Jacqueline Persons Style Formulation

The Jacqueline Persons Style Formulation is a cognitive-behavioural case formulation diagram adapted from Jacqueline Persons' approach. Her book The case formulation approach to cognitive behaviour therapy is a truly excellent introduction to individualized case conceptualization in CBT. Clients and therapists can collaboratively explore current difficulties, with a particular focus on the mechanisms by which these difficulties are maintained. This worksheet is a particularly good guide for the clinician's thinking, and it may be necessary to consider other ways of presenting the information to clients.

The key sections of this formulation worksheet are the identification of problems, which are then linked to the psychological mechanisms that are operating to maintain them. You can use the 'mechanisms' section of Psychology Tools to learn more about transdiagnostic mechanisms which operate to maintain common difficulties. Examples of mechanisms include:

  • avoidance > prevents the disconfirmation of an unhelpful belief
  • 'unprocessed' memory > intrusive memories / flashbacks
  • schema operation > biased information processing
  • Watkins, E., Mansell, W., & Harvey, R. S. A. (2004). Cognitive Behavioural Processes Across Psychological Disorders: A Transdiagnostic Approach to Research and Treatment.
  • Persons, J. B. (2008). The case formulation approach to cognitive behaviour therapy. New York: The Guiford Press.


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