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The concept of illusory mental health is described as the rationale for needing an approach for working with individuals who are unaware of their suffering and are therefore unable to describe their problems through self-report instruments. The use of a nomothetic approach using self-report or clinician-generated standardised instruments is compared with an idiographic approach for working with such individuals. A case study is used to illustrate the development and first application of a Proxy-Generated Outcome Measure (PGOM) that allows clinicians, observers and researchers to trace an individualised understanding of a client’s core sufferings and changes occurring during the process of psychotherapy. A comparison with a nomothetic outcome measure is also presented.
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