Dr Mauro Croce - Italy


Psychologe, Psychotherapist, specialist in Clinical Criminology.

Mauro Croce has worked for more than twenty years in the public health care sector, focusing on the problem of drug addiction. Since more than fifteen years, he has been a member of the official Board on Drug Addiction of the Piemont Region, and since more than five years, he is in charge of an operative unite in the Piemont steering group for the elaboration of guidelines on drug addiction. At the moment, he is the Head Psycologue and Director of the Struttura Semplice Educazione Sanitaria of the ASL 14 of Omegna (VB). His fields of work include peer-education projects and prevention in schools. He is in charge of the projects on “VideoDependency” and “Towards responsible playing”. He teaches social psychology and community intervention at the S.U.P.S.I. (Vocational University School of Italian Switzerland) in Lugano. He has trained in family therapy at the Centro Milanese di Terapia della Famiglia and Hypnosis at the AMISI, still in Milano. He also followed classes in NLP in Los Angeles, S. Francisco and Milan and completed an individual personal psychotherapy in the dynamic style. He completed a specialisation in Education and Research in Organisations at the University of Milan and followed classes in the Analysis of Organisational Processes at the APS in Milan. He participated in classes on group work techniques with Ducceschi, P.G. Branca, etc.

Since several years, he is interested in network intervention and therapy and social psychology. He deepened his understanding of this field by studying in Switzerland (with Brodeur, Huguet, Besson), and in the USA (with Ross and Joan Speck in Philadelphia and with David Chavis in New York). He has published several papers on this subject and has been invited to teach seminars and courses at private and public organisations.

As a founding member and vice president of the Associazione Alea (an association for the study of gambling and risky behavior), he has been working since several years on the legal problems of the therapy of gamblers. He has published several contributions on this topic and was invited to national and international congresses, e.g. to the European Congress on Gambling in Warsaw (2000) and to the 5th European Conference on Gambling Studies e Policy Issues in Barcellona (2002). As a member of the Board of Directors of the monthly publication of Animazione Sociale, he was the director of the three-monthly Pratica Sociale and was member of the scientific board of “Dei delitti e delle pene” (A magazine in Social Sciences, History and Law focusing on criminal issues). At the moment, he is a member of the consultative comitee “Dal Fare al Dire” and a scientific redactor at Personalità/Dipendenze. He supervised the Italian editions of the following works:

• H. Becker, “Outsiders” ( Torino, 1990);
• Dickerson, “La dipendenza da gioco “ (Torino, 1993 );
• Le Breton “La passione del rischio” (Torino, 1995).

Together with Riccardo Zerbetto, he edited “Il gioco & l’azzardo. Il fenomeno, la clinica, i possibili interventi” (Milano, 2001) and with Andrea GnemmI, Peer Education. Adolescenti protagonisti nella prevenzione, Milano (2003). As a member of the working group for the elaboration of guidelines for the treatment of dependencies of the Piemont Region, he also participated in the Italian edition of Drug Misuse and Clinical Dependence - Guidelines of Clinical Management (by the Dept. of Health Scottish Office, Dept. of Health Welsh Office, Dept. of Health and Social Services Northern Ireland).


Individuals, social groups and communities: their independence in building the social capital

Most cases of preventative interventions focus on the following: safeguarding people from outer health hazards and risks and from forms of behaviour and substances or to reduce the effects that contact with these substances or incurring these forms of behaviour can have on people.

Thus, prevention entails a form of “negative” education: we educate, so that people avoid and reduce things. On the other hand, more and more studies show how important it is to have a “positive education” as well, teaching people the interdependence between things (on the levels of the individual, society and communities). This does not just consist in avoiding certain forms of destructive and antisocial conducts; rather, it promotes constructive social behaviour and the growth of social capital.

What is “social capital”? It belongs to human relations (therefore, it is not the property of this or that individual) and represents a public good in the sense that it is shared by several people and that it is the product of the time and energy that society has shaped, but in a less direct way than human or physical capital.