CONFIAM: history

In the early nineties there was a marked increase in the number of music therapy associations in Italy, established due to both the propagation of clinical practice and the creation of new training centres in addition to the historic school in Assisi.

CONFIAM was established in Naples in 1994, with the objective of confederating the largest possible number of associations throughout the country to engage, exchange ideas and create a shared project with regards to:

  • the basic criteria for music therapy training;
  • the definition of a professional profile and a code of ethics;
  • the development of research;
  • the organization of events to promote the growth of music therapy in Italy;
  • the creation of printed and digital publications to spread information.

On the issues of training, research and a professional profile, in addition to internal and nationwide debate, from its earliest days, CONFIAM actively sought discussion and dialogue with major international organizations such as the World Federation of Music Therapy (in 1996 at the eighth world congress of the WFMT in Hamburg, CONFIAM was recognized as an Italian confederation with majority voting rights for Italy) and the European Confederation of Music Therapy, including organizing conventions (in 1994 it organized the European pre-conference for EMTC delegates in Capri, before the European Congress in Aalborg; in Naples in 2001, together with Isfom/Crm, it organized the 5th European Congress of the EMTC). In the meantime, CONFIAM was working for the recognition of a professional profile: contributing to the debate and to drafting legislative proposals (including the Delfino legislative proposal in 1997), succeeding in getting parliamentary questions presented in this regard, and in 1999, becoming part of the Council of Associations of CNEL (the National Economy and Labour Consortium) for legislation on new professions.

In particular the Confederation has always focused attention on training as a fundamental aspect, both for the development of a clearly-defined and legally-recognised professional profile, and for the growth and increase in scientific credibility of this discipline. The work on training immediately led to the drafting (in 1995) of the CONFIAM training protocol, which is still applied to this day (with the necessary updates) not only by the schools enrolled in the Confederation, but by the majority of training centres in Italy, including several established within other institutions (conservatoires and universities). Indeed, over the years CONFIAM has increasingly focused its own specific role on training issues, preferring to hand over the work for professional recognition and the management of an ever-growing number of professionals, to a specific professional association. To this end, in 2002, CONFIAM organized the first national professional qualification exam so as to create a Register of Professionals, the running of which was then taken on by the nascent AIM (Italian Association of Professional Music Therapists), in the founding of which CONFIAM was instrumental. (CONFIAM also took part in the subsequent exams for the AIM Register until 2014).

Recently, CONFIAM took the opportunity to become re-involved in the matters of professional recognition and training, taking an active part in the drafting of the Italian national standard UNI 11592 for Expressive Arts Therapies, published in October 2015 in compliance with Italian Law n° 4/2013 on unregulated professions.

From its origins through to the present day, CONFIAM has maintained its commitment to training-related issues:

  • organizing or sponsoring numerous conventions throughout Italy, some on an international level (Naples 2001, Trieste 2006; Milan 2017);
  • organizing numerous seminars;
  • publishing the bulletin Musicoterapia notizie (1998-2006), giving information about the activities of CONFIAM and about music therapy in Italy as a whole;
  • publishing, in 1999, the Guida dello studente – coordinamento scuole della Confiam [students’ guide – coordination of CONFIAM schools], with publishing house Cosmopolis;
  • continuing the internal debate on the issues of training and research;
    maintaining the dialogue with conservatoires, through conventions dealing with the topics of Music Therapy training within these institutions (Genoa 2002; Udine 2006), and with universities, working together on research projects, conventions and refresher courses;
  • contributing to supporting the Italian Music Therapy magazine, Musica et Terapia (edited by APIM), from 2008 to 2014;
  • collaborating in the production of the University of Padua’s Refresher course on assessment and research in Music Therapy in the academic year 2012-13
  • participating in the drafting of the Italian national standard UNI 11592 for the Expressive Arts Therapies (2014-15).