Vincenzo Di Nicola

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Vincenzo Di Nicola is a Canadian psychologist, psychiatrist, and family therapist.

Di Nicola is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal[1] and the recipient of the Camille Laurin Prize from the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec.[2] He was made a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.[3]

Di Nicola is the author of two books, A Stranger in the Family: Culture, Families, and Therapy, integrating family therapy and cultural psychiatry to create cultural family therapy, and Letters to a Young Therapist: Relational Practices for the Coming Community, an overview of principles of relational psychology and therapy.


Di Nicola obtained a BA in psychology and a diploma in psychiatry from McGill University and an MD from McMaster University.[4][5]


Di Nicola's career has shown several foci, examining children, families and culture in various combinations.[6][7][8][9] His approach to working with families across cultures brought together a new synthesis of family therapy and transcultural psychiatry.[6][7] Critical reviews were positive and encouraging by leaders in family therapy, such as Mara Selvini Palazzoli[citation needed] and Celia Jaes Falicov.[10] When his work was collected into his model of cultural family therapy in A Stranger in the Family,[8] it was received as an important contribution to working with immigrant families.[11][12][13]

Another integration was in bringing together child psychiatry with transcultural research to call for the new field of transcultural child psychiatry.[9] He was the plenary speaker at a conference on transcultural issues in child psychiatry, at McGill University a pioneering research center in transcultural psychiatry, the proceedings of which were published (Sayegh, et al., 1992).[14]

His work on eating disorders called for a new historical and cultural view of what he called "anorexia multiforme," a form of suffering that is a cultural chameleon, expressing itself differently in different times, cultures and places.[15][16])[17]

Di Nicola's work also focuses on the interface between philosophy and psychiatry, addressing philosophical issues ranging from the rights of children, to employing Giorgio Agamben's "state of exception" in definitions of human being and in trauma studies:

  • "Review-essay: On the rights and philosophy of children"[18]
  • "States of exception, states of dissociation: Cyranoids, zombies and liminal people - An essay on the threshold between the human and the inhuman"[19]
  • "Where the exception becomes the norm — At the juncture of culture, trauma and psychiatry: Applying Agamben’s “state of exception” to trauma studies and cultural competence"[20]


  • The Myth of Atlas: Families and the Therapeutic Story (Editor and translator; Routledge, 1989), ISBN 0876305494
  • Families That Abuse (Foreword; W.W. Norton, 1992), ISBN 0393701220
  • A Stranger in the Family: Culture, Families, and Therapy (W.W. Norton, 1997), ISBN 0393702286
  • Letters to a Young Therapist: Relational Practices for the Coming Community (Atropos, 2011), ISBN 0983173451
  • The Unsecured Present (Atropos, 2012), ISBN 978-0-9853042-7-0


  1. ^ "Faculte de Medicine" (PDF) (in French). University of Montreal. 2011–2012. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  2. ^ "AMPQ Annual Prizes". Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec. June 4, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  3. ^ "55th convocation of distinguished fellows" (PDF). The American Psychiatric Association. May 16, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  4. ^ "Alumnotes Spring/Summer2011". McGill University, McGill News, Alumni magazine. Spring–Summer 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  5. ^ "Mactimes/Spring2011". McMaster University. Spring 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  6. ^ a b DiNicola, V. F. (1985). "Family Therapy and Transcultural Psychiatry: An Emerging Synthesis Part I: The Conceptual Basis". Transcultural Psychiatry. 22 (2): 81. doi:10.1177/136346158502200201.
  7. ^ a b Colarieti, ML; Toscano, G; Greco Jr, G (2002). "Soil-catalyzed polymerization of phenolics in polluted waters". Water Research. 36 (12): 3015–22. doi:10.1016/s0043-1354(02)00002-7. PMID 12171399.
  8. ^ a b DiNicola, Vincenzo F (1997). A stranger in the family: culture, families and therapy. New York ; London: W.W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-39370-228-6.
  9. ^ a b Okpaku, Sanuel O., ed. (1998). Clinical Methods in Transcultural Psychiatry. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology. 8. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. pp. 365–390. doi:10.1037/1099-9809.8.3.298. ISBN 978-0-88048-710-8.
  10. ^ Celia Jaes Falicov (Jun 1, 1986). "Comments on DI NICOLA'S Family Therapy and Transcultural Psychiatry: Parts 1 and 2 (TPRR, XXII, Nos. 2 and 3, pp. 81-113 and 151-180)". Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review. 23 (2): 5. Retrieved 2013-02-23 – via DeepDyve.
  11. ^ Comas-Díaz, Lillian (July 1999). "A Stranger in The Family: Culture, Families, and Therapy". Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease. 187 (7): 453–454. doi:10.1097/00005053-199907000-00016. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
  12. ^ Krause, Inga-Britt (Dec 1, 1998). "Book Reviews : A STRANGER IN THE FAMILY. CULTURE, FAMILIES AND THERAPY Vincenzo DiNicola: W.W. Norton & Co. New York, 1997. Pp. 380, Hb. Bibl; index 33.00. ISBN 0-393-70228-6". International Journal of Social Psychiatry. 44 (4): 312. doi:10.1177/002076409804400409. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
  13. ^ Sexton, Leo (1999). "REVIEWS: Independent comment on audio-visual and print materials" (PDF). Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy. 20 (3): 174. Archived from the original on 2012-03-18. Retrieved 2012-04-09.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  14. ^ Sayegh L, Migenault P, Grizenko N, eds. (1992). Transcultural Issues in Child Psychiatry. Montreal, QC: Édition Douglas. ISBN 978-2-98009-632-7. OCLC 497660765.
  15. ^ DiNicola, V. F. (1990). "Anorexia Multiforme: Self-starvation in Historical and Cultural Context Part I: Self-starvation as a Historical Chameleon1". Transcultural Psychiatry. 27 (3): 165. doi:10.1177/136346159002700301.
  16. ^ DiNicola, V. F. (1990). "Anorexia Multiforme: Self-Starvation in Historical and Cultural Context: Part II: Anorexia Nervosa as a Culture-Reactive Syndrome1". Transcultural Psychiatry. 27 (4): 245. doi:10.1177/136346159002700401.
  17. ^ Halmi, Katherine A (1992). Psychobiology and Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. ISBN 9780880485067.
  18. ^ Vincenzo Di Nicola (1995). "Review-essay: On the rights and philosophy of children". Transcultural Psychiatry. 32 (2): 157–165. doi:10.1177/136346159503200203.
  19. ^ Vincenzo Di Nicola (May 2010). "States of exception, states of dissociation: Cyranoids, zombies and liminal people - An essay on the threshold between the human and the inhuman" (PDF). Journal of the International Association of Transdisciplinary Psychology. 2 (1): 1–14. Archived from the original on 2011-07-28.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  20. ^ [1][dead link]