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Guilford Publications, Inc.
Psychoanalytic Case Formulation / Edition 1

Psychoanalytic Case Formulation / Edition 1

by Nancy McWilliams PhD


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Psychoanalytic Case Formulation / Edition 1

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.

Winner--Gradiva Award, National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781572304628
Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
Publication date: 03/26/1999
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 325,070
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About 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.

Table of Contents

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


Mental health practitioners and students, regardless of primary theoretical orientation. Serves as a text for graduate-level students of clinical psychology and psychiatry and for trainees in psychoanalytic institutes.

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Psychoanalytic Case Formulation 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.