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Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

Course contents

Taught courses

The program is articulated in three years and includes seminars, frontal lessons, exercises, individual and group supervisions and clinical training in one of the three fields proposed (psychoanalysis, systemic-relational therapies and clinical cognitivism) or in clinical neuropsychology.
Didactic activities will be held in Italian and English by Italian and foreign teachers. Every PhD student, with the help of his/her supervisor, will select, develop and complete a research project, either autonomously or connected to an existing program in the doctorate. Many seminars will be connected with the research project chosen by students and will allow them to connect the selected arguments with current theoretical and methodological debates in the field of clinical psychology and psychotherapy.
Activities are distributed as follows:

First year

Lessons, exercises, seminars inherent to the themes of the Doctorate.

Individual and group supervisions on the research activities of PhD students.

Clinical internship of 300 hours in one of the three psychotherapeutic fields of the PhD program (systemic, cognitive and psychodynamic) or in clinical neuropsychology, within the clinical centres - public or private – collaborating with the PhD program. The choice of the type of internship (psychotherapeutic or neuropsychological), as well as the psychotherapeutic field (systemic, cognitive or psychodynamic) is left to the PhD student.

At the end of the first year PhD students must present:

  1. a report on a psychological consultation (systemically, cognitively or psychodynamically oriented) to which the PhD student will have assisted or a report on the neuropsychological diagnosis of a clinical case according to the selected apprenticeship
  2. a literature review describing the state of the art in the research field chosen by the PhD student
  3. the layout of the research project the PhD student intends to develop (clearly pointing out the hypotheses, the methodology and its feasibility).

Second year

Lessons, exercises, seminars inherent to the themes of the Doctorate.

Individual and group supervisions on the research activities of PhD students.

Clinical internship of 300 hours in one of the three psychotherapeutic fields of the PhD program (systemic, cognitive and psychodynamic) or in clinical neuropsychology, within the clinical centres - public or private – collaborating with the PhD program. The student that the preceding year has done an internship in one of the three psychotherapeutic fields of the PhD program must do it in clinical neuropsychology and vice versa.

At the end of the second year PhD students must present:

  1. a report on a psychological consultation (systemically, cognitively or psychodynamically oriented) to which the PhD student will have assisted or a report on the neuropsychological diagnosis of a clinical case according to the selected apprenticeship
  2. the definitive layout of the research project illustrating in detail the tools, the procedures, the collection of data and the selection of the participants
  3. the research developed.

Third year

Lessons, exercises, seminars inherent to the themes of the Doctorate.

Individual and group supervisions on the research activities of PhD students.

Clinical internship of 300 hours in one of the three psychotherapeutic fields of the PhD program (systemic, cognitive and psychodynamic) or in clinical neuropsychology, within the clinical centres - public or private – collaborating with the PhD program. The choice of the type of internship (psychotherapeutic or neuropsychological), as well as the psychotherapeutic field (systemic, cognitive or psychodynamic) is left to the PhD student.

At the end of the third year PhD students must present:

  1. a report on a short psychotherapy or on a neuropsychological rehabilitation intervention course, according to the apprenticeship done
  2. the analysis and statistic elaboration of research data
  3. the complete thesis (in English).

* * *

At the end of every year, PhD students must present and discuss their research with the Faculty members of the PhD school, during a seminar. The admission to the second year depends on the approval of the research project by the PhD Faculty committee.

During the three-year program, PhD students are required to present their research results (also preliminary) in at least a congress, preferably international, but also national, of proven scientific value and with selection of the abstracts.

Course attendance is mandatory. The PhD Faculty Committee may not admit to the following year those students that have attended less than 80% of didactic activities.

The research and didactic activity will be primarily carried out at the University of Bergamo. The internship will take place in the structures collaborating with the University of Bergamo, such as: Centro Auxologico Italiano, Milan; Departament de personalitat avaluaciò i tractament psicologics, Universitat de Barcelona; European Institute of Systemic-relational Therapies, Milan; Tavistock Clinic, London.

During the second or third year, coherently with the research project carried out and in accord with their supervisor, students should spend a period of at least three / six months carrying out their research and studies within a foreign university or clinical centre.