Psychotherapy Assessment

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ASSESSMENT

CLIENT’S REASONS FOR SEEKING HELP

* Client’s initial presentation of problems: complaints, concerns, themes issues, history of the presenting problem (first occurrence, origins, previous professional help)

THERAPIST’S FIRST IMPRESSIONS
* Appearance, way of relating, personal feelings of being in the room with this person

HISTORY & CURRENT CONTEXT
* relevant personal history of the client and background to the situation including issues of gender, race and culture. Family trees can be useful here. * Educational background and profession / occupational history * Social network: friends, relatives, job, activities

MOTIVATION FOR CHANGE & GOALS
* client’s goals for therapy and therapist’s hopes for what he or she can offer *

THERAPIST’S ASSESSMENT FORMULATION
* Theoretical perspective: brief summary of therapist’s theoretical orientation and style of working

* Formulation:

1. your understanding of the client and his concerns and presenting problems (one paragraph). 2. How you have used your theory in understanding the client and the presenting concerns 3. Rationale for your choice of approach

4. Similarities and differences between your and the client’s assessment and how you have worked with this. 5. Your therapeutic relationship – ruptures and repairs, the alliance, how the therapist experiences him/herself in relation to the client – what kind of role is he / she assuming, and how does the client experience the therapist? As caretaker, provider of good things, withholder of good things, critical parent, understanding parent, friend, nobody, a hero, etc.

Summary of psychodynamic formulation:
Client:
Presenting problem: difficulties trust partners, fear of being abandoned and rejected, indigestion and sleep problems

Dynamic formulation of the problem:

Stressful childhood experience
* family tragedy, sense of having to take care of mother

Thoughts...
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