Cursos / 2º Ciclo / Institute of Psychology and Educational Sciences :: Clinical Psychology

Versao Portuguesa


1º curricular year
Semestralidade: 2nd semester


Leading Teacher: Prof. Doutora Joana Oliveira
Assistant Professor: Prof. Doutora Joana Oliveira

Class type and School hours

Main Aims/Objectives

The aim of this course is to promote knowledge of conceptual models and theoretical assumptions of clinical
conceptualization and skills of application of those assumptions to specific cases.

Specific Aims/Objectives

Understand the significance of clinical conceptualization and its importance in the psychological intervention
process, particularly as a liaison between the assessment and intervention;
Be aware that the understanding of the functioning of individuals is influenced by the assumptions and principles
underlying conceptual frameworks;

Skills to be acquired

Understand the importance of using empirically validated approaches tb in the conceptualization process;
Apply the principles and assumptions of bio-psychosocial and cognitive behavioral approaches to the
understanding of different psychological organizations worthy of clinical attention;
Have a critical understanding of the potential and limitations of the approaches to the understanding of different

Teaching Procedures

Teaching methodologies will combine expositive, demonstrative and participative methodologies. Curriculum
topics will be taught using oral exposition, data exposition (power point, video recordings of therapy sessions).
Conceptualization skills will be promoted throughout practical case conceptualization and discussion. Webbased
technologies (e.g. Moodle) will be used to promote interaction between teacher and students (discussion
foruns, exercises).


1.Introduction to clinical conceptualization (CC): definition,purpose,process,usefulness;
2. Conceptualization in perspective: linking clinical evaluation and clinical intervention
3.Biopsychosocial CC: Identification of the relevant domains of functioning; Description and characterization of
the main functioning domains; Reciprocal influences between the main functioning domains
4.CBT clinical conceptualization:
a.Basic cognitive model of problem development: early experience, core beliefs/assumptions/schemas, critical
incident, Thoughts, affect, physiology, behaviour;
b.Viscious cycles:processes that maintain the problem
c.Longitudinal explanation of the problem: The five Ps:presenting issues, precipitating, perpetuating,
predisposing, protective factors;
d.Contextualising the problem: personal history, geography, culture, environment,
5.Conceptualization with different clinical populations (Specific conditions with Children and Adolescents;
Specific conditions with adults).

Evaluation Type

Students must to attend to a minimum of 70% of the classes. Evaluation of student’s theoretical knowledge and practical application of theory-based information will be carried out via written components. Students will develop a clinical conceptualization of 2 clinical cases (1 with child/adolescents, 1 with adults), a written work to be delivered at the end of the semester – this will be the indicator for continuous evaluation, which accounts for 60% of the final classif.. The students will take a final written exam 40%.

Teaching Resources

Counselling Service of the University; B-On; power point, video recordings of therapy sessions; Webbased technologies (e.g. Moodle)


Clinical conceptualization; Biopsychosocial clinical conceptualization; CBT clinical conceptualization.

Main Bibliography

Author Berman, P.S.
Title Case Conceptualization and Treatment Planning: Int
Edition 3rd
Editor Sage
Year 2015
Author Eells, T. D. (Ed.)
Title Handbook of psychotherapy case formulation
Editor Guilford Press
Year 2011
Author Sperry, L. & Sperr, J
Title Case Conceptualization: Mastering this Competency
Editor Routledge.
Year 2012

Complementary Bibliography

Author Ingram, B. L.
Title Clinical Case Formulations: Matching the Integrati
Author Kuyken, W., Padesky, C.A., & Dudley, R.
Title Collaborative Case Coceptualization: Working Effec