dr. Heinz Von Foerster, Dr. Ernst Von Glasferld and from the scientific developments of the cybernetic theory of Von Neumann and Brad Keeney and original work from the Mental Research Institute, Palo Alto, California over 60 years ago.

      More recently, Professor Giorgio Nardone led the evolution of what was known as the Palo Alto School, also known as the Mental Research Institute - MRI, which was responsible for the creation of brief therapy. Professor Giorgio Nardone, in collaboration with Dr. Paul Watzlawick of Stanford's Department of MRI and Psychiatry, developed an advanced form of therapeutic technology known today as Brief Strategic Therapy (BST).

      Our processing model is explained in our book Winning Without Fighting: The Handbook of Effective Solutions to Social, Emotional and Behavioral Problems available on Amazon and from Malta University Press. This book was written by the directors of the OCD Clinic® International Dr. Claudette Portelli and Dr. Matteo Papantuono and Dr. Padraic Gibson. The model is also explained in the seminal text The Art of Change (Nardone and Watzlawick, 1990).

      Solve problems

      A fundamental concept of Advanced Brief Strategic Therapy is that when a problem or difficulty arises in life, people tend to try to deal with it by applying a specific solution that may have worked in the past. These attempts can either change the problem or maintain and exacerbate it.

      We believe that psychological problems are the result of a dysfunctional or unnecessary way of perceiving and responding to a situation or problem. This pointless attempt to solve a problem, when repeated over time and in different places, creates what we call a perceptual-reactive system (Gibson et al. 2014, 2016; Nardone and Portelli, 2005). The perceptual-reactive system can be defined as 'repeated ways in which an individual perceives and consequently reacts to his own reality in his relationship with himself, with others and with the world' (p. 55) Portelli, Papantuono and Gibson).

      Rigorous and scientific treatment

      Our unique treatment model at the OCD Clinic ® allows specific interventions to be planned and applied precisely tailored to multiple problems in different settings (Nardone, Verbitz, & Milanese, 1999).

      What our clinical interventions have in common is the use of non-ordinary logic (i.e. we avoid simplistic common sense solutions that don't work). Our clinical interventions are designed and selected according to the difficulty of the patient and the objective he seeks to achieve (Nardone and Watzlawick, 2005). Thus, therapy becomes a process of strategic problem solving where, like in a game of chess, experienced players always keep in mind what strategy will lead to success as they respond to the changing game.

      In other words, the potential reaction to each intervention we use is predictable and technical and we only modify the strategy based on its observed effects. So if it works we continue, if not we modify the strategy until the patient is free of the problem or has achieved their goal. In doing so, we adopt a process of continuous self-correction based solely on positive patient outcomes.

      Treatment of OCD: Being illogical to be more logical

      At Clinique des TOC®, we have embraced the use of what we call non-ordinary logic (Portelli, Gibson, & Papantuono, 2014: Nardone & Balbi 2014). The logic of any problem, in simple terms, is how a patient comes to a conclusion or decides to act and has been studied for centuries in science, but never until now in psychology and psychotherapy.

      In the case of a patient suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, using reason and rational logic or common sense, convincing him to change will not help him to stop his pathological rituals and will not necessarily lead to any result at all. , this can even lead to make matters worse. However, treatment based on the same non-ordinary logic as the OCD problem will lead to a quick and successful resolution of the problem.

      OCD Clinic® Treatment and Current Psychological Treatments for OCD

      At OCD Clinic®, we use a scientific, evidence-based treatment model called Brief Strategic Therapy®, which through rigorous research and practice has been successful in 88% of cases treated with 10-15 sessions of therapy. Our clinical team at the OCD Clinic ® have published their own research on OCD outcomes in the renowned British Medical Journal available online.

      What is the difference between treatment at Clinique du TOC ® and cognitive behavioral therapy?

      The most widely used and studied alternative treatment model for obsessive-compulsive disorder is the cognitive-behavioral approach, which has been shown to be effective and can be between 30% and 50% successful in reducing symptoms of OCD. However, according to one of its creators, many patients will continue to live with significant impairment most of their lives (Abramowitz 1998).

      CBT treatment also typically involves exposure and ritual prevention which is basically finding ways to get the patient to resist their rituals while exposed to feared situations. It is often for this reason that so many patients abandon treatment, fail or relapse. This treatment often forces the patient to undergo very stressful situations and requires long therapy sessions with the intensive involvement of the therapist (Boncheck, 2009).

