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The psychodynamic formulation: its purpose, structure, and clinical application
Am J Psychiatry 1987;144:543-550.
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Abstract

The authors present a brief written psychodynamic formulation that focuses on central conflicts, anticipates transferences and resistances, and helps guide all psychiatric treatments. After placing the presenting problem in the context of the patient's life and identifying nondynamic determinants of the psychopathology, the formulation explains the development of central conflicts and their repetitive effect on the patient's behavior. It concludes by describing how these conflicts will be manifested in treatment. Three sample formulations and their application are presented to illustrate the value of this clinical tool.

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