The title of this editorial is the same chosen by Giovanni Fava for starting his editorship of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics in 1992 [1]. He announced that the journal was going to have a “strong clinical orientation,” with specific focus on the innovations at the interface between medicine and behavioral sciences. This is what actually has characterized Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics in the following 3 decades [2]. Most of the space was taken by papers with innovative features that opened new paths in research and clinical practice [2]. At times, papers were editorials and reviews; other times, they consisted of original investigations (in psychotherapy, psychosomatics, and psychopharmacology) ranging from major randomized controlled clinical trials to pilot studies or clinical observations. In the course of time, the Journal achieved a unique identity as a result of the blending of methodological rigor and brave choices, which made it a top and highly respected journal, where readers always expect “something new.” Not surprisingly, the Journal has reached the impact factor of 25.617 in 2022 and continues its growth. The new impact factor places Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics as second in the Science Citation Index Psychology ranking (but it is the number one journal publishing original investigations) and fourth in the Psychiatry ranking. And now, as Editors-in-Chief, we have the difficult task of keeping these standards and making further progress.

In his first issue as an Editor-in-Chief [1], Giovanni Fava hosted a paper of one of his most influential teachers, George L. Engel, the father of the American Psychosomatic Medicine [3]. The special article provided “a discussion of the challenge of a new humanistic clinical science in a medical world that seems to have diverted attention from the dialogue that is necessary between patient and doctor” [1]. Over the years, Giovanni Fava shared with us his way of working and, as Associate Editors, we were gradually introduced to the art of editorial assessment and choices. Something we were always impressed with was his capacity to capture the original and innovative features of papers, even when these did not easily appear (or where hidden) when they were first submitted. The essential may be invisible, reminds us The Little Prince, and Giovanni Fava spent much (if not most) of his professional time in helping authors to get the best out of their papers, even when this implied multiple revisions and personally going through the paper with great attention. We thus decided of opening this year’s editorial with a tribute to his own groundbreaking research. He could see the submitted papers’ novel features so well, because he was a pioneer himself.

As an investigator, Giovanni Fava does not fit the description of someone who is concerned with a small segment of clinical science that pursues over the years. It is simply amazing to see how many different and apparently scattered topics he covered with his research and conceptualizations. For instance, there are not many investigators today that can be credited with introducing major innovations in both psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. Giovanni Fava developed a novel psychotherapeutic approach, Well-Being Therapy, in the late nineties, well before the advent of positive psychology [4]. This approach that is now widely practiced around the world [5] is geared to euthymia, a concept that he and Per Bech introduced in 2016 [6]. In clinical psychopharmacology, he was the first to identify the links among clinical manifestations related to the use of antidepressant medications, such as loss of clinical effects during long-term treatment; paradoxical reactions; switching to a hypomanic or manic state; withdrawal syndromes upon tapering and/or discontinuing medications; resistance when a drug that was successfully used in the past is reinstituted; refractoriness to new medications [7]. This oppositional model of tolerance was essential to build his approach to discontinuing antidepressant medications [8]. These contributions have recently been discussed in the Journal [9, 10], and we thought it was worthwhile to emphasize other important innovations in this issue.

Ulrich Schnyder [11] describes the progress from the study of prodromal and residual symptomatology to the introduction of the staging method in psychiatry that Giovanni Fava and Robert Kellner performed in 1993 [12]. As it happens for other of his innovations, there was a lag phase before other investigators realized how important was this method. Schnyder provides an excellent illustration of how much there is still to be done in this area by discussing the potential implications of staging in post-traumatic stress disorder [11].

Richard Balon [13] illustrates how, from the conceptualized method of staging, Giovanni Fava moved to the development of the sequential model (the application of one type of treatment in the acute phase of a disorder and of another treatment at a subsequent stage). The sequential model was introduced in psychiatry in 1994 [14] and stimulated an impressive amount of research [15]. It is probably the only therapeutic approach in depression that was found to entail enduring benefits after its performance [15].

