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The Case Formulation Approach to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Jacqueline Persons

17 Jan 2024


Clinicians providing outpatient CBT frequently encounter patients who present with multiple comorbidities, patients who have problems and disorders for which no empirically-supported treatment is available, patients who have idiographic treatment goals, patients who fail to respond to treatment, and other complex and problematic situations. Dr. Persons presents a case formulation approach to CBT that can help clinicians address these situations. 

The event will be equivalent to 2 hrs of CPD.


The case formulation approach to cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) calls for clinicians to develop a cognitive-behavioural formulation of the case, use the formulation to guide the process of setting treatment goals and intervening to help the client accomplish their goals, and monitor the client’s progress in every session, using the progress monitoring data to revise the formulation and intervention plan as needed, in a hypothesis-testing approach to treatment. Dr. Persons will briefly describe each of the elements of the case formulation model, will review ways the formulation approach to CBT helps the clinician solve the problematic situations described above, and will briefly review data that support its use. She will present skills and tools that attendees can use to develop a case formulation and will present cases that illustrate how to use the formulation to test formulation hypotheses and overcome lack of progress and other common problems in treatment.

Learning Objectives

You will learn:
• Ways a case formulation approach to CBT is helpful to the therapist.
• Rationale and strategies for obtaining a comprehensive Problem List when creating a case formulation.
• How to use the case formulation and the progress monitoring data to aid in clinical hypothesis-testing to solve problems that arise in treatment.

Training Modalities

Didactic content, exercise of using the formulation to generate intervention ideas to be done via the chat function on Zoom, feedback from participants to the presenter via chat, Q&A

Key References

Persons, J. B., Beckner, V. L., & Tompkins, M. A. (2013). Testing case formulation hypotheses in psychotherapy: Two case examples. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 20, 399-409.

Persons, J. B., & Hong, J. J. (2016). Case formulation and the outcome of cognitive behavior therapy. In N. Tarrier & J. Johnson (Eds.), Case formulation in cognitive behaviour therapy (2nd ed., pp. 14-37). London: Routledge.

Persons, J. B., & Tompkins, M. A. (in press). Cognitive-behavioral case formulation. In T. D. Eells (Ed.), Handbook of psychotherapy case formulation (Third ed.). New York: Guilford.

Persons, J. B. (2008) The case formulation approach to cognitive behavior therapy. New York: Guilford Press.

About the presenter

Jacqueline B. Persons is a practitioner in Oakland, California, and Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is internationally recognized for her writings on case conceptualization in cognitive behaviour therapy. She is also widely regarded as an outstanding model of the scientist-practitioner because of her ability to conduct research on the process and outcome of cognitive behavior therapy in her practice setting. Dr. Persons has published nearly 100 articles and chapters and three books and co-authored a video training series. She has presented dozens of training workshops around the world on the case formulation approach to CBT. Dr. Persons is a past president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology. She received the award for Outstanding Clinician in 2008 from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979.

Who should attend

This event is suitable for practitioners of all levels of experience who provide outpatient CBT for patients who have mood and anxiety disorders and OCD and PTSD.

Low Intensity clinical contact hours survey - BABCP Low Intensity Special Interest Group

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The BACP Low Intensity SIG are interested in the impact of clinical contact hours on Low Intensity/Wellbeing Practitioner wellbeing. This questionnaire contains six multi-choice questions and a free text box for you to share your experiences. The answers to these questions will help the BABCP SIG plan how to meet CPD topics and other developments within the SIG.  The SIG hope to produce a write up of the answers to this questionnaire to be shared with SIG members and to be used in training.

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This FREE conference is for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners working in Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression services and is brought to you by Bespoke Mental Health in collaboration with the NHS England Talking Therapies National PWP Leads Network

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