29219 - Territory, Social Change and Psychiatric Pathology

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Social Work (cod. 8040)

Learning outcomes

The course intends to give a presentation of some psychiatric disorders, with particular attention to their environmental and historical context. Some forms of psychic disorder will be introduced; nowadays, some of them are as spread  as some forms of psychosis and mood disorders. 

Course contents

The course intends to study the human being in his relation with the environment; the aim is a basic knowledge of psychiatric disorders, without any attention to their relative importance. So, both severe diseases and "minor" pathologies will be presented, wiht the intention to cancel this distinction. The recent development of neurosciences coincide with some evaluation and discoveries that individuate some surprising and unexpected aspects of human brain. Consequently, new horizons are opened to therapy and comprehension, where a recover of psycho-dynamic aspects is possible beyond anxieties of description and classification. Work, environment, family and enfantry are decisive in the psychic destiny of people. The elements of psychic disorder are also useful to individuate the possibility of a positive evolution of a disease. We can identify four parts in this course. The first part is focused on a presentation of some essential elements to understand psychiatric disorders; moreover, the environment where people live and get sick are considered. In the second part, psychiatric disorders are presented according to some up-to-date systems of classification. The third part is an evaluation of human psyche that get sick; it consists on a presentation of some comprehension models, with particular attention to the psycho-dynamic one. The fourth part consists on an in-depth analysis of some basic elements of drug addiction. 


1) G. Amadei, Come si ammala la mente, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2005 (the entire book).

2) S. Cambria, Tossicodipendenza e servizio sociale. Elementi di psichiatria delle tossicodipendenze, Angeli, Milano, 2004 (the entire book).

3) G. B. Cassano, Psicopatologia e clinica psichiatrica, UTET, Torino, 2006. The study is limited to the following chapters and the following pages. The following sections are always excluded, even when they are in a page that is reccomended: Trattamento, Trattamento psicofarmacologico, Trattamento farmacologico, Terapia, Linee guida di intervento clinico e di trattamento, Caso clinico. In particular, I stress the importance of the following chapters: 37 (Disturbi del controllo degli impulsi), 40 (Disturbi dissociativi), 44 (Disturbi di personalità), 45 (Patologia psichiatrica dell'adolescenza). Notes about treatment and therapy are included in the book chapters, but they do not constitute part of the exam programme. In the chapters 38 (Disturbi somatoformi), 42 (Disturbi psicosessuali) and 48 (Disturbi psichiatrici nell'anziano), notes about treatment and therapy are included  in the text too, but the pages that do not constitute a part of the exam programme are indicated in the following list: 21 (pp. 261-297) – 24 (pp. 333-343) – 26 (pp. 357-361) – 27 (pp. 363-366) – 28 (pp. 369-376) – 29 (pp. 379-389) – 30 (pp. 397-401) – 31 (pp. 405-410) – 32 (pp. 415-421) – 33 (pp. 423-424) – 34 (pp. 427-430) – 35 (pp. 433-446) – 37 (pp. 453-459) – 38 (pp. 461-469) – 38 (pp. 470-475) – 38 (pp. 477-483) – 38 (pp. 486-490) – 38 (pp. 492-496) – 39 (pp. 499-519) – 40 (pp. 531-539) – 41 (pp. 541-547) – 42 (pp. 549-554) – 42 (pp. 557-560) – 42 (pp562-565) – 44 (pp. 577-588) – 45 (pp. 591-597) – 48 (pp. 615-620) – 48 (p. 621) – 48 (pp. 622-623) – 48 (pp. 624-626) – 51 (pp. 659-666) – 69 (pp. 837-844).

Teaching methods


Assessment methods

The final exam is aimed to assess the achievement of the following learning objectives:
- Understanding the key elements of psychopathology
- Knowing the basic elements for the assessment-classification of severe and less severe psychological disorders, including descriptive, dimensional and psychodynamic aspects
- Knowing the basic psychiatric diseases, including the different addictions, the etiological hypotheses relating to them and their clinical expression, together with diagnostic and prognostic elements
- Knowing the results of the most important studies on the link between psychiatric disorders and social change as well as the link with environmental and historical topicality.

The final exam will be oral and based on the whole bibliography.

Teaching tools

Videos, PowerPoint slides, reading and comment of excerpts from literature (science, philosophy, novel, and poems).

Office hours

See the website of Santino Cambria


Good health and well-being Quality education Reduced inequalities Sustainable cities

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.