CLINICAL theories, psychological formulations of patients, and inferences about their mental processes, until recently, could be evaluated only informally. Such assessments necessarily relied largely on clinical understanding and experience. Important strides are now being made in the formidable task of testing, in scientifically acceptable ways, inferences and assumptions that are made routinely in clinical practice about patients' mental processes. The method of Horowitz and his colleagues1 for generating psychological formulations that are reliable and replicable is an important exemplar of this development. Alternative approaches to this problem include, among others, the Core Conflictual Relationship Theme,2 the Plan Formulation Method,3 the Structural Analysis of Social Behavior,4 and Fundamental Repetitive and Maladaptive Emotion Structures.5 All of these approaches apply an organizing framework for specific constructs and capture repetitive structures of motivation, cognition, emotion, or interpersonal transactions.
See also pages 625, 633, 637, 639, 642, 645, 649, 651,
Jones EE, Dyer-Friedman J. Role-Relationship ModelsAre They Useful for Research and Practice?. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1995;52(8):646-648. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1995.03950200036009