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Cognitive Methodologies Nomonothetic and Idiographic Approac

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Our chapter explores several themes in CBT assessment such as the nomothetic and ideographic approaches; the aims of assessment, the role of functional analysis, the relationship between assessment and formulation and the key areas for assessment in a cognitive behavioural context.

Grant et al. (2009) tell us that an important aspect to psychotherapeutic interventions in cognitive behaviour therapy rests in developing a good therapeutic relationship and providing detailed and systematic assessment and formulation. In this approach, assessment is said to be a two-way collaborative process between the therapist and the client that transcends the categorical limitations that we often see with a nomothetic assessment that focuses on naming symptoms or producing a diagnosis, and focuses on a more personal functional analysis, exploring the client's individual difficulties or unwelcome behaviours or emotions that might be affecting his or her "here and now" and potentially their future. This ideographic approach, indeed often referred to as "functional analysis", is said to be the core of cognitive behavioural assessment as it facilitates more of a dimensional understanding of the client's overall life history as well as what's currently going on both internally and externally.

My question is: what is the relevance of and distinction between, nomothetic and ideographic approaches to assessment.

Grant, A., Townend, J., Mills, J. & Cockx, A. (2009). Assessment and Case Formulation in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.

I prefer a detailed response. Thank you

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Solution Summary

This solution defines nomothetic and ideographic assessment. It describes the distinction between, nomothetic and ideographic approaches to assessment.