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CODE 67553
SEMESTER 1° Semester
Propedeuticità in ingresso
Per sostenere l'esame di questo insegnamento è necessario aver sostenuto i seguenti esami:


The teaching of clinical psychology concerns one of the main theoretical and applied branches of psychology including the scientific study and applications of psychology about the understanding, prevention, and intervention of psychological and relational problems in individuals, families, and groups.



The teaching of clinical psychology aims to provide a framework of clinical psychology, as regards the main theories and methods of intervention, with a specific focus on psychodynamic framework and attachment theory. Special attention will be given: to reflect on the role of clinical psychologist in different working contexts; to the demand analysis model; to the clinical relationships -from beginning to the end of treatment, to the psychodynamic assessment and to the attachment-based psychotherapies


The course aims at providing students with theoretical and methodological knowledge on Clinical Psychology, its intervention methods and research field. The course will address the main issues of clinical psychology and it will be organized in three parts:

  • Part 1: Concepts, definitions, and paradigms of Clinical Psychology.

Definition of Clinical Psychology – Theoretical models of motivation – Psychopathology – Intervention techniques – Diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitative activities – Psychological intervention in different contexts

  • Part 2: Assessment of clinical disorders and personality disorders.

Mental functioning - Psychopathological suffering - Affect Regulation - Relational patterns - Developmental issues - Defense mechanisms - Personality organizations – Psychodynamic diagnosis

  • Part 3: Models and Methodologies of Clinical Intervention.

Therapeutic relationship - Transference and countertransference – Therapeutic Alliance – Clinical Training - Clinical contexts - Ethical principles and professional ethics

At the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  1. to define clinical psychology and the role of the clinical psychologist in the different contexts of intervention (knowledge and understanding)
  2. understand and reflect on the model of demand analysis (applying knowledge and understanding)
  3. acquire adequate knowledge related to the construction of the clinical relationship, from sending it to its conclusion, to its processes and problems (knowledge and understanding)
  4. acquire adequate knowledge concerning the psychodynamic evaluation and its methodologies (knowledge and understanding)
  5. apply the acquired knowledge to the analysis of clinical cases (applying knowledge and understanding)
  6. acquire the technical language typical of clinical psychology to communicate with specialists and non-specialists and to orientate oneself in future choices (learning skills)
  7. to communicate effectively in written and oral form, adaptation of one's communication to the context, use of sources and aids of various kinds (functional alphabetic competence - basic level)

to manage own social interactions, collaborative attitude, and constructive communication in different environments (social competence - basic level)


Required prerequisites: Dynamic Psychology exam. The student must adequately master the concepts of dynamic psychology and have a good knowledge of the contributions of the most significant and influential psychoanalysts.


The teaching will be divided into:

  1. Lectures with presentation of slides and videos
  2. Group teaching: students will be divided into small groups in the classroom during the lessons and will have time to analyze the transcript of a first clinical interview in the light of the contents learned in the previous lessons. At the end of the activities, the groups are called to report to the plenary what emerged during the analysis and discussion in a small group. The teacher, in the position of facilitator, will favor the exchange and the problematization of what emerged with questions and relaunches. Critical and active student participation will be encouraged.
  3. (If possible) Seminars with expert clinical psychologists, from the profession and services, on specific topics relevant to clinical psychology (e.g., code of ethics and psychotherapy with adolescents, etc.)


The course program will include the presentation and discussion of the following topics:

  • Models and theories in clinical psychology
  • Evaluation in clinical psychology: methodologies, tools, classification systems
  • Intervention in clinical psychology: process, counselling, verification, and professional ethics
  • Analysis of the demand as a model for clinical-psychological practice
  • The unconscious in the clinical relationship
  • Treat the question of clinical psychology: from sending to consultation settling
  • The "short" psychological-clinical intervention
  • The clinical relationship: the therapeutic alliance
  • The conclusion of the psychological intervention
  • The supervision relationship
  • Nosography-descriptive (DSM) and interpretative diagnosis (psychodynamic evaluation)
  • Methodologies: The Structural Interview by Kernberg
  • The evolutionary levels of personality organization
  • Defence mechanisms in clinical practice


Bibliography list:


Texts for the exam:

  1. Gabbard G. O. (2005). Introduzione alla psicoterapia psicodinamica, part 1, chapters 1-6. Raffaello Cortina, Milano;
  2. McWilliams N. (2011). Psychoanalytic diagnosis. Understanding Personality structure in the clinical process, The Guilford Press, New York, London
  3. Muller R.T. (2010). Trauma and the avoidant client: attachment-based strategies for healing, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, London.

The books written by Italian scholars (Verrocchio., 2023, Manuale di Psicologia Clinica and Grasso, 2010, La relazione terapeutica) can be replaced with other texts agreed with the Professor.

For international students, texts and articles in English are available on request. The exam can be taken in English in the prescribed manner.




Tuesday 17th September 2024. 2-4 pm in person (1st semester).

Lessons will take place on Tuesday 2-4pm, Wednesday and Thursday10-12 am in presence, unless otherwise indicated by the University.

Class schedule




The exam procedure will be in written form with open questions, followed by electronic registration, usually within the next session. The exam will be held in person, unless otherwise indicated by the University in the event of a resurgence of the health emergency.

The evaluation will be expressed out of thirty. For passing the exam, the lowest grade will be 18/30 and the highest will be 30/30. In the event of "failure / withdrawal / refusal of grade" in an exam session, students are allowed to repeat the exam in the next session.


The written exam includes open-ended questions regarding the bibliographic material and, only for attending students, topics presented and discussed in classes.

The professor will consider, with the attending students, the possibility of adding a pre-session exam in the last lesson of the teaching. In this case, the pre-session exam will take place in written form and in person in the same way as the regular exam session.

The students must be able to demonstrate that they have acquired the contents of teaching, they are able to appropriately manage them, connecting and comparing different clinical constructs/perspectives, as well as they have learned how to communicate them using scientific language and technical terms.

Extraordinary sessions will not be granted outside the periods indicated in the Study Program Regulations.



For the 2024-25 academic year, the teacher of Clinical Psychology (67553) is available to follow about 10 theses of the Bachelor’s degree in Psychological Sciences and Techniques and some theses of the Master's Degree in Psychology.

The theses will focus on areas of interest and expertise of the Laboratory of Clinical Psychology (LACLISPY). The specific topics will be communicated at the beginning of the teaching and through the dedicated space on Aulaweb.

Interested students can send an email to Professor Pace ( and/or Dr. Muzi  (, indicating:

  • Topic of interest and motivation
  • CV related to experiences that you consider useful (e.g., knowledge of English, software, exam marks, etc.)

For students who, for their thesis, will be involved in research projects or systematic reviews, it will also be possible to recognize any free credits, if they request them.


Students with disabilities or DSA are reminded that in order to request adaptations during the exam, they must first enter the certification on the University website on the page in the "Students" section. The documentation will be verified by the University's Services Sector for the inclusion of students with disabilities and DSA (

Subsequently, significantly in advance (at least 10 days) of the exam date, it is necessary to send an e-mail to the teacher with whom you will take the exam, inserting in copy copy both the teacher in charge of the School for the inclusion of students with disabilities and with DSA ( is the Sector indicated above using one of the following addresses (; In the email you must specify:

the name of the course
the date of the appeal
the student's surname, first name and student number
the compensatory tools and dispensatory measures deemed functional and required.

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
Good health and well being
Good health and well being