A Cognitive-Behavioral Case Conceptualization Approach for Working with Children and Adolescents
Providing psychological counseling services to children and adolescents is not as simple as knowing and implementing a series of techniques. Although it is important to have an extensive knowledge base of intervention strategies (e.g., your “bag of tricks”), knowing when, for whom, and at what times to apply specific techniques is key to providing services. Through a case conceptualization approach, clinicians have the opportunity to progress from nomothetic information obtained from the literature to idiographic situations within their practice. This process follows a problem-solving approach, which promotes individual and specific intervention planning, while it avoids engaging in “one size fits all” services. A case conceptualization model involves the development of a provisional description about an individual’s presenting problems and a set of inferences about the causes and maintaining factors that helped to establish and perpetuate the presenting problems. This understanding of the individual’s specific situation guides in the selection and implementation of strategies and provides a means to monitor the individual’s progress.