Subject: Clinical and Health Psychology

Scientific Area:



56 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

0 - This unit establishes as objectives:
1 - Understand the Clinical psychology at the conceptual framework of psychology as a science.
2 - Characterize and theoretically explain the key elements of the intervention process.
3 - To know the different modalities of intervention in Clinical Psychology.
4 - Understand the functions of the clinical psychologist in different working contexts.
5 - Understand the ethical and deontological issues associated with the practice of the profession of clinical psychologist.
6 - Acquire and exercise regular research competences of the most relevant investigations at national and international level in the field of clinical psychology.


1 - Clinical Psychology as a field of construction and application of knowledge.
1.1 - Definition and historical perspective.
1.2 - Context in the current social ecology and implications of intervention at different ecological levels.
1.3 - Characterization of the field of research.
2 - Clinical Psychology.
2.1 - Functions of clinical psychologist.
2.1.1 - Types of intervention.
2.1.2 - The clinical psychologist in the context of multidisciplinary teams.
2.2 - Levels of clinical inference.
2.3 - The key elements of the intervention process.
2.3.1 - The therapeutic relationship.
2.3.2 - The evaluation.
2.3.3 - Case formulation.
2.3.4 - Planning the intervention.
2.3.5 - What is change?
2.3.6 - Evaluation of intervention results.
2.3.7 - Communication on the process: recipients, objectives and formats.
2.4 - Ethical issues associated with the key elements of the intervention process.
3 - The contexts of clinical Psychology Practice.
4 - Current Challenges of Clinical Psychology.


Ackerman, S. J., & Hilsenroth, M. J. , 2003 , A review of therapist characteristics and techniques positively impacting the therapeutic alliance ,
Baker, T. B., McFall, R. M., & Shoham, V. , 2008 , Current status and future prospects of clinical psychology toward a scientifically principled approach to mental and behavioral health care ,
Barlow, D. H. (Ed.) , 2010 , The Oxford Handbook of Clinical Psychology , Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Francis, R. , 2004 , Ética Para Psicólogos , Lisboa: Instituto Piaget.
Mahoney, M. J. , 1991 , Human change processes: The scientific foundations of psychotherapy , New York, NY, US: Basic Books.
Pereira, D. , 2014 , Parentalidade e proteção à infância: um guia para a avaliação da capacidade parental. Tese de doutoramento apresentada à Faculdade de Psicologia e Ciências da Educação da Universidade de Coimbra. ,

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
The classes will be based on expository and interrogative methods, using examples and exercises that promote critical and informed reflection on clinical psychology. Students will be assessed through individual work, group work and attendance. The individual work will focus on an emerging theme in clinical psychology (eg, e-therapy, biological correlates of psychotherapy). The group work will detail the performance of the clinical psychologist in a specific context with respect to the various key elements of the intervention process and will include a theoretical reflection on them, based on an interview with a professional. The oral presentation of both papers will be considered. The frequency will be based on issues of development and critical reflection. The papers have a weighting of 50% for the final grade (25% + 25%) as well as the frequency, and a minimum mark of 9.5 is required for each of these components (evaluation model B).