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Abductive Method and Clinical Assessment in Practice

  • Tony Ward (a1), Frances M. Vertue (a2) and Brian D. Haig (a3)
Abstract
Abstract

Clinical reasoning is one of the central components of psychological assessment. The identification of a client's psychological difficulties and the subsequent depiction of their onset, development, and interrelationships enables clinicians to plan treatment in a systematic and effective manner. In a recent paper (Ward & Haig, 1997), we presented an abductive theory of method and showed how it offered a useful framework for highlighting and integrating the major phases of psychological assessment. These phases involve detecting clinical phenomena, postulating psychological mechanisms, developing a case formulation, and evaluating a case formulation. In this paper we outline the abductive theory and elaborate on the related clinical dimensions of assessment, while illustrating them with an ongoing case example.

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Corresponding author
1Address for correspondence: Dr Tony Ward, Department of Criminology, University of Melbourne, Parkville VIC 3052, Australia
2Dr Brian Haig, Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand.
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Behaviour Change
  • ISSN: 0813-4839
  • EISSN: 2049-7768
  • URL: /core/journals/behaviour-change
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