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CODE 113810
SEMESTER 2° Semester
MODULES Questo insegnamento è un modulo di:



The course aims to address the main topics of clinical psychology with particular reference to the following contents:

The course will delve into various aspects of clinical psychology, focusing on the following key areas:

  1. Understanding the concepts, definitions, and paradigms of clinical psychology. The initial phase will define the discipline as a field where diverse theoretical models of motivation, psychopathology, and intervention strategies converge. It will highlight the role of clinical psychologists in primary prevention, diagnosis for secondary prevention, and therapeutic-rehabilitative activities (tertiary prevention), underlining the collaboration between psychologists and other healthcare professionals, including neurophysiopathology technicians.
  2. Exploring the neuro-pathophysiological basis of psychopathological processes. This part will examine how neuro-physio-pathological processes in early stages of life can predispose individuals to psychopathology later on. It will particularly focus on the links between adverse childhood experiences and dysregulated neuro-physio-pathological processes in later stages, drawing from contemporary theories like S. Porges' polyvagal theories and D. Siegel's interpersonal neurobiology.
  3. Analyzing psychopathological conditions and neurophysiopathology. The final part will present research findings connecting common psychopathological symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety, somatoform disorders, substance abuse) to neuro-physio-pathological consequences in users of community health systems, regardless of psychiatric diagnoses.

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  1. Define clinical psychology and the role of the clinical psychologist in various intervention contexts (knowledge and understanding).
  2. Understand users' emotional and behavioral reactions in light of the studied theories (applying knowledge and understanding).
  3. Apply acquired knowledge in formulating the case and treatment hypothesis, considering the impact of any comorbid psychopathological symptoms (applying knowledge and understanding).
  4. Acquire the technical language typical of clinical psychology to communicate with specialist and non-specialist interlocutors and navigate future choices (learning skills).
  5. Effectively communicate in written and oral form, adapting communication to the context, using sources and aids of various kinds (functional literacy competence at a basic level).
  6. Manage social interactions through a collaborative attitude and constructive communication in different environments (social competence - basic level).


The teaching will be structured as follows:

  1. Lectures with slide presentations.
  2. Group learning: students will be divided into small groups in the classroom during lessons and will have time to analyze a clinical case-problem in light of the content learned in previous lessons. At the end of the activities, groups will share what emerged during the analysis and discussion in small groups. The teacher, as a facilitator, will encourage exchange and problematization through questions and prompts. Critical and active participation of students will be encouraged.


The syllabus/content includes the presentation and discussion of the following topics:

  • Models and theories in clinical psychology.
  • Collaboration of the clinical psychologist with other healthcare professionals.
  • Theories on healthy and dysregulated neuro-physio-pathological functioning throughout life: S. Porges and D. Siegel.
  • The impact of internalizing symptoms (anxiety, depression) on neuro-psycho-physiological and adaptive functioning.
  • The impact of somatoform symptoms on neuro-psycho-physiological and adaptive functioning.
  • The impact of substance abuse on neuro-psycho-physiological and adaptive functioning.


Text for the exam:

Porges, S.W. (2018). La guida alla teoria polivagale. Il potere trasformativo della sensazione di sicurezza. Giovanni Fioriti Editore.

In addition to the following articles, which will be the subject of in-depth analysis:

  • Siegel, D. J. (2001). Toward an interpersonal neurobiology of the developing mind: Attachment relationships, “mindsight,” and neural integration. Infant Mental Health Journal: official publication of the world association for infant mental health22(1‐2), 67-94.
  • Pasquini, M., Berardelli, I., Biondi, M., & Fabbrini, G. (2022). Le patologie di confine tra neurologia e psichiatria. Rivista di Psichiatria57(2), 106-113.

The slides used in class will also be provided.




The elections will be held in the 2nd semester – initial date to be defined

Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy



The examination method will be in written form with closed and open questions, which will be followed by electronic registration, usually by the next session. The exam will be held in person, unless otherwise indicated by the University.

The evaluation will be expressed in thirtieths. To pass the exam, the lowest grade will be 18/30th and the highest will be 30/30th. In case of "failure to pass/withdraw/refuse the grade" in an exam session, students are allowed to repeat the test in the next session.


The oral exam will include open questions concerning the bibliographic material and the topics covered in class.

The teacher will also evaluate with the attending students the possibility of including a mid-term test probably in the last lesson of the course. In this case, the assessment will take place in written form and in presence with the same procedures as the exam session. The student must be able to demonstrate that he/she has acquired the contents of the course, to master them adequately, connecting and comparing different clinical constructs/perspectives, as well as to be able to communicate the information learned during the course with technical language (therefore using technical terms appropriate to the subject of reference). No special exams will be granted outside the periods indicated in the Regulations of the Degree Program.


The teaching hours will be divided between the Responsible Teacher and Dr. Stefania Muzi, RTD-B of Clinical Psychology (

Prof. C.S. Peace is the Head of the Clinical Psychology Laboratory (LACLISPY: which includes Dr. Muzi and Prof. Guyonne Rogier (

THESES: To be discussed after the start of the lessons