One of the main characteristics of cognitive-behavior therapy is that it is based on a specific clinical
formulation of the case. This means that the therapist, using interviews and inventories, in a particular
way, needs to understand and integrate the history of his/her client and his/her current problems.
Clinical strategies can be then tailored to deal with the client’s difficulties. The establishment of
adequate and warm interpersonal and therapeutical relationship depends greatly on this empathic and
accurate understanding of the client’s problems. The present article intends to present this approach to
case formulation based on a cognitive-behavior perspective. It also includes a brief review of
theoretic-clinical aspects, assessment tools and suggested procedures. The conclusion is that an
adequate formulation is essential to success in psychotherapy.
: cognitive-behavior therapy; case formulation; psychodiagnosis.