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 You are here: Special Group in Coaching Psychology > Publications > International Coaching Psychology Review > Does coaching psychology need the concept of formulation [...]

David A. Lane & Sarah Corrie

The aim of this paper is to raise awareness of some of the debates and controversies surrounding formulation, and to highlight ways of navigating these debates more successfully for the benefits of ourselves, our clients and the future development of our profession. The concept of formulation, that is an explanatory account of the issues affecting a client, is widely used in sister disciplines such as clinical, counselling, forensic psychology and psychotherapy. Its purpose is to provide a descriptive and explanatory narrative that the client and practitioner can use to plan interventions. While coaching psychology has used many ideas from its sister disciplines this concept has not appeared as a feature of much in the coaching psychology literature (with a few exceptions). The reasons why this might be so are explored. The paper provides an overview of the role of formulation in psychology and some of the arguments for and against its use. The position of formulation in coaching psychology is discussed with reference to the purposes of coaching and some boundary issues between this and related fields. A framework for using formulation in coaching psychology is outlined through consideration of purpose, perspective and process. Such a framework it is argued provides a format to enable coaching psychologists whatever their theoretical orientation to use the concept of formulation to assist client change.

Keywords: formulation, coaching, psychology, client partnership, narrative, boundaries.

Full article: Volume 4, Issue 2 pages 195 - 208


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