chapter  6
26 Pages

Case Formulation: Determining the Focus in Brief Dynamic Psychotherapy

WithTracy D. Eells, Kenneth G. Lombart

Our goals in this chapter are to help the reader develop formulations of patients for brief psychodynamic psychotherapy and to do so in an efficient, effective manner that is supported by empirical research. For at least two reasons, psychotherapy case formulation is crucial in today’s clinical environment. First, the increasing predominance of brief psychotherapy requires the clinician to formulate a focus and to treat quickly. This trend toward brevity requires the clinician to be active in therapy, to treat while formulating, and to select the most important and timely problems to work on. Second, today’s nosology for classifying mental disorders is primarily descriptive in nature rather than explanatory, creating a gap between diagnosis and treatment that a formulation can fill.