Clinical Psychology (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Valeria Donisi
Valeria Donisi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. IB dal Nov 13, 2017 al Jan 20, 2018.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course aims to illustrate the theoretical and methodological topics which characterize psychology as a clinical discipline. Elements of psychopathology and clinical diagnosis will be included in the course.
Looking at the main themes of clinical psychology also through classroom debates and discussions, the course aims to provide tools for a better understanding of the clients’ needs.

At the end of the course the student will have acquired: basic knowledge of clinical psychology tools; knowledge and understanding of different theoretical approaches in clinical psychology; knowledge and understanding of key concepts of psychopathology and basic elements of psychopathology in the life cycle; wider competencies on communication and relationship tools to improve communication skills with clients; ability to understand and use the technical language of clinical psychology.


During the course the main themes of clinical psychology will be discussed:
- definition, origin, evolution of clinical psychology;
- the tools of clinical psychology: the clinical interview; basic elements of psychodiagnosis; observation;
- verbal and non-verbal communication, instruments for effective communication, emotion and difficult interactions;
- principles and characteristics of main psychological and psychotherapy theories and approaches in clinical psychology;
- elements of psychopathology;
- stress, disease and health clinical psychology;
- clinical psychology in the various life phases;
- definition and prevention of burnout.

Lessons will include standard frontal lessons with use of slides, frontal lessons with exercises and discussions.
The content of the texts and the slides (available on the e-learning platform) are coherent with the syllabus.

Slides will include bibliography suggestions for further reading.
During the whole academic year, in addition, the teacher will receive the students individually (it is necessary to arrange an appointment via e-mail,

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Sanavio Ezio; Cornoldi Cesare Psicologia clinica (3 ed.) (Edizione 3) Il Mulino, Bologna 2017

Assessment methods and criteria

The assessment will take place through a written exam lasting one hour. It will include multiple-choice (12 questions - 1 point for each correct answer) and open-ended questions (5 questions - from 0 to 4 points for each). The exam will test the whole course programme, including the reference book and the slides. The exam will be the same for attending and non-attending students.

ERASMUS students are kindly asked to contact the teacher ( at the beginning of the course in order to agree the teaching methods and assessment test.

The exam aims to verify the knowledge and understanding of the relevant elements of the theory and intervention in clinical psychology, including the ability to apply the knowledge to the reported examples.
In the open questions, students are asked to demonstrate their ability to answer in a correct, clear and concise way, identifying the essential elements for the answer and using the relevant technical language of clinical psychology.