Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: Vittorio LENZO

Expected Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, the student must have acquired basic knowledge of psychodynamic models and their application in clinical and research. Specifically, at the end of the course, the student:

- will acquire the main concepts of dynamic psychology;

- will know the evolution of dynamic psychology from Freud to current relational orientations;

- will know the application areas of psychodynamic theories.

Course Structure

Lectures (PowerPoint presentations and video) 

Required Prerequisites

Students should have knowledge related to the fundamentals of psychology.

Attendance of Lessons

Recommended, not mandatory.

Detailed Course Content

The course will focus on the following topics:

- the Freudian perspective: drives, conflicts, and defenses;

- theories and world views in dynamic psychology;

- the unconscious;

- emotions and affections;

- intimacy and sexuality;

- motivational systems;

- internal objects and internal working models;

- organizing function: from the Ego to the Self;

- defense mechanisms and adaptation strategies in mediation with reality;

- psychopathology: from internal fantasies to the memory of relationships;

- the setting;

- the transference;

- from interpretation to relational experience in psychotherapy;

- attachment paradigm and clinical intervention;

- dynamic psychology and infant research;

- dynamic psychology and attachment theory;

- research in psychodynamic psychotherapy;

- dynamic psychology and neuroscience;

- psychoanalytic character diagnosis;

- developmental levels of personality organization;

- primary and secondary defensive processes;

- types of character organization.

Textbook Information

1. Amadei, G., Cavanna, D., & Zavattini, G. C. (2015). Psicologia dinamica. Bologna: il Mulino.

2. McWilliams, N. (2012). La diagnosi psicoanalitica (seconda edizione). Astrolabio, Roma.

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1The Freudian perspective1
2The unconscious1
3Emotions and affections1
4Intimacy and sexuality1
5Motivational systems1
6Internal objects and internal working models1
7Organizing function1
8Defense mechanisms and adaptation strategies 1
9Psychopathology: from internal fantasies to the memory of relationships1
10The setting1
11The transfert1
12From interpretation to relational experience in psychotherapy1
13Attachment paradigm and clinical intervention1
14Dynamic psychology and infant research1
15Dynamic psychology and attachment theory1
16Research in psychodynamic psychotherapy1
17Dynamic psychology and neuroscience1
18Psychoanalytic character diagnosis2
19Developmental levels of personality organization2
20Primary and secondary defensive processes 2
21Types of character organization2

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Oral exam. The following indicators will be considered:

Knowledge and ability to understand

Know and rework the basic concepts of dynamic psychology and understand their application in the clinical setting.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding

Apply theoretical knowledge and methodological skills to clinical contexts, with particular reference to the concepts of dynamic psychology.

Autonomy of judgment

To mature the ability to work autonomously, with a critical and conscious approach, showing that it knows how to make operational decisions in relation to the needs and problems encountered in various situations.

Communication skills

Hold communication skills for the description and synthesis of the course content through an appropriate psychological lexicon.

Learning ability

Increase learning skills through individual study and autonomous understanding of theoretical and clinical texts. Acquire the ability to apply knowledge to solve proposed concrete situations.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

The questions will refer to the contents of the program.

Below are some examples of exam questions:

1)  What characterizes Freud’s theory of neuroses?

2)  What is the principle of psychic determinism?

3)  What is an internal object?

4)  What is meant by object-Self?

5)  What are defense mechanisms?

6)  What is a setting?

7)  What is meant by transference?

8)  Which aspects characterize the development model from the perspective of Infant research?

9)  What is meant by non-specific factors in psychotherapy?

10)  What is therapeutic process research?

11)  What aspects characterize psychoanalytic diagnosis?

12)  What is meant by primary defensive processes?

13)  What are the evolutionary levels of personality organization?

14)  What is a depressive personality?