While sport and exercise psychologists frequently carry out core tasks of needs analysis (Chapter 5) and delivering interventions (Chapters 8 and 9), there is very little consensus regarding the ways that these key roles are related, with the one informing the other. This chapter (as well as Chapter 7) seeks to help practising psychologists to structure, record, evaluate and reflect upon their decision-making processes. As is the case throughout this book, the core task of case formulation is presented as being carried out by a psychologist whether explicit or not. Even if it has never crossed one’s mind to perform a case formulation, a practising psychologist is doing it anyway. It might be that the psychologist develops unique, detailed and fully operational working models for each client they encounter. Alternatively, it might be that s/he has ‘settled’ (consciously or unconsciously) for one model that explains how all people’s minds work, and so simply slots each client into this model. Indeed, some sport psychologists have been criticized for behaving as though ‘all these techniques work, regardless of which model one uses’ — which in itself is effectively a case formulation decision, just one that chooses to overlook or ignore the underlying mechanisms.
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- Case Formulation — Creating a Working Model
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