cod. 1010912

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - First semester
- Lorenzo PELIZZA
Academic discipline
Psicologia dinamica (M-PSI/07)
Psicologia dinamica e clinica
Type of training activity
42 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

At the end of the course, the student is expected to be able to:
+) to know the clinic, the diagnostics and the fundamental principles of treatment of the mental disorders that most frequently affect the elderly, the prison population and pathological addictions.
+) to apply some of the main assessment tools discussed in lectures, useful for diagnostic purposes for a correct evaluation of the aforementioned mental disorders.
+) to understand the main theoretical-cultural foundations and the aspects of practical relevance at the basis of the multidimensional assessment and the socio-health integration.
+) to learn the main practical ways of building an individualized therapeutic-rehabilitation project, aimed at the reintegration of patients into their communities of life, and know how to evaluate the appropriateness of the defined objectives.
+) to be able to grasp the professional relevance of the clinical psychologist in the aforementioned areas of clinical-therapeutic intervention.
+) to know how to communicate and master in a sufficiently appropriate way the main clinical and psychopathological characteristics of the above mentioned mental disorders.


The student must know the main aspects of clinical psychopathology and psychiatric nosography, which in any case will be resumed within the program, specifically focusing on the consultation of the main nosographic systems used in clinical practice (such as the DSM-5 and the ICD-11) . It is also important having a good motivation to learn issues related to psychological suffering in specific psychosocial frailties.

Course unit content

The contents of this course will disuss the crucial role and functions of the clinical psychologist in mental disorders affecting old age and some groups of vulnerable individuals (e.g. prisoners, people with pathological addictions), giving particular emphasis to the multidisciplinary care approach and to the active relationship with the other agencies of the belonging community.

Full programme

The following topics will be covered:
1) Right to health in prisons: legislative aspects.
2) Operating procedures for mental health and pathological addictions in prison: regional recommendations and intervention protocols in the Parma AUSL.
3) Suicide in prisons: epidemiology, risk factors and prevention programs.
4) More common mental disorders in the prison population: adjustment disorder, antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, depressive disorders.
5) Substance Use Disorder: clinical pictures, diagnosis and treatment (Alcohol, Opioids, Cannabinoids, Cocaine and Psychostimulants).
6) Mental disorders in the elderly: the importance of a multidimensional evaluation, neuropsychological assessment, dementia (classification, diagnosis and treatment), depressive disorder in the elderly.
7) Social isolation and preventive interventions.
8) Social determinants of mental health and innovative rehabilitation approach in mental health.
9) History of Italian psychiatry and organization of public departments of mental health.


During the lectures, specific articles and relevant documents relating to the topics covered will be indicated. They will be used, together with the proposed slides, for the preparation of the final exam. Here are some fundamental bibliographical references:
+) Maria Laura Fadda. The protection of the right to health of prisoners.
+) Rodolfo Pessina, Carmen Santorello, Ilaria Rossetto et al. (). POSSIBILITÀ E LIMITI DEI SERVIZI DI PSICHIATRIA FORENSE: LEGISLAZIONE E ORGANIZZAZIONE IN UN’OTTICA INTERNAZIONALE E NAZIONALE. Rivista di Psichiatria 2019; 54 (6 Suppl. 2): S21-S81.
+) Lorenzo Pelizza, Ursula Zambelli, Enrico Rossi et al. Mental health interventions in an Italian prison: the Parma integrated approach. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRISONER HEALTH, 2020.
+) Lorenzo Pelizza, Amir Zaimovic, Bruno Veneri et al. The Parma integrated model for intervention on pathological addictions in an Italian prison: process description and preliminary findings. Acta Biomedica, 2021; Vol. 92, N. 3: e2021223.
+) Antonio Preti, Maria teresa Cascio. Prison Suicides and Self-harming Behaviours in Italy, 1990-2002. 8 Med. Sci. Law, 2006; 46, No. 2.
+) Ciro Garuti. Il “Servizio Nuovi Giunti”: un quarto di secolo di circolari, normative e attività dello Psicologo. Psicologia e Giustizia, 13, 2, 201.
+) Regione Emilia Romagna.REPORT 2019 SULLA SALUTE IN CARCERE IN EMILIA-ROMAGNA. Bologna: Centro Stampa della Regione Emilia Romagna, 2019.
+) Patricia Casey. Adjustment Disorder: epidemiology, Diagnosis and Treatment. CNS Drugs 2009; 23 (11): 927-938,
+) James R.P. Ogloff. Psychopathy/Antisocial Personality Disorder Conundrum. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 2006 40: 519.
+) John G. Gunderson, Sabine C. Herpertz, Andrew E. Skodol, Svenn Torgersen, Mary C. Zanarini. Borderline personality disorder. NATURE REVIEWS, 2018; 4, 18029.
+) GIOVANNA CORIALE, DANIELA FIORENTINO, FRANCESCA DE ROSA et al. Treatment of alcohol use disorder from a psychological point of view. Riv Psichiatr 2018; 53(3): 141-148.
+) American Psychiatric Association. Guidelines for substance use disorders. APA, 2010.
+) Kyle M. Kampman. The treatment of cocaine use disorder. Sci. Adv. 2019; 5 : eaax1532.
+) Jakob Manthey, Tom P Freemand, Carolin Kilian, Hugo Lopez-Pelayo, Jurgen Rehm. Public health monitoring of cannabis use in Europe: prevalence of use, cannabis potency, and treatment rates. The Lancet Regional Health - Europe 10 (2021) 100227.
+) Alka A. Subramanyam, Shipra Singh. Mild cognitive decline: Concept, types, presentation, and management. Journal of Geriatric Mental Health, Jan-Jun-2016, Vol 3, Issue 1.
Other articles and documents may be indicated during the lessons.

Teaching methods

Lectures with interactive discussion on clinical cases.

Assessment methods and criteria

The assessment of learning will include a written test with three open questions. During the written test, the student will be required to know the main mental disorders affecting the elderly, the prison population and pathological addictions. In particular, the student will be required to frame the main symptom pictures and to describe the basic diagnostic methods and the principles of treatment of these disorders (with particular reference to the psychological and psychosocial ones). The student will also have to demonstrate knowledge of the practical aspects of multidimensional assessment and socio-healthcare integration.
The duration of the written test will be 90 minutes. The written test is graded with a 0-30 scale. Honors will be awarded in the case of achieving the maximum score, to which is added the mastery of the disciplinary vocabulary.
Please note that online registration for the exam is mandatory.

Other information

An essential prerequisite is a sufficient motivation to learn the main clinical aspects in treatment and diagnosis of people with psychological frailties.