Assessment and Formulation


The term ‘assessment’ essentially describes the process of collecting relevant information about a person and about the difficulties that they are experiencing.

Simon in assessments of the following:

  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders e.g. Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Learning needs in the context of moderate to severe intellectual impairments
  • Attachment disorders and associated relationship issues
  • Mental health issues in adults and young people
  • Intellectual ability (IQ assessments)

Assessment can take a number of forms including:

  • Interviews with an individual client
  • Family interviews with or without the client
  • Formal assessments of a person’s ability or functioning e.g. Intelligence, memory etc
  • Observational assessments in a clinic setting
  • School, home or work-based observations
  • Collection of information from other professionals and carers
  • Reading of existing documentation and reports

A full assessment of a person’s needs is absolutely essential for any programme of support to be successful.


Formulation is the process of making sense of the information that is gathered in an assessment, and using that information to create a productive way of helping a client.

For many people, understanding the difficulties that they or their relatives experience can be the key to making positive changes in their lives.

For many psychological difficulties, formulation is replacing diagnosis as the main framework for making sense of people’s experiences.  Formulation aims to empower people by identifying areas for change and development, whereas diagnosis often leaves people feeling dependent on professionals to solve their difficulties.

Simon provides reports that draw on the best available clinical and research evidence to inform thinking around the following:

  • School-based emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • Developing a clearer understanding of distressing thoughts, feelings of behaviours
  • Establishing the therapeutic needs of young people and adults with mental health difficulties
  • Employment disputes centering on mental health issues
  • Compensation claims e.g. criminal injuries