Based on an international collaborative network between the Instituto Médico Schilkrut, the Millennium Institute for Research on Depression and Personality (MIDAP), and the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital Psychiatric University Hospitals of Basel (Switzerland); Dr. Nelson Valdés (Director of the Research Unit and Adjunct Researcher of MIDAP) and Dr. Carolina Altimir (Postdoctoral Researcher of MIDAP), traveled to Basel to train new members of the research group at the University Hospital of Basel, who are also evaluating the effectiveness of the AIT model (Adolescent Identity Treatment).
“AIT is a model developed for the treatment of adolescents diagnosed with identity diffusion, that is, those young people who have failed to adequately overcome the crisis during this stage of development, which allow to configure a personality as adults”, says Dr. Valdés, who is also Director of the Research Unit at the Instituto Médico Schilkrut, in which such treatment is currently applied.

This training was part of the actions done to implement a multicultural study titled “Mechanisms of change involved in the effectiveness of psychotherapy with different age groups with depression and personality disorders”, jointly developed by the research groups mentioned above, as part of the scientific collaboration networks of MIDAP. In Chile, this study is in charge of Dr. Valdés and Dr. Pamela Foelsch (Associate Researcher of MIDAP), who are responsible for implementing the study and training therapists, respectively. In Switzerland, the study is led by Dr. Klaus Schmeck and Dr. Susanne Schlueter – Mueller.
The importance of the model AIT, says Dr. Valdés, is based on the high probability to develop a borderline personality disorder in adulthood if they are not diagnosed and treated promptly during the adolescence. Therefore, to evaluate and validate the effectiveness of therapy, says Dr. Altimir “could help to raise awareness of preventive treatment of this disorder during this stage of development”.

Dr. Foelsch has already trained in the AIT model to clinical psychologists in Chile and Switzerland. However, it was necessary to train the Swiss Research Team in the strategies and systems that will be used to analyze therapeutic processes. “We went to train new members of this group in different coding and classification systems, in order to help them start the analysis of their own therapies, which will enable us to compare our findings in short term”, says Dr. Valdés.
During this work meeting, a presentation of the preliminar results collected in Chile was also carried out, generating feedback from the Swiss colleagues. “There is much interest from both parties to develop process research, particularly in the AIT model. So I see a great future for this collaborative network”, says Dr. Altimir.