The School: Leading Features and Syllabus

Director: Massimo Giliberto

Four-Year Course of Specialization in Psychotherapy

School recognized by the Italian Ministry of University and Research (M.I.U.R.) with Directorial Decree 21-10-2004 (O.G. 9 November 2004, n. 263)

Scientific Committee

Prof. Erminio Gius (Guarantor), Prof. Maria Armezzani, Dott. Massimo Giliberto.

Frame of Reference

The pedagogy, the syllabus and the organization of the I.C.P. school of Psychotherapy reflect, the ethical mission and the innovative spirit of radical constructivism. This approach (through the re-reading of authors such as G.A. Kelly, G. Bateson, E. von Glasersfeld, K. Gergen, H. Maturana and Varela) looks at a person in their entirety as an active builder of theories, engaged in interpreting their world and in creating - through language, the negotiation of meanings and shared narratives - the social context in which they live.

Within this frame of reference, which, compared to the clinical and psychological approaches still prevalent, is at the same time rigorous and revolutionary, candidates are trained in various fields of therapy or, more broadly, of change: individual, family, group, organization, and company systems.

In accord with this approach, the personal evolution of each candidate, his or her formative and research choices, as well as the evolution of the class as a whole, are a priority object of attention.

European Network

The school is part of a network of European schools of constructivist psychotherapy. This network aims to promote the exchange of experiences, contents and methods among teachers and students from various orientations who share a commitment to the constructivist paradigm. This aim is achieved, among other things, by encouraging and promoting exchanges of visiting faculty and of students, in a spirit of mutual welcome and cooperation. This is the reason why a functional knowledge of the English language (which is the official language of the network) is a preferential qualification for would-be candidates.

Admission Criteria

The course admits not more than 20 graduates in Psychology and in Medicine, who must be registered as qualified practitioners or acquire the professional qualification to practice within the first exam session following the actual beginning of the course.

Location & Hours

The program takes four years to complete, at 500 hours per year, 140 of which are dedicated to internships.

The 360 hours per year of classroom teaching (excluding the internship and each candidate\'s personal analysis) take place over 12 weekends (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) scheduled over course of the year at the location of the Institute of Constructivist Psychology in Padua, via Martiri della Libertà, 13.

Click to enlarge map school location on Google Maps.


The syllabus is divided into two main fields: theoretical teaching and practical training.

The theoretical teaching takes up a total of 400 hours and includes:


  • Epistemological foundations of psychotherapy
  • Ethics and deontology of psychotherapy
  • Origins and evolutions of constructive psychotherapy


  • General psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Research Methodology
  • Psychology of Language


  • Social Psychology
  • Constructivist Social Psychology
  • Psychology of Organizations
  • Constructivism and Total Institutions


  • psychopathology
  • psychodiagnostics
  • psychopharmacology
  • child psychotherapy
  • psychotherapy in public institutions
  • psychosomatics


  • elements of phenomenological therapy
  • elements of psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychotherapies
  • elements of family therapy
  • elements of Gestalt therapy
  • elements of client-centered therapy

The theoretical syllabus is integrated by seminars in which topics of specific clinical relevance are treated in greater depth.

The practical training - for a total of 1600 hours - includes:

  • personal group training;
  • group exercises on clinical material;
  • individual personal analysis;
  • clinical supervision of the treatments performed by the students;
  • internships (performed in public or privately accredited institutions).

Successful attendance of the whole four-year course leads to the awarding of the \""Specializzazione\"" recognized by the Ministry of University and Research. It is also possible to attend only the practical training, excluding personal analysis and internship (for a sum total of 1020 hours).


State regulations concerning institutes offering training in psychotherapy requires for each year of the course a practical-clinical internship in a public or private accredited institution, in which \""the students can compare the specificity of their own training model with the needs expressed by the users and in which the student can acquire experience in clinical diagnosis and emergency intervention.\"" (DM 11 December 1998 n° 509 art.8 comma 2).

In accordance with the above-mentioned regulations, the ICP requires that the students attend a 140 hour-long internship for each year of the course.

To this end, the Institute has stipulated agreements with various public and private institutions; new agreements are signed every year, also on students\' recommendations.

Admission Test

The admission test takes place before a Committee made up of the Director, of the traning therapist responsible for the relevant course, and of the teaching co-ordinator and it includes:

  • An individual interview to evaluate the professional curriculum of the candidate, his or her motivation and specific skills, the quality and the relevance of any scientific publications and his or her practical knowledge of the English language.
  • An evaluation of the personal characteristics which emerge in group situations and team work (group task analysis).

Attendance and Exams

Only students who have an attendance record of at least 80% will be permitted to enter the final examination each year.

Final Certificate

The certificate awarded at the end of the course legally permits holders to work as professional psychotherapists. The certificate is awarded on the basis of an evaluation both of the technical and personal training, and of the theoretical-clinical proficiency attained by the student.

The final exam consists of:

  • A discussion of a paper about the clinical cases treated by the candidate in supervision and of a thesis on a subject agreed upon by one of the teachers of the course. The examining commission will be made up of 5 members; the candidate\'s supervisor, 2 members of the Teaching Council and 2 qualified external psychotherapists.

The final certificate is awarded to the students who at the end of the course have fulfilled the admission criteria and attendance requirements, have passed the intermediate and final evaluation, and have paid the course fees.

Teachers\' Council

Is made up by the teachers of the theoretical area, those of the practical training, and by one student representing each year of the School. The Teachers\' Council has the following tasks:

  • Verify the quality of the syllabus, both in relation to the didactic activities performed and in relation to the syllabus requirements and to the update of the contents;
  • Prepare a syllabus register which allows students and the Council itself to monitor the work done to fulfill the criteria of the yearly and the final exams;
  • Define the method of the exams for the first 3 years

Office hours

Students can meet the Director of the school and the Teaching Coordinator to discuss about didactic activity, training and their Diploma thesis one hour per month at the end of class.


The yearly fee for the course of specialization which qualifies students to practice psychotherapy is € 3900.00 (VAT free), including all mentioned activities and teaching materials, with the exception of the 20 hours of personal analysis (which vary in price according to the therapist chosen). The Institute will pay for accident insurance, the Insurance Policy and R.C.T. for course and training attendance.There is no extra enrolment fee.

The fee for attendance of the practical training course for professionals who are already officially qualified as practitioners of psychotherapy is € 2,200.00.


The Constructivist Psychotherapy Centre (CPC) is a project aimed at complementing work of the School offering our students, beyond the regular practical-clinical internship, the opportunity to practice psychotherapy under clinical supervision.

CPC is directed by Prof. Adriano Zamperini and coordinated by Dr Francesca Del Rizzo. The Centre provides psychological and psychotherapeutic services and conducts research in these fields.

At CPC psychitherapists as well as our students of the third and fourth year (under supervision) work.

Anybody who needs psychological counseling or therapy and is not able to pay for it can turn to CPC, making a contribution of just ten euro to the Centre.

CPC is based in Padova at the Institute of Constructivist Psychology, via Martiri della Libertà 13.

CPC can be contacted on 049 657712 on Thursday from 16:00 to 18:00 when it is possible to speak directly with the staff or a message can be left on the answerphone at any other time.

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