Tom Sensky [16] analyzes the role of Giovanni Fava in pursuing clinimetrics both as an author and as an editor [17], showing how, from its original formulations [18], clinimetrics was shaped to get into the clinical action [19]. Sensky’s deep analysis [16] allows to appreciate the full implications of the approach and the fact that Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics became “the” journal of clinimetrics.

Stephan Zipfel [20] analyzes another major contribution of Giovanni Fava, that is, the development of the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR) in 1995 [21], with an update in 2017 [22]. This approach, which is alternative or complementary to standard psychiatric taxonomy, stimulated an impressive amount of research. Once again, full application of the DCPR potential is yet to come [20].

The journal celebrates its 70th birthday (it started in 1953 as Acta Psychotherapeutica et Psychosomatica) continuing to seek innovations. We have learnt not to be afraid if we run counter widely accepted paradigms, because we know that this is the only way clinical science may progress. We welcome both critical and systematic reviews. We pursue the intellectual richness that only clinical practice can yield. Our work is obviously very difficult, but fortunately we have several sources of support: the new Assistant Editors Marcella Lucente and Chiara Patierno; the essential work of the editorial board and statistical consultants; the help of many external reviewers (listed below), who dedicated their time and efforts to assess and improve the quality of submitted manuscripts; the unique advice of the Honorary Editor Giovanni Fava.

The following experts have supplemented the editorial board by reviewing the manuscripts submitted to Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics during 2022 and are gratefully acknowledged. Both external referees and editorial board members have disclosed potential conflicts of interests. The Editors-in-Chief and the Assistant Editors have no conflict of interests to declare for 2022.

U. Albert (Trieste, Italy)

E. Andari (Toledo, OH, USA)

S. Aust (Berlin, Germany)

R. Baldessarini (Belmont, MA, USA)

R. Bryant (Sydney, Australia)

V. Chouinard (Belmont, MA, USA)

K. Christensen (Aarhus, Denmark)

D. Cohen (Paris, France)

E. Collantoni (Padua, Italy)

L. Colloca (Baltimore, MD, USA)

S. Dubovsky (Buffalo, NY, USA)

S. Eisendrath (Napa, CA, USA)

D. Endres (Freiburg, Germany)

A. Evans (Atlanta, GA, USA)

A. Evers (Leiden, the Netherlands)

T. Furukawa (Kyoto, Japan)

A. Geers (Toledo, OH, USA)

B. Grenyer (Wollongong, NSW, Australia)

T. Guu (Beitun, Taiwan)

R. Hagen (Trondheim, Norway)

M. Hengartner (Zurich, Switzerland)

F. Jain (Boston, MA, USA)

N. Janssen (Nijmegen, the Netherlands)

U. Jonsson (Solna, Sweden)

K. Kendrick (Chengdu, China)

J. Kim (Philadelphia, PA, USA)

S. Kohtala (Ithaca, NY, USA)

Y. Milaneschi (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

M. Nitsche (Dortmund, Germany)

H. Nordahl (Dragvoll, Norway)

E. Offidani (New York, NY, USA)

J. Paris (Montreal, QC, Canada)

M. Pfaltz (Sundsvall, Sweden)

A. Recalt (Los Angeles, CA, USA)

G. Rodin (Toronto, ON, Canada)

M. Schiele (Freiburg, Germany)

A. Scnitt (Bad Mergentheim, Germany)

L. Sharpe (Sydney, NSW, Australia)

E. Silberman (Boston, MA, USA)

L. Sirri (Bologna, Italy)

W. Soellner (Nuremberg, Germany)

N. Sonino (Padova, Italy)

N. Spreng (Montreal, QC, Canada)

L. Tondo (Cagliari, Italy)

C. Vazquez (Madrid, Spain)

D. Veale (London, UK)

H. Visser (Ermelo, the Netherlands)

S. Wilhelm (Boston, MA, USA)

Y. Zhang (Gansu, China)

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

The authors have no funding to declare.

Jenny Guidi and Fiammetta Cosci conceived and wrote the entire manuscript.

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