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Introduction to the course

Introduction to the course
Good morning everyone. My name is Claudio Gentili and I’ll be the educator of the course on Introduction to Psychology. I’m teaching clinical and health psychology at the University of Padua. And I am a physician and a psychotherapist. And as a physician, I’m familiar with the most important health issues, both industrialized countries, for instance, obesity, cardiac diseases, and in emerging countries, including malnutrition and infectious diseases. As a psychotherapist, however, I am working on a daily basis with the emotional sorrow of people with psychopathological and somatic diseases trying to understand their condition, their perspective regarding their pathology, and possibly trying to improving their life. This is, in a nutshell what psychology is. But it’s not just about that.
In these weeks, you will learn the good practice on how to break bad news, how to do a clinical consultation and how to consider when a somatic condition affects a patient and all his or her social system entirely. Sometimes, for instance, caregivers are the most fragile individuals in terms of psychological reaction to disease of a relative. I decided to imagine to structure this course as a, mostly as a podcast. So most of the sections will be audio. I will appear, so to say, in weekly videos to keep contact with you and to introduce the topic and mostly the topics of the week. Of course, as usual, there will be exceptions to this rule. And guess what?
This is the first exception in the sense that this is the presentation of the entire course and not just the week one. So let’s see briefly what will be, what will be the topics of this course through these four weeks. In the first week, we will discuss some very basic concepts regarding Health Psychology, which include a definition of health and a history of the, of the concepts of health and well-being. In a quick overview across centuries, I’ll try to describe how the Thought, the thoughts of eminent physicians, sense, and philosophers have shaped the way in which we nowadays think about health and well-being.
Finally, we will discuss models of what is health and well-being which are necessary to create, to imagine intervention at the social, psychology and political level to improve health. In the second week, we will go deeper in detail discussing the world of the patients. These will include the entire road from the onset of a given symptom to the clinical consultation that the patient is asking for his or hers symptoms and how to break bad news in clinical settings. In the third week, we will go even in further detail in the “becoming patient” experience and process, including all the psychological reactions connected to the change of status from a health person to an ill person.
A part devoted to stress and the stress management, we will cover as well. And this will include also the psychological reactions of caregivers. Finally, in the last week and we will consider emerging issues in health psychology. And this will be a miscellaneous settings of topics which would range from health psychology in emerging countries, in terms, for instance, of political choices, to the use of digital platform and technology to improve health psychology. And finally, we will also have a section regarding how health psychology could be used for, can be used for during pandemics, like the one we are leaving nowadays. So as you see, the topics are many and very different among each other.
And this is also why the course is an “introduction” to health psychology because covering into details all of these topics is basically impossible, I mean, at least not possible for me, but what I would like to do is to give you an idea of the wide range of activities that health psychology can do and make you curious to, for instance, deepening some of them, those that are more interesting for you, for instance, or the one in which you are already working. So the idea is to present you all these things in this journey and hope you’ll like this journey. So let’s start the course.

Welcome to our course on Introduction to Health Psychology.

Let’s get introduced!

My name is Claudio Gentili a Physician, Psychotherapist, Professor of Clinical Psychology at University of Padova. My research focuses on biological bases of psychiatric disorders, evidence-based psychotherapies.

I’m excited to guide you in this course!

Now it’s your turn

I want to know more about you. Write a comment introducing yourself in a few words. For example:

  • Where do you come from?
  • What is your professional/academic background?
  • What got you interested in the course?

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Introduction to Health Psychology

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