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Integrating Theories and Concepts: Formulation Driven CBT for a Client with a Diagnosis of Schizo-Affective Disorder


Sean F. Harper, NHS Lothian - Department of Clinical Psychology, 35–37 High Street, Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, EH19 2DA, Edinburgh, UK.



Therapists working with people who have complex problems associated with psychosis may find it difficult to apply currently available cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) manuals to client's presenting problems. This can lead to activation of negative therapist beliefs about themselves, the client or the therapy and subsequent problems maintaining the therapeutic relationship. This paper describes the integration of a range of models and concepts derived from CBT which were used to assist one such client with complex problems associated with psychosis. As such, it is proposed that taking a flexible, formulation driven approach to therapy can assist therapists to remain client centred and work effectively. The therapy described draws on a number of concepts including those taken from schema focussed therapy, mindfulness and compassionate mind training. Therapist and client summary letters were used as part of the described intervention, but in addition, the client's summary is reproduced in the paper aiming to address the issue of the under reporting in the literature of the client's perspective on therapy. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.