76293 - Clinical Psychology of the Development and the Family Relationship.

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Erica Neri
  • Credits: 6
  • SSD: M-PSI/07
  • Language: Italian
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Cesena
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Psychological sciences and techniques (cod. 8774)

Learning outcomes

The course is aimed to give to the student the basic knowledge for diagnostic classification and clinical treatments related to developmental disorders. The student also learn the main aspects of family psychology. In particular, the student is able to: - indicate the DSM diagnostic classifications related to developmental and family relationship disorders; - interpret developmental disorders and family relationships in a psychodynamic perspective; - establish an assessment protocol relating to developmental and family relationship disorders.

Course contents

The course is held in School of Psychology in Cesena on September to November 2021. It is addressed to third year students.  
The course presents models of clinical intervention on the parent-child relationship, according to contemporary perspectives. Particular attention will be given to topics such as:
-"secure base" in parent-child psychotherapy: ways of assessing patterns of attachment in children and adults, intergenerational transmission of attachment and and Psychotherapeutic interventions
-the intergenerational transmission of psychopathology: ghosts in the nursery, profession bebè and mother-infant psychotherapy
-Infant research and neuroscience in therapeutic work: from parent-infant dyadic system model to parent-child psychotherapy
-Micro-analytical and "prototypical" patient observation: the Stern model and the parent-child relationship
-Mentalization and clinical: research and clinical interventions

-New configuration of parent-infant relationship and recent models of interventions
-Home Visiting: programs of preventive interventions

The interventions will be treated in a practical and experiential way, in order to provide some basic skills in dynamic psychology.

The course program is strictly related to the program of Dynamic Psychology. Some contents related to the knowledge on the main psychodynamic theoretical models and on the influence of early experiences in personality development and relational styles can be better understood if the students have followed or will follow in parallel both the teachings.


 Compulsory readings for the final examination:

Tambelli, R. (2012). Psicologia clinica dell'età evolutiva. Bologna: Il Mulino (cap. 3-4-5-6-7-8)

Tambelli R., Volpi B. (2015). Family Home Visiting. Bologna: Il Mulino


NB: the topics discussed during the lectures will be evaluated during the exam even if they are not present in the texts indicated. The seminars held by experts will be examined. The slides of the lectures and seminars will be available in online teaching materials.

Foreign students (e.g., Erasmus exchange programs, students from extra-EU contingents, etc.) can take the test in English.


Teaching methods

-Frontal lesson on the main clinical models of intervention
-Discussion of specific interventions and clinical cases related to the intervention methods explained during teh lessons
-Practical exercises by reading clinical cases and viewing video material will be proposed; these exercises will be conducted in groups or individually
-Ad hoc seminars by the intervention of experts will be programmed

Assessment methods

The final exam consists of a oraltest (evaluation 30/30) on the 2 books and supplementar materials. The duration of the test is 20 minutes and it consists of2 parts.

The first part (4 open questions) deals with the general concepts of theoretical-clinical coordinates for assessment and intervention in developmental age.
The second part (2 open questions) deals with Home Visiting program.

Particular relevance is given to the achivement of an organic vision of all the topics, together with a mastery of a specific technical language and a deep knowledge of the methods for the assessment of child psychopathology.

Scoring is graduated as follow:

The knowledge is limited to a small number of contents of the course, critical comprehension is lacking (or it emerges only through the help of the professor), and language is not adequate → 18-19;

The knowledge is limited to a small number of contents of the course, language is adequate, critical analysis emerges only for practical topics, language is adequate → 20-24;

The knowledge covers most of the contents of the course, the critical comprehension is adequate and specific terminology is mastered → 25-29;

The knowledge covers all the contents of the course, the critical comprehension and ability of connection is evident, mastery of specific terminology of the course, ability to critically discuss all the topics → 30-30L.

Possible questions focus on:

-dysfunctional model of parent-infant relationship

-observational instruments

-models of intervention

-implications of home visiting intervention on mental health

-critical reasoning on clinical cases.



Support tools are not permitted during the exam.

Students with certified disabilities can benefit from support instruments for the exam as established by L. n°170/2010.

Erasmus students and other students with special needs are invited to contact the Professor.


To take the exam it is necessary to register through the electronic bulletin board, in compliance with the established deadlines. Those who are unable to register for technical problems by the scheduled date, are required to promptly (and in any case before the official closing of the registration lists) communicate the problem to the didactic secretariat. The teacher will be able to admit them to take the test.

Teaching tools

During the lectures, slides and video clips on wide screen will be projected and discussed. The slides will be available to students on the University's web platform Insegnamenti Online (specific directions will be given during class and also made available by email).

Office hours

See the website of Erica Neri


Good health and well-being Quality education Gender equality

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