Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

Empirically Grounded Clinical Interventions

Clinical Implications of a Psychological Model of Mental Disorder

Peter Kinderman a1c1 and Sara Tai a2
a1 University of Liverpool, UK
a2 University of Manchester, UK

Article author query
kinderman p   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
tai s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Kinderman (2005) presented a psychological model of mental disorder, based on a critique and reformulation of the biopsychosocial model. Kinderman suggested that disruption or dysfunction in psychological processes is a final common pathway in the development of mental disorder. These processes include, but are not limited to, cognitive processes. This ‘mediating psychological processes model’ proposes that biological and environmental factors, together with a person's personal experiences, lead to mental disorder through their conjoint effects on these psychological processes. The clinical implications of this model are discussed further here. It is proposed that formulations rather than diagnoses should predominate clinical planning, that these formulations should detail the hypothesised disruption to psychological processes or mechanisms, that psychological therapies should receive higher priority, and that medical, social and even psychological interventions are most likely to be clinically effective if they are designed on the basis of their likely beneficial impact on underlying psychological mechanisms.

Key Words: Psychological processes; biopsychosocial model; psychological interventions.

c1 Reprint requests to Peter Kinderman, Division of Clinical Psychology, University of Liverpool, Whelan Building, Quadrangle, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L69 3GB, UK. E-mail:

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