32112 - Evaluation and Intervention Methods in Clinical Developmental Psychology

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Ornella Montebarocci

  • Credits 8

  • SSD M-PSI/08

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Cesena

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in School and community psychology (cod. 0993)


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

Good health and well-being Quality education Gender equality Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students are expected to:
a) to display knowledge of the main theories on normal and atypical mental and emotional development during childhood and adolescence;
b) to became familiar with the main methods and assessment techniques used to evaluate psychological developmental disease;
c) to know the main models of consultation and techniques of treatments and interventions in child and adolescent development.

Course contents

The course will take place during the second semester (from March 2022 until May 2022) at the Cesena Campus of the School of Psychology and Education (address: p.za A. Moro, 90 Cesena, FC).

The course program relies first on the appropriate use of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM-Second Edition), and, second, on important issues in child clinical psychology. In particular, the categorical and dimensional classification and assessment of basic mental functioning along with deep personality structure of children’s and adolescents' disorders.

Program also promote an understanding of normal developmental processes as a prerequisite for distinguishing between normal and abnormal behavior and development, and for understanding developmental factors as they relate to assessment and intervention. In particular: relating normal family processes to the child and adolescent's development including the impact of family dynamics, normal family functioning and childrearing practices on normal child and adolescent development and on the development of clinical problems.

In detail:

-Clinical assessment and classification of developmental and personality disorders using the PDM-2 approach and method;

-Mental functioning in child and adolescent (MA and MC);

-Pattern and personality disorders in child and adolescent (PA and MC);

-Symptomatic pattern in child and adolescent: the subjective experience (SA and SC);

-Clinical exemplifications: illustrations of child psychological disorders and interventions;

-Assessment of child and adolescent: specific adjustments in clinical setting and counseling with child and adolescent;

-Knowledge of the main methods of assessment covering development, personality and emotion (projective, graphics, thematic and structural tests); 

-The expressivity and diagnostic of drawing during childhood.


Mandatory texts:

PDM-2; Psychodynamic and Diagnostic Manual (Second Edition, 2017). Section II, Adolescent, pp. 283-491; Section III, Children, pp.495-660. Milano: Raffaello Cortina Editore.

Adriana Lis (1993). Psicologia clinica. Problemi diagnostici ed elementi di psicoterapia. Ed. Giunti.(chapters 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12 and conclusions).

A text of your choice taken from the following (mandatory):

Bruno Bettelheim (2010). Dialoghi con le madri. PGRECO Edizioni.

Philip Barker (1990). Il colloquio clinico con i bambini e gli adolescenti. Casa Editrice Astrolabio.

Vittorio Lingiardi (2018). Diagnosi e destino. Giulio Einaudi Editore.

Slides and on-line presentations are strictly recommended.

Individual chapters and supplementary material will be made available on the University platform.

Recommended also:

Vittorio Lingiardi (2002). I meccanismi di difesa. Teoria, valutazione, clinica. Ed. Raffaello Cortina Editore.

Stefano Cirillo (2005). Cattivi genitori. Raffaello Cortina Editore.

Nancy McWilliams (2002). Il aso clinico. Dal colloquio alla diagnosi. Ed Raffaello Cortina Editore.

Massimo Ammaniti (2002). Manuale di psicopatologia dell'adolescenza. Raffaello Cortina Editore.

Il test di Rorschach (2019). Applicazioni e ambiti di intervento nel terzo millennio. Luciano Giromini e Alessandro Zennaro (a cura di). Ed. Il Mulino.

Paola Venuti (2007). Percorsi evolutivi. Forme tipiche e atipiche. Carocci Editore.

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons.

Clinical exemplification and Group workshops.

Movies selected clips as a clinical exemplification.

Selected readings and articles.

Systematic presentation/exposition of scientific papers

Assessment methods

Oral discussion. Three questions will be made: one for each text.

The final grade will be the average of the three scores taken previously.

Erasmus students can take the oral test in English.

Students are expected to demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical and methodological aspects including critical skills and appropriate language.

Critical abilities, quick decision-making capacity and appropriate clinical reasoning  will be fundamental for a good final result.

It is necessary to register on the electronic bulletin board (ALMAESAMI) to take the exam, within the estabilished deadlines.

For any need in accessing the lists, please feel free to contact the professor by email.

Teaching tools

Computer and Power Point presentation.

Office hours

See the website of Ornella Montebarocci