chapter  10
11 Pages

Identity formulation and reformulation in clinical assessment and therapy


A growing volume of studies attests to the value of applying Identity Structure Analysis in clinical contexts. The research application of ISA with clinical samples spans two decades. Early uses of ISA with clinical groups focused upon individual cases of eating disorders (Harris, 1980, 1988; Weinreich, 1983; Weinreich et al., 1985). An exception was Needham’s (1984) study of ‘maternity blues’. While continuing to examine anorexic disorders, Connor (1992) extended the remit of ISA from an individual to a family therapy perspective. More recently, the range of client groups sampled has diversified, for example, to include individuals with depression and anxiety (Fox, 1996); those engaged in substance abuse (Allen, 1996); and counsellors dealing with trauma victims (Black and Weinreich, Chapter 12 this volume). At the same time, eating disorders remain highlighted as a clinical presentation for which identity problems have particular relevance (O’Kane and Saunderson, 1997; Saunderson and O’Kane, 1999).