84430 - Clinical Psychology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

Explain how interactions between biological, psychological, and social factors determine the cause, manifestation, and outcome of wellness and disease. Compare current paradigms for abnormal behaviour. Describe the principles of psychological treatments, including psychoanalytic therapies, cognitive and behavioral therapies, humanistic therapies, existential and systemic family therapies. Discuss the methods of study and evaluation instruments used in clinical psychology. Describe the diagnostic criteria and etiological hypotheses of the most common psychological disorders. Discuss the mechanisms and consequences of addiction and dependence, and the psychological effects of abuse.

Course contents

Definition of Clinical Psychology and its scopes of application.
The psychodynamic approach to psychopathology and other models of the mind.
Notes on the history of psychoanalysis and the problem of hysteria.
Psychological defenses and adaptation.
The theory of attachment: the strange situation and the attachment styles. Mentalization and trauma.
The problem of diagnosis in clinical psychology: the DSM V and the Kernberg model.
Psychotherapy elements.


You do not need to buy specific texts. During lessons it will be provided: educational material also available through username and password at IOL University of Bologna, references to suggested texts.

Teaching methods

Teaching consists of 8 frontal lessons of 2 hours each for a total of 16 hours. The contents of the program will be presented with examples of clinical cases.

Assessment methods

The verification is aimed at evaluating the learning of the main models of the mind for psychopathologies.It consists in a oral examination with 3 questions (0-10 points for each question).

Gradation of the final grade:

preparation on a limited number of topics in the program and analysis skills highlighted with the help of the teacher, expressed in an overall correct language. vote 18-19;

preparation on a limited number of program topics and mainly autonomous analysis skills, expression in correct language. vote 20-24;

preparation on a large number of program topics, critical analysis skills, command of terminology. vote 25-29;

exhaustive preparation on the topics of the program, ability of critical analysis and connection, of argumentation and self-reflection, excellent command of terminology. vote 30-30L

An ongoing test (test "in itinere") RESERVED for students of the ongoing academic year, which consists of: 31 written questions (for each question, 4 answers to choose from) and a short comment to write, will be held during the last lesson of the course. Students of the past accademic years cannot poartecipate in the "in itinere" test.

Teaching tools

Slides, movies, interactions with students will be used.

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Agostini