Good practice guidelines on the use of psychological formulation

Formulation and the service/organisational context

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Formulation and the service/organisational context

Formulation and the
wider social/societal context
In discussing these potentially controversial aspects, the guidelines start from the general position that all types and versions of formulation can be valuable in the appropriate circumstances and settings. Any increase in the integration of psychological theory,
Principles of formulation in clinical psychology

principles and evidence into clinical practice is to be welcomed. Simpler, single-model formulations maybe a useful starting point for training purposes for example, on clinical psychology doctoral programmes or with members of a multidisciplinary team. In seeking to promote culture shift in teams and organisations, it maybe helpful and strategic for clinical psychologists to use ‘list-of-factors’ formulations, or formulations that include psychiatric diagnosis, as a first step. Additionally, it is acknowledged that it will not be relevant or necessary to include a complete range of causal factors and contexts in every psychological formulation. However, the fullest use of clinical psychologists professional skills implies a broad-based, integrated and multi-model perspective which locates personal meaning within its wider systemic, organisational and societal contexts. Best practice should be based on a considered choice about what to include or exclude in any given formulation, inline with the principles discussed in these guidelines, and adapted as necessary to the service user’s or team’s particular circumstances and contexts.

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