This paper forms the second in a series of three articles on conceptualizations of older people's distress. The focus is on simple and concrete “mini-formulations” that keep the amount of information in them to a minimum, yet retain explanatory and predictive power. Such formulations can be used as the basis for action plans for intervention, while avoiding overburdening the cognitive capacity of the client or therapist. Simple linear and cyclical models are described, as are cognitive triad and dyad models. The uses of “mini-formulations” for group and individual settings are illustrated in a case example of a lady caring for her husband who has dementia.