Psychotherapeutic Intervention with Children and Adolescents


The course aims at analysing some of the main approaches to child and adolescent psychotherapy, allowing students to achieve a better understanding of existing theoretical models and to acquire skills for identifying the intervention methods which are currently recognized as most effective for addressing specific psychological difficulties in childhood.


After a brief overview on historical developments and a critical introduction of the concept of evidence based in child and adolescent psychotherapy, the course will examine some psychotherapeutic models, comparing them. In particular, the Psychodynamic model, the Gestalt psychotherapy, the Cognitive Behavioral therapies (CBT), including third generation approaches, will be analysed, highlighting the model of man, basic assumptions and theory of psychological functioning, clinical model and explanation of psychological disorder, theory of cure and intervention techniques.

In the last part of the course, some intervention protocols for specific clinical conditions and age groups will be explored. Among the others, a focus will be offered on models of proven effectiveness, and whose use is suggested in international guidelines, for the treatment of anxiety and PTSD in children and adolescents. Finally, the transdiagnostic approach to the treatment of child and adolescent psychopathologies will be presented.


The final achievement of the course objectives will be verified through ongoing presentations and a final written paper, in which the students will demonstrate their ability to critically review the contents learned.


  • Weisz, JR, & Kazdin, AE (Eds.) (2017) Evidence-Based Psychotherapies for Children and Adolescents, Third Edition. Guilford Press: New York
  • Farrell, LJ,  Murrihy, RC, & Essau, CA(2023 Handbook of Child and Adolescent Psychology Treatment Modules, Academic Press,
  • F.Celi (2018) La psicoterapia in età evolutiva. Firenze, Hogrefe editore.
  • Pietro M., Bassi E. (2013), L’intervento cognitivo comportamentale per l’età evolutiva. Trento, Erickson
  • Hayes, L.L., Ciarrochi J.V., (2017). Adolescenti in crescita. L’ACT per aiutare i giovani a gestire le emozioni, raggiungere obiettivi, costruire relazioni sociali. Milano, Franco Angeli editore.

Ulteriori riferimenti bibliografici saranno forniti a lezione.

Further bibliographical references will be provided during the course.