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Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice


Entry requirements

Personality, Clinical and Health Psychology or a similar course (only for students outside of the bachelor programme Psychology). Students outside of the bachelor programme Psychology (excl. Exchange students) who have taken a similar course, need to contact the study advisers of Psychology to assess if they fulfill the entry requirements (deadline: 14 days before the start of the course).

This elective course presupposes basic knowledge of psychopathology and psychological interventions for psychopathology necessary for successful completion of the course.


This course focuses on different forms of psychotherapy and research into its effectiveness. The first introductory lecture provides a short history of psychotherapy. Next, two lectures will provide an overview of research findings in psychotherapy. Besides presenting research into the effectiveness of psychotherapy, these lectures also present research into the importance of theoretical orientation, as well as therapist, client and relational and technical factors for therapy outcomes. Where applicable, ethical considerations will be discussed. The following four lectures will discuss the theoretical basis and techniques of the main psychotherapy orientations (i.e., psychoanalytic and psychodynamic, client-centered, cognitive-behavioural, and family therapy). For these lectures, practitioners of these orientations are to discuss and demonstrate techniques used.

Course objectives

Students will acquire:

  • An understanding of the theoretical basis and techniques of various psychotherapies;

  • Knowledge of the research evidence of the effectiveness of psychotherapies; and

  • Skills in translating scientific knowledge into the daily practice of psychotherapy.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.


You must register for each exam in My Studymap at least 10 days before the exam date. Don’t forget! For more information, see the enrolment procedure.
You cannot take an exam without a valid registration in My Studymap.

Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Students who take this course as part of a LDE minor or a premaster programme, exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

7 2-hour lectures. The lectures present the theoretical basis and techniques of some major models of psychotherapy as well as an overview of research findings in psychotherapy.

Assessment method

The following information has to be studied for the final exam: a. all the chapters of the custom edition of Wedding and Corsini (195 pages excluding references); b. all the chapters of the book of Cooper (155 pages excluding references); c. the power point presentations of each of the lectures

The exam consists of multiple choice questions and open-ended questions.

The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation. It also follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. All students are required to take and pass the Scientific Integrity Test with a score of 100% in order to learn about the practice of integrity in scientific writing. Students are given access to the quiz via a module on Brightspace. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these two policies.

After the examination, a one hour session will be reserved for students to ask questions about the integral exam.

Reading list

  • 2nd Leiden University custom edition of Danny Wedding and Raymond J. Corsini (Eds.) (2021), Current Psychotherapies (11th edition). Boston: Cengage Learning. Available via Studystore

  • Cooper, M. (2008). Essential research findings in counselling and psychotherapy. Los Angeles: Sage.

Both books are available in the webshop of Labyrinth. Please note that there is a special and more affordable Leiden University custom edition of Danny Wedding and Raymond J. Corsini (Eds.) (2021), Current Psychotherapies (11th edition) only containing the 8 chapters (out of the 16 chapters of the total book) that are part of the examination. Moreover, the previous 10 editions of the book of Wedding and Corsini markedly differ from the present 11th edition and studying these previous editions is at your own risk.

Contact information

Dr. Kim de Jong and Cosima Nimphy MSc