The psychiatrist Michele Risso (1927-1981) is now considered one of the pioneers of Italian ethnopsychiatry. In an essay, written with Wolfgang Böker and published in German in 1964, Risso studies the so-called "witchcraft delusion", a distinctive way young migrant men - coming from Southern Italy and working in the German part of Switzerland - expressed their psychological distress. The author highlights Risso’s cultural connections with Ernesto De Martino (Italian philosopher, anthropologist and historian of religions). Risso made use of De Martino’s methodology - analysis and selection of clinical cases - and of his interpretation of magical thinking.
Keywords: Michele Risso, magical thinking, trans-cultural psychiatry, clinical cases, emigration.