Psychological Case Formulation Analysis

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Psychological case formulation is a hypothesis about the predisposing, precipitating, perpetuating and protective factors (4Ps) that contribute to the understanding of an individual’s problems (Eells, 2007). Formulations are rooted in theory and research (Kuyken, Fothergill, Musa, & Chadwick, 2005), and aid in identifying which direction treatment should head towards, as well as potential barriers that might be encountered (Levenson & Strupp, 2007). These are dynamic can be revised in the event that new information emerges during treatment (Eells, 2007). On the other hand, the DSM is said to have two main purposes of improving communication and guiding the planning of treatment (Mullins-Sweatt & Widiger, 2009). This essay will assess the ability…show more content…
Formulation involves extracting and organising relevant information into a structure characterised by the 4Ps mentioned above. This then contributes to a more in-depth understanding of the individual (Eells & Lombart, 2011). The aiding of communication through information organisation is illustrated in a study by Christofies, Johnstone, and Musa (2012). Christofies et al. (2012) found that most clinical psychologists surveyed felt that formulation allowed for more homogenity in service, which aids interdisciplinary communication. Hence, it seems that case formulation is also able to meet the DSM’s purpose ofimproving…show more content…
The DSM’s understanding of an individual is limited to the diagnostic label applied to him or her, which might not necessarily be representative of the true nature of the person (Barone, Maddux, & Snyder, 1997). On the other hand, psychological case formulation understands that behind the individual’s diagnostic label lies a myriad of different causes that could have contributed to the manifestation of the disorder (Macneil et al., 2012). This not only leads to a more in-depth understanding of the client, but may also help to avoid the “pathologising of normal problems in living” (Mullins-Sweatt & Widiger, 2009). Currently, the DSM-5 includes several disorders that might not be necessarily pathological. For example, an individual is said to have Hoarding Disorder when they refuse to get rid of their belongings, no matter the value. Throwing away such belongings distresses the individual, and hence this leads to the hoarding of these items, which clog up areas of work or residence (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). However, some of these behavioural symptoms seem to resemble that of rag-and-bone men (karang guni) in Singapore. Like individuals with Hoarding Disorder, these rag-and-bone men collect and accumulate many items in their homes or workplaces. Even though these items might not have any value, many still
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