The action formulation: A proposed heuristic for clinical case formulation Academic Article uri icon


  • The authors propose the action formulation (TAF), a heuristic for clinical case formulation. The action formulation relies on the action perspective, which depicts individuals as actively shaping their environment, and is premised upon four guidelines: (a) map the client's social environment, focusing on sources of support, chronic interpersonal difficulties, and negative and positive life events; (b) identify how the clients, in the context of their personalities, psychopathologies, and strengths, actively influence their environment; (c) differentiate between maladaptive, risk-related, interpersonal cycles, and adaptive, protective-based ones; and (d) tailor integrative techniques to short-circuit the former cycles and bolster the latter ones. Links between TAF and emerging issues in clinical assessment are discussed. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 62: 1115–1127, 2006.

publication date

  • January 1, 2006