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.
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
Appendix: Sample Contract
"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
"McWilliams has written a lucid and compelling work, a sweeping eclectic integration of psychoanalytical knowledge from its inception to the present day. This book offers a wonderful mixture of the practical and theoretical. It is an extremely valuable resource for mental health professionals at all levels of expertise."
-Morton Shane, MD, Estelle Shane, PhD, and Mary Gales, MD, authors of Intimate Attachments
"Psychoanalytic Case Formulation is a worthy successor to Psychoanalytic Diagnosis....McWilliams has produced a book that is clearly and intelligently psychoanalytic without being restricted to any single vision of psychoanalysis....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
from the publisher's website