Sunday, 4 October 2009

CBT Formulation (case conceptualisation)

CBT formulation (or case conceptualiation) is the keystone of CBT. It is the blueprint to help you and the client figure out what is going on.
Many versions of CBT formulation have been advocated, including the following (overlapping) elements
  • Getting a list of problems, issues and goals
  • Diagnosis
  • Key core beliefs (global statements about self, world and future)
  • Key dysfunctional assumptions (life rules, shoulds, musts)
  • Vicious cycles and maintaining factors (things that keep the problem going, safety behaviours, compensatory strategies)
  • Triggers (things that set the problem off now)
  • Modifiers (things that make it better or worse)
  • Vulnerability factors (childhood experiences, genetic factors)
  • Critical Incidents (what started the big problem recently)
  • Treatment Plan
  • Alternative core beliefs, assumptions and policies
  • Typical cycle of event, thought, mood, physiology and behaviour
Formulations are often done in diagram form, preferably in collaboration with the client.

Some free internet resources

Will Kuyken's Evidence-based case formulation chapter (pdf)

Workshop on CBT Formulation (pdf)

Eoin Stephen's paper on A Case Formulation Approach to CBT (pdf)

Chris Allen's  articles on case conceptualisation part 1 and part 2

Clients’ experience of case formulation in cognitive behaviour therapy for psychosis ,

Recommended Reading
Needleman, L. Cognitive Case Conceptualisatin: A Guidebook for Practitioners
Persons, J Cognitive Therapy in Practice: A case Formulation Approach
Beck, J Cognitive Therapy: Basics and Beyond
Kuyken, W, Padesky, C, Dudley, R Cognitive Case Conceptualisation
Padesky, C - Audio cd on case conceptualisation available from

1 comment:

  1. There are two main components of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, analysis and response training. During the analysis phase of this therapy, clinicians help patients discover some of the root causes of their drug use and addictions. Addicts learn to recognize the thoughts and feelings they experience when they crave drugs.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.