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Bwalya Bwalya
Bwalya Bwalya

The Case Formulation Approach To Cognitive-Beha...

The Case Formulation Approach To Cognitive-Beha... -

Reviews the book, The case formulation approach to cognitive-behavior therapy by Jacqueline B. Persons (see record 2008-13011-000). This book places case formulation as its core organizing principle for cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT). Explicitly framing case formulation in a hypothesis-testing context, Persons helps bridge the gap between those advocating strict adherence to manual-driven, empirically supported therapies (ESTs) and those who find such constraints impractical and less than optimal. Her guiding principle is to use ESTs to the extent that one can but to adapt them idiographically as one must to address the array of problems presented by the specific individual being treated. Persons' case formulation model is deceptively simple. It involves four basic components: (a) symptoms, disorders, and problems; (b) mechanisms; (c) precipitants; and (d) the origins of the mechanisms. Persons provides a fresh outlook on all these familiar components. In addition to providing step-by-step instruction for developing the formulation, Persons includes discussions of goal setting, which is organized in categories focused on mechanism change or learning compensatory strategies; treatment plan development; monitoring progress; decision making in the session; and handling nonadherence and treatment failure. A major strength of the book is the focus on the patient-therapist relationship. Persons repeatedly returns to the importance of establishing a positive working alliance and also discusses the opportunities that arise in efforts to re-establish a positive alliance following a rupture. The book is well organized, clearly written, contains up-to-date research references, and is replete with clinical examples. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).

Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a highly prevalent behavior among clinical and nonclinical samples. Despite the prevalence, maladaptive, and potentially dangerous nature of the behavior, no empirically supported interventions have been identified specifically for NSSI, and clinicians report a lack of knowledge regarding the treatment of NSSI. This article discusses the application of a common component of therapy, the case formulation, to conceptualizing and treating NSSI. This strategy for case formulation incorporates cognitive-behavioral and functional analytic approaches while focusing on factors pertinent to the development, maintenance, and treatment of NSSI. A case example is presented.

This book addresses a critical challenge in evidence-based psychotherapy: how to use empirically supported therapies (ESTs) in real-world clinical contexts. The author explains the basic theories of cognition, learning, and emotion that underlie available ESTs and shows how the theories also guide systematic case formulation. By crafting a sound formulation and continually refining and monitoring it as treatment progresses, the therapist can smoothly shift theoretical gears and weave together elements of different ESTs to meet the needs of individual patients, who typically present with multiple problems. Hands-on tools, reproducibles, and many concrete examples are included.

"Decades of research and clinical experience meet in this seminal book. Persons provides a guide for both the novice and experienced practitioner to deal with even the most complex of cases. This significant work will no doubt become the shining light by which the idiographic approach to CBT will be guided in the future. One of the few books that is worth even more than the purchase price!"--Nicholas Tarrier, PhD, FBPsS, Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London, UK

In conclusion, it is necessary to note that Persons (2008) provides valuable insights into the benefits of the use of formulation in cognitive-behavior therapy. The descriptions of the establishment of goals, possible obstacles to effective treatment, and the value of relationships are particularly usef


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