Psychoanalytic Case Formulation / Edition 1

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Overview

What kinds of questions do experienced therapists ask themselves when facing a new client? How can clinical expertise be taught? From the author of the landmark Psychoanalytic Diagnosis, this book takes clinicians step-by- step through developing an understanding of each client's unique psychology and using this information to guide and inform treatment decisions. McWilliams shows that while seasoned practitioners rely upon established diagnostic categories for record-keeping and insurance purposes, their actual clinical concepts and practices reflect more inferential, subjective, and intuitive processes. Interweaving illustrative case examples with theoretical insights and clinically significant research, chapters cover assessment of client temperament, developmental issues, defenses, affects, identifications, relational patterns, self-esteem needs, and pathogenic beliefs.

The book contains no figures.

What kinds of questions do experienced therapists ask themselves when facing a new client? How can clinical expertise be taught? From the author of the landmark Psychoanalytic Diagnosis, this book takes clinicians step-by-step through developing an understanding of each client's unique psychology and using this information to guide and inform treatment decisions. McWilliams shows that while seasoned practitioners rely upon established diagnostic categories for record-keeping and insurance purposes, their actual clinical concepts and practices reflect more inferential, subjective, and intuitive processes. Interweaving illustrative case examples with theoretical insights and clinically significant research, chapters cover assessment of client temperament, developmental issues, defenses, affects, identifications, relational patterns, self-esteem needs, and pathogenic beliefs.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Books by Nancy McWilliams used in unison make the best psychodynamic resources I have yet encountered in more than 60 years in the field."--Robert C. Lane, PhD, Department of Psychology, Nova Southeastern University

"This beautifully written, uniquely accessible guide to the psychoanalytic understanding of clinical cases will be of immense value to students and practitioners of all theoretical persuasions. I predict it will be among the most important and widely used books in this field for years to come." --George E. Atwood, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey

"Psychoanalytic Case Formulation is a worthy successor to Psychoanalytic Diagnosis. Nancy McWilliams has a pellucid writing style that brings complex concepts within the easy grasp of the reader. She has produced a book that is intelligently psychoanalytic without being restricted to any single vision of psychoanalysis. The critical concepts are developed well and the issues important to assessment--a concept that goes well beyond diagnosis--are explicated clearly and helpfully. This is a rare book that can serve as a text for beginning students and still has much to offer to accomplished professionals." --George Stricker, PhD, The Derner Institute, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Daniel M. Haycraft, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: The author's latest contribution to the field of psychotherapy is an artful and detailed development of the thought processes and subjective, empathic components of the therapeutic experience that ultimately guide development of case formulation in psychotherapeutic treatment.
Purpose: She set out to develop a written model of the thoughts, processes, and subjective aspects used by experienced analysts for developing treatment plans. This is a worthy, albeit ambitious goal, since learning the psychotherapeutic process has traditionally occurred through a mentorship model. She meets her objective well, producing an invaluable resource for those wanting to develop skill in the art of psychotherapy.
Audience: The book is primarily targeted toward those in the process of learning to become psychotherapists. It may, however, be equally beneficial for experienced therapists as well as for practitioners insisting on an "empirically based" approach to patient care. The author has excellent credibility, both from her academic and professional standing as well as from her landmark book Psychoanalytic Diagnosis.
Features: She presents a contemplative presentation of the thought processes and empathic experiences of an experienced psychotherapist, beautifully illustrated through case presentations. These thoughts and subjective experiences develop into an understanding of the dynamics of the patient's personality, which allow the case formulation to flow effortlessly from the understanding of the person.
Assessment: This is an excellent book. It is pleasurable reading, from a gifted author who simplifies one of the most arduous tasks of psychotherapeutic treatment.
Daniel M. Haycraft
The author's latest contribution to the field of psychotherapy is an artful and detailed development of the thought processes and subjective, empathic components of the therapeutic experience that ultimately guide development of case formulation in psychotherapeutic treatment. She set out to develop a written model of the thoughts, processes, and subjective aspects used by experienced analysts for developing treatment plans. This is a worthy, albeit ambitious goal, since learning the psychotherapeutic process has traditionally occurred through a mentorship model. She meets her objective well, producing an invaluable resource for those wanting to develop skill in the art of psychotherapy. The book is primarily targeted toward those in the process of learning to become psychotherapists. It may, however, be equally beneficial for experienced therapists as well as for practitioners insisting on an "empirically based" approach to patient care. The author has excellent credibility, both from her academic and professional standing as well as from her landmark book Psychoanalytic Diagnosis. She presents a contemplative presentation of the thought processes and empathic experiences of an experienced psychotherapist, beautifully illustrated through case presentations. These thoughts and subjective experiences develop into an understanding of the dynamics of the patient's personality, which allow the case formulation to flow effortlessly from the understanding of the person. This is an excellent book. It is pleasurable reading, from a gifted author who simplifies one of the most arduous tasks of psychotherapeutic treatment.
Booknews
Shows clinicians how to develop a dynamic case formulation and use this information to guide and inform treatment decisions, synthesizing clinical literature, diverse psychoanalytic viewpoints, and empirical research in psychology and psychiatry. First describes effective intake procedures and rationales, then looks closely at different aspects of the dynamic formulation. Guidelines are presented for assessing client temperament, developmental issues, defenses, self- esteem needs, and pathogenic beliefs. Case formulation is clearly and explicitly connected to treatment. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572304628
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/26/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 372,789
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author


Nancy McWilliams, PhD, ABPP, teaches psychoanalytic theory and therapy at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers--The State University of New Jersey. A senior analyst with the Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy of New Jersey and the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis, she has a private practice in psychodynamic therapy and supervision in Flemington, New Jersey. Her previous book, Psychoanalytic Diagnosis has become a standard text in many training programs for psychoanalysts, both in the United States and abroad. She has also authored articles and book chapters on personality, psychotherapy, psychodiagnosis, sexuality, feminism, and contemporary psychopathologies.
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Table of Contents


Introduction
1. The Relationship between Case Formulation and Psychotherapy
2. Orientation to Interviewing
3. Assessing What Cannot Be Changed
4. Assessing Developmental Issues
5. Assessing Defense
6. Assessing Affects
7. Assessing Identifications
8. Assessing Relational Patterns
9. Assessing Self-Esteem
10. Assessing Pathogenic Beliefs
Concluding Comments
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    useful resource for students and professionals in psych and social work

    The text offered insight into conducting intake interviews and the gradual process of learning about clients ways of approaching their worlds given their histories and personality styles. Although it provides exceptional guidance, one may feel unsure of how to apply McWilliams' suggestions within a time-limited model. It is insightful with respect to developing on-going formulations and conceptualizations throughout the therapy/supportive process, though. One drawback is that although McWilliams includes concerns of race, culture, gender, and immigration experiences into her work, at times the inclusion of the relevance of social locations seems like an afterthought; it may be helpful to have other resources available (e.g., work by Derald Wing Sue, Thomas Parham, Janet Helms) to provide more depth with respect to intersections of identity on case formulation and understanding dynamics between helper and client. Overall, though, a great resource for students, professionals, and instructors for applied psychology and clinical social work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2011

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    Posted May 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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