The Four Facets of Patient Conceptualization

  • Julia Hodgson
  • Kevin Moore
  • Trisha Acri
  • Glenn Jordan Treisman


Integrated care begins with a careful and thoughtful conceptualization of the patient’s current and past conditions and underlying elements. The diagnostic formulation attempts to explain all the elements of dysfunction that the patient suffers from in a coherent way. Clinicians gather the information needed to create a complete conceptualization of a person, a task vital to creating accurate and nuanced diagnostic pictures of a patient’s whole situation. They then synthesize the gathered information into a formulation that considers psychiatric disorders in four core categories: deviations of life story/environment, vulnerabilities of temperament, misdirection of behavior, and damage from disease. Looking at these four aspects of a person’s dysfunction creates a complex picture of a person, allowing us to consider how these different features interplay and influence the current circumstances and choices that are influencing patients’ lives.


Biopsychosocial Diagnosis Diagnostic formulation Temperament Behavior Disease Environment Patient conceptualization 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Hodgson
    • 1
  • Kevin Moore
    • 2
  • Trisha Acri
    • 2
  • Glenn Jordan Treisman
    • 3
  1. 1.Sharon HillUSA
  2. 2.PhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.BaltimoreUSA

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