Developmental Psychotherapy
Reference HMPSYA01000006
Taught in First Master of Psychology - Main Subject: Clinical Psychology
Minors for Master of Psychology - Main Subject: Teacher Education and Training - afstudeerrichting: onderwijs
Theory (A) 30.0
Exercises (B) 22.5
Training and projects (C) 0.0
Studytime (D) 210.0
Studypoints (E) 7
Credit contract? Access is determined after successful competences assessment
Examination contract? This course can not be taken through an exam contract
Credit contract mandatory if Exam contract? Separate credit contract mandatory
Retake possible? Yes
Teaching Language Dutch
Lecturer Caroline Braet
Department PP07
Key Words

developmental psychopathology, child oriented psychotherapy

Position of the Course

  • To understand the basic theoretical principles, specific methods and intervention techniques in developmental psychotherapy for children, adolescents and adults.
  • To posses attitudes and skills with respect to the dynamics and handling of problems and issues in developmental psychotherapy.


In this course the following topics are discussed:

  • principles of intervention focussed diagnostics;
  • vulnerability studies;
  • developments in ‘evidence based mental health’ and ‘stepped care’ related to children and adolescents;
  • the interpretation of meta-analyses, effectivity studies (RCT’s), moderator analyses and predictor analyses;
  • developmental tasks;
  • contextual factors in clinical work with children;
  • specific areas of focus in adolescents;
  • psychotherapy aimed at youths and multidisciplinary methods of operation.
Topics covered as part of this include a developmental psychopathological approach to tics, eating disorders, self-mutilation, fear of failure, compulsive acts, post-traumatic stress, aggression, alcohol and substance abuse. As part of the practical session, the above topics are explored in-depth by adopting a developmental psychopathological approach to clinical issues with students being taught how to adequately analyse the issue.

Starting Competences

  • To be able to understand basic concepts and basic methodologies of developmental psychopathology and to apply them with insight.
  • To be able to differentiate disorders in children and to distinguish relevant etiological or maintaining factors; to be able to recognize and formulate research questions in this field.
  • To be able to analyse clinical problems from a developmental psychopathological frame of reference.
  • To be able to situate the recent developments within the field of psychopathology and to reflect critically on these.
  • To be able to analyse a psychological problem in a child from a developmental psychopathological point of view, select relevant methodologies, apply them correctly and report on them.

Final Competences

  • To be open to collaborating on practice-oriented scientific research from the work situation.
  • To be oriented towards seeking out and implementing empirically supported psychological intervention methods.
  • To acquire the skill to analyse and interpret data in the most appropriate way.
  • To learn to set up and carry out an optimal research plan in consultation with clients and team mates.
  • To be proficient in consultation in a clinical-psychological context.

Teaching and Learning Material

Cost: 50.0 EUR

  • Textbook (also see first year second cycle): J. Rigter (2002).
  • Ontwikkelingspsychopathologie bij kinderen en jeugdigen. Bussum: Coutinho.
  • Readers containing selected chapters and relevant articles.
  • Practicum materials.


  • Pameijer, N.K. (1995). Richtlijnen voor handelingsgerichte diagnostiek. In: De Bruyn, E.E.J., Pameijer, N.K., Ruyssenaars, A.J.J.M. & Van Aarle, E.J.M. (eds). Diagnostische besluitvorming : handleiding bij het doorlopen van de diagnostische cyclus. Leuven: ACCO.
  • Hibbs, E.D., Jensen, P.S. (1996). Psychosocial Treatments for Child and Adolescent Disorders. Empirically based strategies for clinical practice. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Study Coaching

  • Interactive support using MINERVA.
  • By appointment.

Teaching Methods

  • Lectures with practical demonstrations.
  • Case studies and topics in small groups, under supervision.
  • Use of one-way screens, video, role-play and other action techniques.

Evaluation Methods

A combination of periodical and non-periodical evaluation.

Examination Methods

  • Written examination with open questions.
  • Evaluation of the progress made during the year and of a paper.
The exam and the continuous evaluation will count both for 1/2 of the final grade.

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