Course Syllabus

European Clinical Psychology B

DIS Logo


Semester & Location:

Spring 2019 - DIS Copenhagen

Type & Credits:

Core Class - 3 credits

Major Disciplines:

Human Development, Pre-Medicine/Health Science, Psychology

Faculty Members:

Lars Rossen

Program Director:

Carla Caetano:

Program Assistant:

Carolyn Goddard: 

Time & Place:

Monday & Thursday 8.30-9.50 - N7-B13


Description of Course

In this clinical psychology course we will focus on the way the field of clinical psychology is approached within a European context. We will start with the study of historical and cultural issues, and as the semester unfolds, we will study different psychotherapeutic schools and their view on the etiology of psychological problems. The main focus will be on adult mental health.

 Throughout the course, we will discuss controversial issues in the field and consider differences in American and European approaches to treatment. One goal of the course is to make these theoretical discussions concrete and applicable to real-life scenarios as experienced on field trips and study tours and via case studies. Aside from lectures, other methods of instruction will be group discussion, student papers, and illustrative videos.

Although we will apply what we learn, this is primarily a theoretical course.

Learning Objectives

In this course, you will learn to reflect critically on theory, application and research within the field of clinical psychology. You will be asked to evaluate different perspectives, concepts and practices throughout the semester. This course is designed to help you begin thinking about specific approaches to treating a variety of clients. The field of clinical psychology is rapidly moving toward a theory of differential treatment; rather than asking ‘What is the best theory of counseling and psychotherapy?’ we are increasingly asking ‘What treatment, by whom, is most effective for this individual, with that specific problem, and under what set of circumstances? ‘. 

During our field studies and study trips you will also see how clinical psychology is applied in real world settings, where you will be able to analyze, compare and contrast different perspectives in selected European clinical contexts. 

More specifically, you will: 

- Become familiar with important concepts and issues surrounding the field of clinical psychology in Europe.

- Become familiar with some of the most prevalent treatment approaches and understand the link between these different approaches and their potential impact on clients.

- Become more knowledgeable about the controversial issues in clinical psychology.

- Describe, understand, and begin to use the major foundational ideas in psychotherapy. These skills include empathy, active listening, and recognizing different worldviews.

- Define, understand and use the terminology of the major psychotherapeutic schools.

- Analyze case studies and argue for a specific treatment approach.

- Think divergently about a single phenomenon.

- Be able to reflect on what we learn during lectures and during study tours and synthesize these two experiences by using the overarching themes of therapeutic environments and therapeutic 



Lars Rossen, Cand. Psych. Aut.  (2007, University of Copenhagen). BA. Psychology (2005, University of Copenhagen). Psychologist and consultant at Copenhagen Municipality in various positions (2007-2010). Consultant for Bornholm and Odense Municipalities, as well as for the closed youth facility Soenderbro in Copenhagen Municipality (2011 – Present). Psychological supervisor, Den sikrede institution Stevnsfortet, Region Sjælland (2012-Present). With DIS since 2011.


Required Textbook:

  • Pomerantz, A.M. (2013). Clinical psychology. Science, practice, and culture. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Required Articles and Other Media on Canvas:

  • Adler. A . (1931) What life could mean to you? One World Publications Ltd. Oxford, England pp 15-31; 52.68; 86-106

  • Adler, H. E. (Ed); Rieber, Robert W. (Ed), (1995). The European influence on American psychology: 1892 and 1942. IN: Aspects of the history of psychology in America: 1892 – 1992. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 727., pp. 113-122

  • Butler, C. et Al (2005) The empirical status of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A review of meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review 26 (2006) 17-31

  • Chambers Christopher, John; Bickhard, Mark and Scott Lambeth, Gregory (2001). Otto Kernberg's Object Relations Theory: A Metapsychological Critique in: Theory & Psychology 11: 687-711

  • Frankl, V. (1946) Mans Ultimate Search for Meaning  pp- 25-58, 83-137

  • Freud, S. (1910). The origins and Development of Psychoanalysis. American Journal of Psychology, 21, 181-218.  

  • Dimeff, l, & Linehan, M.M. (2001) Diealectical behavioral Therapy in a Nutshell. The California Psychologist 24, 10-13

  • Kernberg, O. (2005) Transference Focused Psychotherapy For Borderline Patients in: The Evolution of Psychotherapy. Ed. Jeffrey Zeig, Ph.D

  • Masi, C. M., Chen, H., Hawkley, L. C., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2011). A meta-analysis of interventions to reduce loneliness. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 15(3), 219-266.

  • Migerode & Hooghe (2012). ‘I love you’. How to understand love in couple therapy? Exploring love in context, pp 371-386

  • Pope, K. S. & Gutheil, T. G, (2009) Psychologists Abandon the Nuremberg Code of Ethics, International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, vol.32, 4, pp. 161-166;

  • Scharwächter, P. (2008) Three Applications of Functional Analysis with Group Dynamic Cognitive Behavioral Group Therapy, International Journal of Group Psychotherapy; 1:08; 58, 1 pp 55-77


Field Studies

Rest your head here - Therapeutical rooms and spaces”  

Snoezelen or controlled multisensory environment (MSE) is a therapy for people with autism and other developmental disabilities, dementia or brain injury. It consists of placing the person in a soothing and stimulating environment, called the "Snoezelen room". These rooms are specially designed to deliver stimuli to various senses, using lighting effects, color, sounds, music, scents, etc. The combination of different materials on a wall may be explored using tactile senses, and the floor may be adjusted to stimulate the sense of balance. The person is usually accompanied by an aid or therapist. 

