Good practice guidelines on the use of psychological formulation



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15. Relevant BPS documents


Division of Clinical Psychology
This checklist summarises the principles of recommended best practice in formulation and formulating. The phrase service user should betaken to encompass families/carers where appropriate. As noted in the main body of the guidelines, while these principles and standards will be broadly relevant to formulation used in a more partial, informal or evolving way, for obvious reasons it will not always be possible, necessary or appropriate to incorporate them in full. Clinical judgement must be exercised in making these decisions. However, the criteria can still be seen as a useful reference point and checklist of good practice for all stages and versions of formulation and formulating. Clinical psychologists may use this checklist for the following purposes:

Supporting and evaluating their clinical practice in relation to formulation, in order to maintain the highest standards throughout their careers.

Aiding supervision and appraisal within the profession.

Informing supervision and consultation to other professionals and to teams.

Teaching and assessing trainees on clinical psychology doctorate courses.

Teaching and training with other professional groups.

Checking the quality of formulations for inclusion in records and other paperwork. As psychology leads and managers, for auditing psychology services.

As a basis for research into formulation, either clinician-led or jointly with service users.


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