What Is Case Conceptualization?


In psychology, case conceptualization or case formulation describes the process of taking interview data from a patient to create a model describing the patient's symptoms and determine a plan of action for treatment. Multiple forms of case conceptualization exist, each using different models to describe how information from the patient is organized and interpreted.

The Four P's

  • One of the simpler methods of case conceptualization is the "four P's" method, which organizes information from the patient into four categories: predisposing, precipitating, perpetuating and protective factors. The information gained from the interview is placed in these categories to understand the patient's current situation. For example, a patient's low self-confidence might be related to the predisposing factor of an overly critical home life together with the perpetuating factor of continued internal self-criticism, leading him to avoid conflict and opportunities for self-advancement -- a protective factor.

Constructing a Treatment Plan

  • With the information organized, the psychologist can now construct a model of how the patient's symptoms operate and can begin to create direction for treatment. More complex models of case conceptualization use different base categories than the four P's and/or add additional categories to create more specific and detailed models of a patient's thoughts and behavior.


  • Photo Credit Pogonici/iStock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • What Is a CASE Tool?

    Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE) ... The terms "innovation" and "invention" at times straddle the line between conceptualization and actualization.

  • How to Write a Case Study

    Case studies are used in academic and professional settings as a research method. Though there are several types of case studies such...

  • What Is Solution-Focused Counseling?

    Solution-focused therapy is a type of counseling that can be covered by insurance providers and will be goal-oriented in its approach. Find...

  • How to Write a Psychological Case Study

    Case studies focus on an individual and his psychological issues, ... What Is Case Conceptualization? ehow.com. About eHow; eHow Blog; How to...

  • Phases of the Design Process

    What Is Case Conceptualization? Case conceptualization is a tool for students in the mental health field. It integrates facts about the client,...

  • How to Write a Psychological Case Report in APA Style

    Within the social sciences, most instructors require that reports and research papers adhere to the APA (American Psychological Association) official style guidelines...

  • Four Basic Metaparadigm Concepts in Nursing

    A metaparadigm is a concept that is extremely general, one that serves to define an entire world of thought. "Meta" means "that...

Related Searches

Read Article

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Finance Editor

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!