5. Cognitive Behavioral Approaches to Formulating Aggression and Violence

  1. Peter Sturmey3 and
  2. Mary McMurran4
  1. Kevin Howells1,2

Published Online: 24 AUG 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781119977018.ch5

Forensic Case Formulation

Forensic Case Formulation

How to Cite

Howells, K. (2011) Cognitive Behavioral Approaches to Formulating Aggression and Violence, in Forensic Case Formulation (eds P. Sturmey and M. McMurran), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119977018.ch5

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Queens College and City University, New York, USA

  2. 4

    Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    Institute of Mental Health and Division of Psychiatry, University of Nottingham, UK

  2. 2

    Peaks Unit Rampton Hospital, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 AUG 2011
  2. Published Print: 2 SEP 2011

Book Series:

Book Series Editors:

  1. Clive R. Hollin5 and
  2. Mary McMurran4

Series Editor Information

  1. 4

    Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, UK

  2. 5

    School of Psychology, University of Leicester, UK

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470683958

Online ISBN: 9781119977018



  • cognitive behavioral approaches - formulating aggression and violence;
  • potential levels of formulation - problem, person, symptoms of disorder, focus for formulation;
  • aggression, context of problems - Axis I disorders as schizophrenia or Axis II disorders, as Antisocial and Borderline;
  • clinical formulation, conventionally construed - as individual-level task;
  • alternatives, to cognitive behavioral individual case formulation - interventions for aggression;
  • role of anger, in formulation of aggression - meriting special consideration;
  • aggressive offenders, heterogeneous - needs and causal influences on offending behavior;
  • formulation of aggression - idiographic or nomothetic;
  • Risk-Needs-Responsivity (RNR) framework, as ‘what works’ - influence on offender rehabilitation;
  • clinical formulation - core task in assessment and treatment of aggressive behavior


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Definitional Problems

  • A Problem for Whom?

  • Why Formulate the Individual Case?

  • What Types of Antecedent Might Feature in a Cognitive-Behavioral Formulation of Aggression?

  • Angry Affect in the Formulation of Aggression

  • Heterogeneity

  • Mental Disorder and Aggression

  • Personality Disorder as an Antecedent

  • Personality as an Antecedent

  • Individual and Population Functional Assessments

  • Further Assessment Issues

  • Function Assessments of Aggression and Violence

  • Implementation of the Clinical Formulation of Aggression in Practice: Some Awkward Questions

  • Two Contrasting Case Formulations

  • Summary

  • References