We visit for a tour of the house and a talk on this multimodal form of therapy which is also used in traditional in-hospital psychiatry 


"One of Us" - The national anti stigma campaign

At least half a million Danes have a mental illness right now. For most people it is temporary and they get well again. For others, the course is more drawn out or the illness is recurring. No matter what, they are one of us.

Many of us don’t know enough about mental illness and many prejudices flourish about people with mental illness. It could happen to anyone that they, more or less deliberately, exclude people who have or have had a mental illness. Knowledge and good advice about how to meet people with mental illness will improve this. That is exactly what the campaign ONE OF US is launched to do


Core Course Week and Study Tours 

Core Course week and study tours are an integral part of the core course as we take the classroom on the road and see how theory presented in the classroom is translated to practice in the field. You will travel with your classmates and DIS faculty/staff on two study tours; a short study tour during Core Course Week and a long study tour to a relevant European destination. 


Expectations for study tours

- Participate in all activities

- Engage in discussions, ask questions, and contribute to achieving the learning objectives

- Respect the destination, the speakers, DIS staff, and your fellow classmates

- Represent yourself, your home university and DIS in a positive light 

While on a program study tour DIS will provide hostel/hotel accommodation, transportation to/from the destination(s), approx. 2 meals per day and entrances, guides, and visits relevant to your area of study or the destination. You will receive a more detailed itinerary prior to departure. 


Core Course Week with Short Study Tour 

Theme: Treatment and service in the welfare state – experiences and perspectives from the daily life of clients and practitioners 

Purpose: This study tour provides you with the opportunity to explore the field of clinical psychology and various practices in Denmark. Academic visits on tour will include meeting with psychological consultants and visiting healthcare institutions. 

In addition to the academic activities on study tour, the study tour program is supplemented with cultural visits and events. In the past, cultural visits have included touring castles, museum visits, and experiencing traditional Danish food at a local restaurant. 


Long Study Tour - Vienna 

Themes: The Roots of Clinical European Psychology and Therapeutic Interventions 

Purpose: On the tour to Vienna, you will be able to explore the roots of clinical psychology, ranging from Freudian to present-day techniques. The tour will also allow you to explore the culture of the city more thoroughly by attending performances, visiting museum exhibitions, and exploring how the past influences todays European clinical psychologists. 

Orientation: The study tour activities will be presented to you in the week before departure and the booklet will be made available on Canvas the day before departure.


Things to know, see and do in Vienna 

Please find a link with important information on our visits and relevant topics here.


Guest Lecturers

- Psychoanalytical psychologist Judy Gammelgaard. Judy Gammelgaard is a traditionally trained psychoanalytical psychologist who works in a private praxis in Copenhagen. “The psychoanalyst's primary task has always been to lend an ear to the untold stories. The ambiguity of the unheard is thus not in the way of asking the question of how to fulfill this task”. 




- Clinical psychologist Signe Hagelskjær Lund works in the at Roskilde Hospital in the deparmtmen for child and adolescent psychiatry; she will give us insight in to her clinical work with the clients, their parents and the tools and texchniques she applies in her trade. Signe has previosuly been working in a secure facility with adolescent criminals  with abuse problems.


Approach to Teaching

I strive for an open, interactive learning environment: that means that I ask questions, expect discussion and encourage you to think for yourself. Interactive learning presupposes active participation from the students. For this reason, I will ask you to critically reflect on the theory, research and practice presented in class. Sometimes such a critical examination uncovers inconsistencies or lack of elaboration. However, being critical of basic assumptions in a theory does not negate the theory altogether. Therefore, we will try to integrate, rather than dismiss, the different approaches presented in the course 

The schedule will list reading materials for each class meeting. Please be prepared by having read and thought about the material before coming to class. By reading the material beforehand, you will better understand the points I make, you will be better prepared for discussion, and you will be able to ask thoughtful and productive questions. 

Classes will consider a few specific topics in depth and will typically not repeat the assigned readings, but will serve as a foundation for the lectures and it will be expected that they are included in class discussions. Thus, most of the materials in the text you will learn on your own outside of class. It is imperative that you keep up with the readings, because you can 

1) ask questions about reading material 

2) continuously prepare for the exam. 

I check my e-mails on a daily basis and strive to give you an answer within 24 hours. 

Expectations of the Students

As a student your are expected to participate actively during class and field studies. Apart from asking questions, participating in discussions and offering critical reflections on the topics, students are expected to consider how their contributions affect the overall work climate in class

Be punctual for class and field studies.

Show respect for and attempt to understand other people’s viewpoints and experiences, whether this be other students or guest lecturers and people encountered on field studies

Attendance: mandatory, except for serious illness or participation in religious holidays. 


