46. Theoretical Models in Clinical Psychology
Tips on completing vignette-based assignments
Vignette-based assignments present a short case summary or scenario, and invite you to apply your theoretical knowledge to demonstrate an understanding of the case. The information provided in the case summary will point to one of the theoretical models covered in the course: behavioural, cognitive-behavioural, psychodynamic or systemic. Typically the case summary will be followed by a two-part question; the first part will involve formulation and the second will involve recommendations for intervention. You will probably want to devote about 50% of your answer to each of these elements.
In the formulation section, you can apply both model-specific and generic (e.g. the 4Ps) elements to show your understanding of the case. You should relate your comments about the case to the relevant theoretical literature; there will be relevant literature on how the model is useful for particular kinds of difficulties. You should also consider to what extent the assertions of the model are supported by evidence from research, and comment on the strengths and limitations of the model in terms of explaining the case (this is the critical evaluation element). It is important to make sure that any explanations you give are consistent with both the facts of the case and the model you are using. If there are aspects of the case that do not fit neatly within the model, or if you would need more information in certain areas in order to complete the formulation, you can say so; in these circumstances you may speculate, but you need to make it clear that is what you are doing. Do bear in mind the issues regarding use of formulation rather than diagnosis. Try to avoid making statements about diagnostic categories; your task is to take a psychological perspective..
In the intervention section, you should take each key element of the formulation and identify the specific treatment approach(es), consistent with the model, that might be used to address that element of the person’s difficulties. Please note that you need to consider specific elements of the overall therapeutic approach, rather than making global statements about a particular school of therapy. You will be expected to comment briefly on the research evidence for the efficacy of each treatment approach. You may be asked to comment additionally on possible issues that may affect the course of therapy. Based on available evidence, you will want to give an overall critical evaluation of the therapeutic approach you have outlined, commenting on strengths and limitations and the likelihood of a positive outcome.
The marking sheet for the assignment will give an assessment of how well you have covered each of these elements before indicating more generally how your answer fitted within the standard marking criteria for Master’s level written work.
These are some general points to bear in mind when submitting your work:
• Do not write your name on your work, as marking is supposed to be ?�blind’ in the interests of ensuring fairness.
• Do not use figures or tables unless these are fully explained in the text of the assignment prior to their introduction
• Do write your Banner ID on your work.
• Do indicate the word count for your work.
• Do make sure your work is within the word limit.
• Do cite only references you yourself have actually obtained and read.
• Do cite journal articles and book chapters but try to avoid citing websites etc as these have often not been subject to peer-review and there may be issues about quality and accuracy
•Do format your references in line with APA 6th edition guidelines.
• Do proof-read your work carefully before handing it in and ensure that any minor errors are corrected.
There are three documents you should look at: first, the assignment itself (like Assignment 1 this is 1000 words); second the marking criteria, which should help you to organise and structure your answer; and third a very helpful “tips on answering vignettes” (written by the former module ograniser Prof. Linda Clare).
your answer should not exceed 1000 words in total.
Do format your references in line with APA 6th edition guidelines