03084 - Clinical Psychology

Course Unit Page


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

Good health and well-being

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the teaching course, the student: - knows the basic concepts of psychodynamic theory,; - can appreciate the complexity of the diagnostic moment in clinical psychology; - knows important tools for clinical assessment; - Knows the basics of the clinical interview; - knows the essential psychodynamic therapeutic approaches based on scientific evidence.

Knowledge about main theories, methods of study, research and evaluation instruments and psychological treatments in clinical psychology. Knowledge about psychopathology: classification system (DSM 5) ; ethiology; main treatment option.

Course contents

The course is divided into 2 modules: 1) Prof Ruini (40 teching hours); 2) Porf Montebarocci (20 teaching hours)

Lessons will be held during the second semester of the academic year(February-May) on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. The Tuesday class will be held by Prof Montebarocci (module 2) 

Module 1 (Prof Ruini)

1. Paradigms in Clinical Psychology: Concept of paradigm and consequences of its adoption. Assumptions and basic concepts of , behavioral, cognitive, psychobiological and existential humanistic paradigms. Basic principles of positive psychology applied in clinical settings.
2. Research methods in clinical psychology: case studies, the correlational and experimental methods, epidemiological research. The placebo effect.
3.Psychological Evaluations in clinical psychology: the use of questionnaires and survey; Psychological testing in clinical psychology: symptom questionnaires (BDI, STAI-Y, SQ) and personality evaluation. The evaluation of well-being in clinical settings. The interview in clinical psychology; communication and relationship dynamics in the psychological interview; the clinical interview.
4.Classification and diagnosis: from normality to psychopathology to optimal human functioning; nosographic and descriptive systems : the DSM 5 approach.
5.Psychological disorders: diagnostic criteria and etiological hypotheses of anxiety disorders, mood disorders; somatoform disorders, dissociative disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders,  and disorders due to drugs abuse and dependence. Psychopathology according to the positive psychology perspective
6.Psychological treatments: The cognitive and behavioral therapies (traditional and 3rd wave), humanistic therapies, existential and systemic family therapies. Intervenmtions to promote well-being

Module 2 (Prof Montebarocci) 

1. Basics in psychodynamics: - The unique value of subjective experience; - The unconscious and the structural model of the mind; - Psychic determinism; - The conflicting nature of our adjustment; - Resistance and defense mechanisms.

2. Making sense of the diagnostic process in clinical psychology: - The DSM-V; - The PDM-2 and the Psychodiagnostic-Chart; - The SWAP-200: a connection between research and clinic, diagnosis, and case formulation in the personality assessment; - Il RORSCHACH: Evidence-based approach.

3. Clinical interview technique: - Clinical interview with adults, children and adolescents

4. Contemporary Dynamic Psychotherapy: - The clinical relationship as a field of knowledge: the concepts of transference and countertransference; - The interventions of the clinical psychologist: the therapeutic continuum from interpretation to psychological support; - Main models of short- and long-term Dynamic Psychotherapy.


The readings below will be accompanied by slides presentation, Lecture notes and articles that will be available on the University IOL web platform by the end of the course:

Module 1

Ann M.Kring - Sheri L. Johnson - Gerald C.Davison - John M.Neale PSICOLOGIA CLINICA. Zanichelli, 2017; ISBN 978-8808-52094-4
anche in formato ebook at: http://online.universita.zanichelli.it/kring5e/

Ruini C. Psicologia Positiva e Psicologia Clinica: Una prospettiva integrata. il Mulino, 2021; ISBN: 978-88-15-29338-1


Sanavio E, Cornoldi C. Psicologia Clinica, 3 ed. Il Mulino, 2017; ISBN: 978-88-15-27217-1

in formato digitale: www.pandoracampus.it

Sanavio e (ed) Manuale di psicopatologia e psicodiagnostica. CAPP: 1-2-3-4-7-8 Il Mulino, 2016. ISBN: 978-88-15-26565-4

Ruini C. Psicologia Positiva e Psicologia Clinica: Una prospettiva integrata Capp 1-2-3-4-7-8). il Mulino, 2021; ISBN: 978-88-15-29338-1

Module 2
Suggested readings:
Lingiardi, V., Muzi, L. (2018). Il Manuale Diagnostico Psicodinamico (PDM-2): un’occasione di dialogo interdisciplinare. Giornale italiano di psicologia (ISSN 0390-5349), Fascicolo 4, dicembre 2018 (doi: 10.1421/92989).
Gabbard, G.O. (2015). Psichiatria psicodinamica (Quinta edizione basata sul DSM-5). Milano: Raffaello Cortina, 2020.
Westen, D., Shedler, J., Lingiardi, V. (2003), La valutazione della personalità con la SWAP-200. Raffaello Cortina, Milano pp. 37-60.
Lingiardi, V. (2018). Diagnosi e destino. Giulio Einaudi Editore.
Lingiardi, V. (2002). I meccanismi di difesa. Teoria, valutazione, clinica. Ed. 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.
Baker, P. (1990). Il colloquio clinico con i bambini e gli adolescenti. Casa Editrice Astrolabio

Teaching methods

Module 1

Lectures with case exemplifications. Students’ active participation during lectures is encouraged throught activities for exercizing techinques of assessment in clinical psychology; identifying symtoms and psychopathology; learning how to interview patients

Role playing and clinical case discussions will be organized. During classes students will also watch video and conference presentations with updated topics within clinicl psychology .

At least one seminar/workshop with national and international experts will be organized.

Active participation during classes willl allow students to learn concepts and theories within clinical psychology and their practical

applications in clinical populations.

Module 2

Lectures with case exemplifications, discussions, and practical exercises. Course attendance plays a crucial role in the learning and assessing process. The teaching material (slides, figures, articles, and bibliographies) will be available on the University IOL web platform by the end of the course.

Assessment methods

The final evaluation 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. 2 questions are related to Module 1 (Prof Ruini) and 1 question to Module 2 (Prof Montebarocci)

The student’s evaluation depends mostly on the detailed knowledge of the contents of the textbook and his/her ability to organize and integrate the information provided by both the textbook and the lectures. Students will pass the final evaluation if they achieve an exam score between 18/30 and 30/30. Each question will be evaluated on a scale from 0 to 10 (complete and detailed discussion of the topic). It is considered sufficient (6 points) an answer that contains a brief descripition of the topic, without mistakes. Three suffucients answers will allow the student to pass the exam.

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

For logistic reasons , students must register their paticipation at the exam through ALMAESAMI (www.almaesami.unibo.it ) website at least 1 working day before the expected date of the exam.

The online registration will provide the student with the link to the exam, that will be delivered via EOL and Zoom platform.

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 Chiara Ruini

See the website of Ornella Montebarocci