Evaluation will be based on active participation in the class and showing personal investment in activities as well as during presentations. Critical academic reflection is highly valued both in class, where there will be a number of open questions, group work assignments and short presentations, as well as in your written work.

In order to be allegeable for grades above a B+ you are expected to exceed what is required, ie. analyzing cases from multiple angles, critically utilizing and discussing research, pointing out problems and contradictions in theory and practice at a high academic level, that goes beyound mere reproduction and reiteration. Thus creativity and independent thinking inm combination as fundamental academic expetise is rewared.

I expect, when required by the written assignment, that all statements and claims are supported by academic references.






Attendance and participation in class discussions and discussions on Canvas


Short study tour reflection paper 


Case analysis 1 + 2

 15 % + 15 %

Study tour Art Activity Essay 






Attendance and Participation (15%)

You must attend every class. Excused absence includes serious illness and participation in religious holidays. All other absences are unexcused. If you must miss a class, please contact me as soon as possible.

Active participation in class will include reading ahead of each class and contributing to class discussions as well as participating actively at field studies and study tours. 


Short Study Tour Reflection Paper (10%) 

In the study tour reflection paper you choose a visit from the short and a visit from the long study tour and hold these up against each other in order to analyze the content and take home points of the visit and relate these to relevant papers and lectures from the syllabus. The paper should be 3-4 pages.


Midterm Exam (15%) 

The midterm will consist of around 20 multiple choice and 5 short answer questions, and consist of information from the semester up to the date of the exam – including all assigned readings, field studies and study tour visits. 

The multiple choice questions will be based primarily on general theoretical concepts, schools of thought and the most prominent figures in psychology. The short answer questions will be based on personal academic reflection on relevant topics rooted in the readings from the class. 

More detailed information will be given in class and on Canvas.


Art Activity Essay (10%) 

You will choose a piece of art at the Leopold Museum in Vienna, and reflect on its therapeutical connotations. Art and psychology has a plethora of intersections – art is the concretization of memory; is art may mirror hope or despair; art can be seen as means for processing and communicating personal experiences of sorrow – collective and societal or individual and personal; art may be used as a tool for re-balancing one’s self; art works may work as way to achieve self-understanding as integral in a process of growth; or art van be used just as a general appreciation of the great, difficult, challenging, appeasing things in human life. You will use your own sensory and cognitive apparatus to engage with the art work, and transform your aesthetic experience into a reflection on how it may connect to the mechanisms in clinical psychology. The paper you are to write will consist of three short parts: 

- Firstly, a brief, objective description of the motive 

- Secondly, a link to a concrete school of thought in the history of psychology, i.e. Richard Gerstls semi-nude self-portrait may be linked to the school of existential psychology. Gerstel committed suicide at a young age, and maybe there is something in his way of showing himself to us, that tells a history of sadness and despair? Or Francesca Woodman’s photos, with a deep link to surrealism, can tells us something about the ambiguous depth of the psyche through Freud’s dream analysis? 

- Thirdly, a personal reflection on why this painting speaks to you – are you moved, enlightened, sad, angry, confused, patiently waiting for the experience to open itself more? Art is about human change and emotion - and psychologist is in the business of observing and interpreting exactly that! 

The paper should be 3 pages. An example paper and further instructions will be provided. 


Case analysis papers I & II (15 % & 15%) 

The paper will be based on an in-class discussion. Prior to the discussion you will 

a) Read the case 

b) Find a peer reviewed paper (preferably but not necessarily) with a European angle and prepare to present it 

c) Upload the peer reviewed paper on Canvas 

Following the class discussion, you will write your academic reflection paper. 

The paper must be 3-4 pages and refer to/discuss/cite at least 4 academic sources 


Final Exam (25%) 

The final exam will be around 20 multiple choice questions, 2 short essay questions and a 2-page case for case analysis. Multiple choice questions will be based on information from after the midterm, including assigned readings and the Vienna study tour visit. You will be asked to analyze the case study, using different therapeutic perspectives (the schools that we have covered until then). Furthermore, you are required to include and critically reflect on references and experiences from study tour visits. 

More detailed information will be given in class and on Canvas. 

To be eligible for a passing grade in this class you must complete all of the assigned work. 


General formatting guidelines 

All written assignments must apply these formats: 

- double-spaced 

- Times New Roman 

- 12-point font 

- 1-inch margins. 

- Front-page/headline and reference list does not count towards sum 

Papers not adhering to these guidelines will be deducted points. 

Disability and Resource Statement  

Any student who has a need for accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Office of Academic Support ( to coordinate this.  In order to receive accommodations, students should inform the instructor of approved DIS accommodations within the first two weeks of classes.

Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:

Policy on late papers: Late essays will be accepted for up to 3 days after the deadline, but the grade for the paper will be reduced by half a grade for each day that it is late.

Policy for students who arrive late to class: Students who are repeatedly late for class will receive a lower participation grade.

Use of laptops or phones in class: Students, who use their laptop for reasons not related to class, will have their class participation grade reduced significantly. Use of telephone is not allowed outside of breaks. For some lessons, laptop use may be banned completely.  


Course Summary:

Date Details