03084 - Clinical Psychology

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Laura Sirri

  • Credits 8

  • SSD M-PSI/08

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Course Timetable from Oct 03, 2018 to Dec 07, 2018

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

After completing the course the student: - is able to master some of the key concepts such as troubles, disturbance or relational disorder in childhood, adolescence and adulthood; - he/she is able to understand the communicative meaning of psychopathological symptom; - he/she knows the theories and techniques of group management; - he/she is able to anticipate and manage possible aggressive, dependent and self-defeating behaviors, in an educational planning perspective; - he/she is able to familiarize and observe some of the dynamics of discomfort, and to early detect and report them in the integrated work with other professionals; - he/she has achieved communication skills that allow to address and manage the psychological problems of users exploiting the potential of the interview in the helping relationship; - he/she is able to drive relationship dynamics by conducting interviews and group work.

Course contents

1. Normality and pathology. Classification and diagnosis: differences between nosographic-descriptive and interpretative-explicative systems (2 hours).

2. Assumptions and basic concepts of the paradigms and related treatments in Clinical Psychology.

2.1 The psychoanalytic paradigm (2.5 hours).

2.2 The existential-humanistic paradigm (2.5 hours).

2.3 The cognitive paradigm (2.5 hours).

2.4 The behavioral paradigm (2.5 hours).

2.5 The psychobiological paradigm (2.5 hours).

2.6 The family systems paradigm and the sociocultural perspective (2.5 hours).

3. Psychological disorders: diagnostic criteria according to the DSM-5, etiological hypotheses, and treatments.

3.1 Mood disorders (6 hours).

3.2. Anxiety disorders (6 hours).

3.3 Psychotic disorders (4 hours).

3.4 Eating disorders (2 hours).

3.5 Substance-related disorders (2 hours).

3.6 Personality disorders (6 hours).

3.7 Sexual disorders (2 hours).

3.8 Childhood and old age related disorders (3 hours).

The course will take place during the first semester (from September to November 2018).


Hansell J. & Damour L.: Psicologia clinica. Bologna: Zanichelli, 2008.

Teaching methods

Lectures with case exemplifications. Students’ active participation during lectures is encouraged.

Frequency of the lessons is highly recommended (although it is not obligatory), since it facilitates the learning process of the contents of the course through their integration with clinical exemplifications.

Assessment methods

The final evaluation will last 2 hours and it consists in a written exam with 3 open-ended questions aimed to assess the student's knowledge regarding the topics discussed in class and included in the textbook and in the teachers' notes available on the "Teaching material" section of the website of the course.

One of the three questions will concern the paradigms and treatments in clinical psychology or the differences between nosographic-descriptive and interpretative-explicative systems (points 1 and 2 of the Course contents) and two questions will concern the psychological disorders (point 3 of the Course contents).

The student’s evaluation depends mostly on the complete and detailed knowledge of the contents of the textbook and the teacher's notes available online, the ability to organize and integrate the information provided by both the textbook and the lectures, and the accuracy of the technical language.

Students will pass the final evaluation if they achieve an exam score between 18/30 and 30/30.

Each of the three answers will be evaluated on a scale ranging from 0 (absent or totally wrong answer) to 10 (complete and detailed answer).

The achievement of a sufficient exam score (i.e., a score of 18/30) requires that all the three answers reach a score of 6/10. Each answer will achieve a score of 6/10 if the student correctly describes at least half of the key concepts of the question.

Presence of clinical exemplifications and accuracy of the technical language will be the criteria for the cum laude distinction.

During the final examination, the consultation of dictionaries, books, notes, computers and electronic devices and applications is not allowed.

In order to be admitted to the exam, students must register for the exam session on the Almaesami website by the scheduled deadline.

Teaching tools

Video-projector, PC. Lectures will make use of visual aids (PowerPoint) that allow students to view the main topics of each lesson.

Office hours

See the website of Laura Sirri