      A short story

      Obsessive-compulsive disorder is best represented by a story told by one of our pioneers, Professor Paul Watzlawick: "One day a psychiatrist is in the hospital and comes across a patient who claps his hands every ten seconds. Asked about the reason for this strange behavior, he explains: "I do it to scare the elephants".

      When told there were no elephants in the hospital, the man responded by saying, “Well, there you go. See?' it works”, although this seems absurd to those unfamiliar with non-ordinary logic, at The OCD Clinic® we understand and are very familiar with the rigid logic that underlies such a problem and our study of this logic has allowed us to create an effective and efficient treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder.


      Compulsive eating disorders


      With an 83% success rate in treating eating disorders (Ray et al; 2007), our Brief Strategic Therapy model now represents a “Copernican Revolution” in the field of psychological treatment.

      Eating Disorders and OCD

      Although we often view eating disorders as very different from OCD, we have come to realize that the eating disorders described here regularly evolve from an underlying obsessive-compulsive perception.

      Types of eating disorders treated at Clinique des TOC®:

      • Bulimia
      • Binge eating / Overeating
      • Vomiting syndrome
      • self harm
      • Body dysmorphic disorder / Dysmorphophobia

      A brief and effective treatment

      We have demonstrated through research and practice that although human problems and suffering can be extremely persistent, complicated and painful, they do not necessarily require an equally long and complicated solution.

      Through 25 years of clinical research and practice, we now have at our disposal an array of highly refined and effective scientific protocols for the treatment of many of the most debilitating problems your patients will ever experience.

      Through real-world “practice-based evidence”, we have made our clinical interventions specific:

      1. Effective
      2. Efficient
      3. Repeatable
      4. Predictive
      5. Teachable
      6. Inexpensive to apply

      Our understanding of eating disorders

      Eating disorders

      Eating disorders (ED) are on the rise and represent a serious problem with significant and potentially life-threatening medical and psychological effects.

      Anorexia nervosa, in particular, has the highest mortality rate of any psychological disorder. The risk of premature death is 6 to 12 times higher in women with an eating disorder than in the general population, taking age into account.

      Early recognition and rapid intervention is ideal for solving this problem. Outpatient treatment when possible and a strong relationship between professionals, patients and their family members are essential for a good outcome. At OCD Clinic®, we strive to provide clinical interventions that will create a truly collaborative treatment experience for patients and practitioners.

      A Brief Strategic Explanation of Eating Disorders

      Treatment at our clinics, we have an 83% success rate in treating these eating disorders. Our treatment usually takes place over several months and patients are normally seen fortnightly. Treatment may involve the individual or their family members if necessary.


      A strategic description: Literally meaning "the hunger of an ox", bulimia is characterized by the consumption of large quantities of food, resulting in an exponential increase in body weight. Bulimic patients are generally extremely sensitive people and are often emotionally fragile. They often have difficulty controlling their reactions to many situations.

      These patients often overeat and really benefit from it. They usually live in constant fear of losing control. They are not abstinent patients like anorexics but avoid cravings. Food starts out as a pleasant experience and can become a refuge at times when life seems unmanageable. Binge eating becomes a way to deal with this feeling.

      Our unique treatment: 

      Our treatment is extremely effective in the rapid treatment of bulimia. No other model distinguishes the different types of bulimia. Our research revealed 3 different types and this has real implications for the types of scientific intervention used with the distinct typologies.

      3 types of current:
      • Those who eat endlessly without any real binge
      • Those who alternate periods of binge eating with periods of successful dieting resulting in weight loss and subsequent weight gain
      • Those who use food as compensation for deficiencies or as protection against relationships that they do not feel able to bear.

      By understanding the different types of this disorder, he has helped us create even more specific and targeted treatments.

      binge eating

      A strategic description: Known as binge eating disorder, described in the clinical literature as a disorder characterized by binge eating without vomiting, in our view it differs from bulimia due to the alternation of long periods of fasting with periods of uncontrolled binge eating.

      The main attempt at a solution by patients is to fast, in fact this solution only exists because of their fear of their binging and it is paradoxically these long periods of fasting that lead to long phases of binging. In some cases, they may seek cosmetic surgery even though they are a few pounds overweight, which often lays the groundwork for body dysmorphic disorder.


