The assessment and conceptualization (formulation) processes are closely linked. When we have gathered sufficient information from a patient about their presenting problems, we can link this information to psychological theory, generate hypothesis, and subsequently implement appropriate intervention strategies.
Case conceptualization is the way in which we link theory to practice. By using an explanatory model to view and understand our patient’s symptoms, we can help patients understand why problems have occurred, how they were initiated, how they are maintained, and the possible strategies that may be used to ameliorate them and/or prevent future occurrences.
Our text and supplemental readings discuss the importance of a patient-therapist “agreement” when it comes to case conceptualization. What are your own thoughts and opinions regarding this view? What are some of the factors that you feel would help you facilitate a case conceptualization negotiation (as defined in Sperry, p. 131) when working with chronically ill patients?