This article aims to describe the difference between descriptive and dynamic psychiatry. As part of the latter every
psychiatrist should be able to construct a psychodynamic formulation. A psychodynamic formulation, an indication of
psychological mindedness, helps the psychiatrist to recognize the unique, personal aspects of the illness and the life of the patient.
The formulation furthermore helps with the initial orientation towards the patient: it anticipates and predicts how the patient might
interact with the psychiatrist and how defenses and underlying conflicts will manifest themselves in treatment. The formulation can
therefore be very useful in the treatment of any patient, since it can help to understand and manage the patient’s attitude towards
being prescribed medication, as well as compliance and prognosis and serve as an initial guide in the psychotherapy. The
psychodynamic formulation is unfortunately seldom incorporated in the psychiatric presentation of patients; guidelines are
therefore given to especially help psychiatric trainees with the construction of such a formulation.