Trauma-Informed Case Formulation

Purpose/Overview: The purpose of this assignment is to practice conceptualizing a set of presenting problems a traumatized client may bring to you using a trauma-informed approach. It is designed to model an experience where you are required to distill information from an initial assessment and/or interview and present relevant details to a supervisor, peers, interdisciplinary team, or clients to receive feedback before proposing an initial treatment plan.

Format: You will choose one case example and develop a case formulation using the trauma-informed case formulation model in the course content. You will submit a written version and an audio/video version in which you present the case formulation verbally as if you were sharing it with the client. You are expected to use YouTube to share the audio presentation. Both versions of your case formulation will include the following components:
Brief case summary that includes relevant client demographic and cultural characteristics and essential details of the case
Trauma/loss event
Lesson learned (negative belief that developed)
Piled-up feelings
Trigger situation/theme
Problem behavior (coping behavior that developed)

General Expectations: Tell a story using plain language. Go in order. Refer to traumatic events using specific details rather than labels (e.g. “saw his father hit his mother” rather than “witnessed domestic violence.” For the written formulation: This should be in narrative form, but still in APA format. In other words, use general headings to guide the reader through the summary, but do not use the “above components” verbatim as your headings. The written summary should be no more than 3 pages (not including your title page) in 12 point, double spaced, TNR font. You may use first person for this assignment. You should still provide an introductory purpose statement and a conclusion statement. For the video: don’t just read the case formulation. Refer to it, but practice delivering the information as you would to a supervisor or client. Tips: Consider using common language like “hit a sore spot” to refer to the trigger situation instead of clinical language, and remember to explain how the problem behavior helps get rid of the uncomfortable feelings and has become a solution for the individual.

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