- The Italian section of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (S.P.R.) was founded in December 1995 by Prof. Salvatore Freni and his work group. He was quickly joined by a series of professional figures who realised the necessity to promote the scientific research in psychotherapy. The noticed the increasing demand on behalf of clients and institutions and because of the law act 56/89 which established the professional figure of the psychotherapist and authorised the set up of public and private schools of training with regards to the professional exercise of the always more numerous psychotherapies whose enunciatons were not sufficiently supported by empirical data. In fact, insurance companies and administrators of public health institutions started asking insistently for scientific data and criteria in order to address and optimise operative choices and financial resources with regards to the cost/benefit relation of the treatment availability for various patients.
- The first board of directors was composed of the President Prof. Salvatore Freni, the Vice President Dr. Antonio Semerari, the Treasurer Dr. Alessandra Gabrielli, the Secretary Dr. Paolo Azzone, the Co-ordinator of scientific activities Prof. Andrea Seganti and the Co-ordinator of public relations Dr. Paolo Migone.
- The first important initiative which allowed the young section to become known and to be appreciated in an international environment was the organisation of the "5th European Conference on Psychotherapy Research" in September 1996 in Villa Erba, Cernobbio. This event was of extraordinary importance because of the strong European relevance and it was the first time a S.P.R. Congress was held in Italy. In September 1997 the first national congress was organised in Salsomaggiore and the new directory board was elected and it remained in charge until December 1999. The new directory board was composed of the President Prof. Nino Dazzi, Past President Prof. Salvatore Freni, Vice President Prof. Giuseppe Ruggeri, the Treasurer Prof. Francesca Ortu and the Secretary Prof. Alessandra De Coro.
- In January 2000, at the last congress the new and present board of directors was elected: President Dr. Antonio Semerari, Past President Prof. Nino Dazzi, Vice President Andrea Seganti, National Secretary, Treasurer Dr. Igor Pontalti, Co-ordinator of scientific activities Prof. Emilio Fava, Co-ordinator of public relations Prof. Cinzia Masserini.