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Luciano L'Abate b. 1928 (Italian American) the father of relational theory and author of 50 books in the field of American psychology, was born in Brindisi.Of particular significance is L'Abate's book entitled Relational Competence Theory: Research and Mental Health Applications (1st Edition) by Luciano L'Abate, Claudia Scilletta, Mario Cusinato, Walter Colesso,Eleonora Maino Hardcover - June 2010. In this book, L'Abate shows how Relational competence theory complements theories that treat individuals’ personality and functioning by placing the individual into the complete context of the family.


He was schooled in Florence. At age 20, he moved to the United States where he studied at Tabor College. He later completed his Ph.D. in psychology at Duke University. He came (1948) to the USA as an exchange student under the auspices of the Mennonite Central Committee to Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas from which he graduated with high honors in two years with majors in English and Psychology (1950). After receiving a UNESCO scholarship at Wichita (State) University where he received a M.A.(1953), he earned a Ph.D. from Duke University (1956).

==Career After working for two years as a clinical psychologist at the Pitt County Health Department (Greenville, NC) and teaching in the extension division of East Carolina College (now University) (56-57), he received a USPHS postdoctoral fellowship in child psychotherapy at Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, Illinois (1958–59). After this training, he became Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri (1959–64). Moved to Atlanta, Georgia when he became Associate Professor and Chief Psychologist in the Child Psychiatry division of the Department of Psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine (64-65). Professor of Psychology at Georgia State University since 1965, where he was Director of the Family Psychology Training Program and the Family Study Center. Retired as Professor Emeritus of Psychology from GSU on December 1990.

ectured extensively in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Spain, and Italy. Given workshops in many states of the Union, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Visiting professor to American and foreign institutions: in 1991 at the University of Santiago de Campostella (Spain) in May, in July 1991 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (Canada), In August 1991 he was the keynote speaker for the German National Conference in Developmental Psychology at the University of Cologne, and lectured at the University of Munich in Germany, University of Padova (Italy), and the Center for the Family in Treviso (Italy) in September of the same year.

In 1992 invited Keynote Speaker for the 10th Anniversary Conference of the Japanese Association of Family Psychology at Showa Women's University (Tokyo), giving additional workshops on prevention for the Yasuda Life Welfare Foundation of Japan, and one workshop on "Love and Intimacy" for the Tokyo Family Therapy Institute. Invited to lecture at the Universities of Bari and Padova (Italy) in July 1994 and as keynote speaker for the Second International Congress of Family Psychology. In November 1994 keynote speaker for the annual conference of the Penn Council on Relationships, formerly the Philadelphia Marriage Council. In May 1996 lectured at the Universities of Urbino, Rome, Catholic University of Milan, Padova, and Bari. In October 1999, he lectured at the Catholic University of Milan, the Scientific Institute "La Nostra Famiglia" in Lecco, and the Universities of Bari and Padova. In October 2000, he lectured and gave workshops to mental health organizations and educational institutions in Warsaw, Kraków, Lublin, Poznan, and Rzeszow, Poland. In June 2002 and December 2003, he lectured in various clinical institutions in and around Milan (Italy), the Catholic University of Milan, and the Universities of Padua and Bari, as well as professional, post-graduate schools in Mestre (Venice) and Florence. On 28 October 2006 he received the Renoir Prize from the University of Lecce for outstanding contribution to psychological sciences, lecturing there as well as in the Chemistry and Psychiatry Departments at the University of Bari. On October 2007, he lectured at the Catholic University of Milan and the University of Padua. He gave workshops at a counseling convention in Milan and in a post-doctoral specialization program in Prato. He was featured as main speaker at a Symposium at the University of Bari on "Science, MInd, and Creativity" sponsored by the Graduate School and the Departments of Physics, Chemistry, and Psychiatry, which will be published by Nova Science Publishers (see Publications)." On October 10, 2008 he was the keynote speaker for the Second Conference on Writing and Wellness in Atlanta, GA.

Full time clinical practice 1956-1964. Part-time clinical practice from 1965 to 1998. Consultant to Cross-Keys Counseling Center in Forest Park, GA from 1978 to 1998. From 1993 to 1998, Clinical Director for Multicultural Services in a mental health center for ethnic communities developed jointly by Cross Keys Counseling Center and a local Presbyterian Church (Doraville, GA).

In 1996 he founded "Workbooks for Better Living," to make available to qualified professionals low-cost, self-help mental health workbooks through the Internet [1] He has produced over 100 workbooks, 8 have been translated into Spanish. They will be published by Springer in 2009 as a Sourcebook of Self-help Protocols in Mental Health.

After retirement from clinical practice (December 1998), he has taught one course on Personal Writing for senior citizens, and was a volunteer with the Diversification Program of DeKalb County Juvenile Court from 1999 to 2003. In 2009 Dr. L'Abate received the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Professional Contribution to Applied Research.

Now involved in full-time writing and research.

Positions heldEdit

Diplomate and Examiner of the American Board of Professional Psychology; Fellow and Approved Supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy; Fellow of Divisions 12 and 43 of the American Psychological Association. Life Member of American Orthopsychiatric Association. Charter Member of the American Family Therapy Academy. Past member of the National Council on Family Relations. Co-founder and past-president of the International Academy of Family Psychology. Charter Member of the American Association for the Advancement of Preventive Psychology. Worked for 25 years as Abstractor for Psychological Abstracts.

Formerly on Editorial Boards of national and foreign professional and scientific journals. Consultant also to various publishing houses. Author and coauthor of over 300 papers, chapters, and book reviews in professional and scientific journals. Author, co-author, editor, and co-editor of 45 books, two other books are in press. His work has been translated into Chinese, Danish, Finnish, French-Canada, German, Japanese, Korean, Polish, and Spanish languages. Four books have been published in his native Italy. Two are used as textbooks in the Department of General Psychology at the University of Padova.


  • Awarded the 1983 GSU Alumni Distinguished Professorship in the School of Arts and Sciences.
  • In 1984Named "Outstanding Citizen" by the House of Representatives in the State of Georgia .
  • In 1986 received the "Outstanding Achievement and Service" award by the Tabor College Alumni Association.
  • In 1987 received recognition by the Georgia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy for "Outstanding Contribution."
  • Named "Family Psychologist of the Year for 1994" by Division 43 (Family Psychology) of the American Psychological Association.
  • In 2003 received a medal from the President of the University of Bari (Italy) for “Outstanding Achievement.”
  • On October 28, 2006 he was awarded the Renoir Prize at the University of Lecce (Italy) for creative and outstanding contributions to humanity.
  • In 2009 Dr. L'Abate received the Award from the American Psychological Association for Distinguished Professional Contribution to Applied Research.


Publications Edit


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