      This disorder does not exist as a well-defined syndrome in current literature, but is considered a symptom that may be present with anorexia or bulimia. However, with thousands of cases treated, we have found that this behavior is distinct and completely different from other disorders.

      Whether vomiting for more control over their weight or because of the guilt resulting from binging, these patients reach a certain point at which they do so for pleasure. Eating to vomit becomes a real ritual based on pleasure.

      We have a number of different types and this will affect our treatment strategy.

      3 types of current:

      • Patients who take pleasure in their ritual and who do not want to do without it
      • Those who enjoy it and want to stop but cannot
      • Others who throw up and don't yet realize it's a real problem (usually in the younger category)

      self harm

      Self-harm is common and regularly occurs alongside many eating disorders. This problem can be pleasure-based or pain-based. We strive to effectively address self-harm, independently or in conjunction with the treatment of eating disorders.

      Body dysmorphic disorder

      Body Dysmorphophobia also known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) could also be called dreaded “ugliness” disorder. It is an obsessive disorder in which a person is preoccupied with a perceived flaw in their physical appearance and usually does a number of things like:

      • Check how they look
      • Be reassured about their appearance
      • Choose your skin to make it smooth or fair
      • Repeated grooming of hair, eyebrows or makeup to 'feel' just right
      • Avoid mirrors to avoid being triggered by their reflection

      success is the key

      Over the past 25 years, our model for treating these forms of eating disorders has evolved and become even more effective and efficient. With over 30 books written and published in over 10 languages, this model now represents a truly unique and new form of treatment for psychological problems.

      With an 83% success rate in treating eating disorders (Gibson and Casltenuovo; 2014; Ray and Nardone 2007).

      A useful set of questions for GPs is the SCOFF questionnaire:

      1 - Have you ever made yourself vomit because you didn't feel well "with a full stomach"?
      2 - Are you worried that you have lost control of how much you eat?
      3 - Have you recently lost more than 6 kilos in less than three months?
      4 - Do you think you are too fat while others consider you too thin?
      5 - Would you say that food is something that occupies a dominant place in your life?

      One point for each yes, score 2 or more then high probability index (Morgan Reid Lacey: British Medical Journal 1999).


      About the OCD Clinic®


      Clinique des TOCs® was co-founded by Dr. Padraic Gibson, Dr. Claudette Portelli and Dr. Matteo Papantuono.

      It is now established in 4 countries: in Ireland directed by Dr. Gibson, in Malta, under the direction of Dr. Portelli, in Italy, under the direction of Dr. Papantuono and recently in France, within LACT. OCD Clinic® centers are international centers of excellence in the treatment and clinical research of obsessive compulsive disorder.

      Dr. Padraic Gibson

      Director of the OCD Clinic®, consultant psychotherapist

      Dr. Padraic Gibson is a consultant psychotherapist. He is currently the director of the TOCs ® in Ireland in Dublin. He is also a clinical researcher, collaborator and trainer at the Centro Terapia Strategica in Arezzo (Italy) and a certified clinical supervisor in systemic psychotherapy.

      Dr. Claudette Portelli

      Clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and trainer

       Dr. Portelli is a lecturer at the University of Malta and its various affiliated centers in Europe, USA, Mexico and Colombia. She is also a collaborator and researcher in action at the Centro di Terapia Strategica (Arezzo, Italy). She is the director of the OCD Clinic ® in Malta.

      Dr. Matteo Papantuono

      Psychologist, psychotherapist and trainer

      Matteo Papantuono has more than fifteen years of teaching experience in many Italian schools. He is the director of the OCD Clinic in Ancona, Italy.


      Associated stakeholders



      The key indicators of our approach

      Dr. Alexandrina Beau
      Psychiatrist - Ph.D. and SYPRENE Research Partner

      After medical studies (Faculty of Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Romania) and specialization in psychiatry (Faculty of Medicine, Nancy, Lorraine), trained in hypnotherapy (IFH, Paris) and family therapy (Association RESCIF, Strasbourg ), it is enriched by the strategic systemic approach of Palo Alto (IGB, Liège, Paris). She works as a hospital practitioner, responsible for a family therapy unit, as well as in private practice in Nancy.  

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