2023-2024 / PSYC5845-2

Relational psychopathology


20h Th, 10h Pr

Number of credits

 Master in psychology (120 ECTS)3 crédits 


Maria Elena Brianda

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents


This course aims to introduce students to the fundamental principles of the complex hypothesis in psychopathology, according to the systemic psychology approach. The course consists of 20 hours of theoretical teaching and 10 hours of practice. The theoretical part will cover the main concepts of relational psychopathology, accompanied by the presentation of clinical cases. The practical part will consist of individual practical exercises.


  • Psychopathology from the perspective of the systemic approach
  • Analysis of interactions, relationship types, and pathological communication in human systems
  • The representational and historical-temporal axis in understanding psychopathology
  • Systemic theoretical models of pathological functioning
  • Resource analysis of human systems
  • The role of culture in understanding and treating psychological suffering

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of this course the student will be able to consider and analyze psychological suffering within its relational context. The acquired knowledge will help guide the student in formulating hypotheses about the role of relational factors in the prevention, development and maintenance of psychopathology.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

The theoretical fundamentals of systemic psychology.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

  • In-person lectures (20 hours);
  • Practical exercises to be done individually or in groups on the topics taught (10 hours).

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Recommended or required readings

Required readings:

  • Slides and personal notes;
  • Reference chapters and papers will be provided to students.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

Written work / report

Additional information:

The relational psychopathology course assessment involves:

  • A written work (report) on a topic that allows further examination of one of the topics covered in class
  • A written exam consisting of multiple choice and/or open-ended questions. In case the exam consists of multiple-choice and open-ended questions, the successful validation of this teaching unit and its final grade depend on successfully passing both parts (1/the multiple-choice part and 2/the open-ended question part). The student must score at least 10/20 in each part. In case of failure in one of the parts, the final grade corresponds to the grade of the insufficient part. If both parts are failing, the final grade will be the weighted average of the two failing grades. If both parts are passed, the final grade will be the weighted average of the two grades. For the second session, the student must retake all parts.
The exact format will be communicated during the first weeks of the course.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The theoretical part of this course coincides with the course PSYC5911-D-a included in the reformed program of Master in Psychology. The first class of Psychopathologie relationnelle (PSYC5845) will be held on Friday, September 30, 2022, at 3:15 pm in the A202 room of the B7b building [Liège Sart-Tilman - Agora]. Students who still have to validate credits for the Psychopathologie relationnelle exam (PSYC5845) are kindly requested to show themselves to the teacher at the end of the class or via email on the same day.


Professor: Maria Elena BRIANDA Contact: Mariaelena.Brianda@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs