Psychosocial Assessment and Psychotherapies in Medicine


The student will have the opportunity to improve knowledge and skills regarding psychological/psychosocial assessment and psychotherapeutic interventions (as applied to clinical medicine and to public health). We aim to enhance students’ therapeutic skills beyond pharmacological medical intervention and to support future options for specialization.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Prof. Doutor Manuel Gonçalves Pereira


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





§  Alder B., Abraham C., Van Teijlingen E., Porter M.: Psychology and Sociology applied to Medicine. An Illustrated Colour Text. 3rd edition. Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier, 2009.

§  Ayers S., de Visser R.: Psychology for Medicine and Healthcare. 2nd edition. Sage, 2018. ISBN: 9781473969285

§  Bates’ Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking. Lippincott & Wilkins. 13th edition, 2013.

§  Caldas de Almeida, J.M.: Intervenção psicoterapêutica em clínica geral. In Caldas de Almeida JM, Machado Nunes J, Carraça I, eds. Saúde Mental na Prática do Clínico Geral. Edições do Instituto de Clínica Geral da Zona Sul, Lisboa; 1994; p.113-120

§  Fadem, B.: Behavioral Science in Medicine. 2nd edition. Baltimore, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2012. ISBN: 978-1-60913-664-2

§  Gonçalves-Pereira M. Toward a Family-Sensitive Practice in Dementia. In: Verdelho A, Gonçalves-Pereira M. (Eds.): Neuropsychiatric symptoms in cognitive impairment and dementia. Springer. 2017. ISBN: 978-3-319-39136-6 (Print); DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-39138-0. pp: 349-368.

§  Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S.: Motivational Interviewing: Preparing People for Change. New York, Guilford Press, 2002.

§  Mota Cardoso, R.: Competências clínicas de comunicação. Porto, Ed. Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto, 2012.

§  Wedding D., Stuber M.L.: Behavior & Medicine. 5th Edition. Hogrefe Publishing, 2010. ISBN 978-0-88937-375-4

To be supplemented with specific references.

Teaching method

The program includes: seminars, clinical and non-clinical practical classes. Seminars will be conducted in partnership by teachers with different specializations and integrating different psychological perspectives. The teaching programme will accomplish: the discussion of theoretical contents, using articles and clinical vignettes; watching and critically discussing videos of related interest; and direct training using role-play simulation and feedback. In clinical practical classes, students will be divided into groups of 1-2 each, and will follow their teachers in different health units.

Evaluation method

The students’ evaluation will include two components: (1) continuous assessment - attendance, participation in seminars and practical classes; and (2) final evaluation - individual or group work to be presented (oral presentation and written essay) at the end of the semester. The final grade is based on these components: 1/3 x continuous assessment + 2/3 x (oral and written presentation). The student is required to achieve a mark of at least 10/20 in each component.

Subject matter

1)      Further aspects of Psychology and Sociology as applied to Medicine;

2)      Psychological aspects in specific clinical conditions (e.g. dementia, cerebrovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, asthma, skin diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, inflammatory bowel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome);

3)      Psychological assessment in clinical practice (types, indications). Psychosocial assessment;

4)      Introduction to psychotherapy, focusing on family interventions, dynamic and cognitive-behavioural therapy (types, indications, physician's role);

5)      The relational foundations of clinical practice, advanced aspects of clinical communication and the doctor-patient relationship. Specific scenarios (e.g. family interviews, major crises);

6)      Behavioural change and motivational interviewing (theory and practice of techniques of behavioral change in health);

7)      Examples of research in Behavioural Medicine and Psychotherapy.


Programs where the course is taught: