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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published nor is it before another journal for consideration; or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor.
  • The text meets this journal's formatting requirements outlined in the Instructions for Authors. If the journal section is peer reviewed, author identification has been removed, and "Author" and year have been used in the bibliography and footnotes, instead of authors' names, titles, etc. The author's name has been removed from the document's Properties, which in Microsoft Word is found in the File menu.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); with figures and tables placed within the text, rather than at the end.
  • All URL addresses in the text (e.g., are activated and ready to click.

Author Guidelines


Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy (PCSP) seeks two types of manuscripts. The first type includes case study reports involving one or more cases; these manuscripts should utilize the outline and headings listed below.  The second type consists of case method articles on the design, use, and effectiveness of case study methodologies.

Required Headings in Clinical Case Studies in PCSP:

1. Case Context and Method2. The Client3. Guiding Conception with Research and Clinical Experience Support4. Assessment of the Client's Problems, Goals, Strengths, and History5. Formulation and Treatment Plan6. Course of Therapy7. Therapy Monitoring and Use of Feedback Information8. Concluding Evaluation of the Therapy's Process and Outcome9. References10. Tables (optional)11. Figures (optional)

Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy (PCSP) accepts submissions of original manuscripts that have not been previously published and are not forthcoming in print or online in a scholarly journal, book, or other publishing format. When submitting, Authors agree not to submit a manuscript for electronic or print publication in another journal until PCSP decides to accept or reject it, or until the Author withdraws this submission.



Authors own the copyright to their articles. The authors have, however, consented to the following provisions associated with their copyright:

  1. Authors grant PCSP the right to publish and archive their articles in the journal for an unlimited time and to make their articles available to readers (see item 2 below) on the World Wide Web, or through whatever medium PCSP determines is best to accomplish its purposes, whether the medium is now known or developed in the future.

  2. Authors agree that PCSP is an open access journal. Specifically, everything published is immediately available without cost to anyone, anywhere. Users can employ PCSP material, original and "derivative" (see below), for any noncommercial purpose, such as reading, downloading, redistributing, preparing derivative works and including in databases ? subject to the condition that the user employs proper attribution of the original authorship of the article, the PCSP journal name, and the date of publication in PCSP. For any commercial use of PCSP material, users must obtain permission from the author (or present copyright holder, if the copyright has been transferred from the author.) Definition of a "Derivative Work": In formally defining a "Derivative Work" from an "Original Work," we follow the legal code of the "Creative Commons," a group dedicated to the fair, accessible distribution of online material. Thus, by a Derivative Work is meant a New Work that is based upon "the [Original] Work or upon the [Original] Work and other pre-existing works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which the [Original] Work may be recast, transformed, or adapted, except that a work that constitutes a 'Collective Work' [see below] will not be considered a Derivative Work." A " 'Collective Work' means a work, such as a periodical issue, anthology or encyclopedia, in which the Work in its entirety in unmodified form, along with a number of other contributions, constituting separate and independent works in themselves, are assembled into a collective whole. A work that constitutes a Collective Work will not be considered a Derivative Work [as defined above]." 

  3. To help maintain the distinctive nature of PCSP and the tradition of scholarly publications, for one year from the date of initial publication in PCSP, authors are encouraged not to publish their article in any other scholarly journal, print or online, open access or non-open-access.

  4. Authors agree to let PCSP use their articles to create compilations for sale that consist of selected articles from the PCSP journal for the sole purpose of financially supporting the continuing publication of PCSP.

  5. Authors agree to let PCSP provide articles to document delivery services and abstracting indexing services.


  1. The First Author is responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the data, facts, references, and copyediting in his or her submission and for securing co-author agreement to the terms of the PCSP "Copyright" policy above and all other journal policies.

  2. Authors are responsible for obtaining the proper permissions to use material in their articles for which they do not own copyright and which is not covered by Fair Use.

  3. All authors warrant that an article contains no material which violates any copyright belonging to any third party, or which is defamatory, an invasion of privacy, or otherwise illegal.

  4. Authors shall indemnify and hold PCSP harmless from any claims that a manuscript and/or an article infringes a third party's copyright or contains inaccurate, defamatory, or otherwise unlawful material or constitutes an invasion of privacy.


SUMMARY: Authors are responsible for disguising the identity of individuals involved in case studies so that these identities are kept private.

  1. Overview. PCSP seeks in part to publish systematic and scholarly case studies of psychotherapy. A very important ethical obligation on authors in such publication is protection of the privacy of those clients who are the subjects of the case studies by effectively disguising their identity. The 2002 "Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code Of Conduct" of the American Psychological Association ( includes two standards that help to define a case study author's obligation to protect the privacy of clients: 3.04 Avoiding Harm. Psychologists take reasonable steps to avoid harming their clients/patients, students, supervisees, research participants, organizational clients, and others with whom they work, and to minimize harm where it is foreseeable and unavoidable. 4.07 Use of Confidential Information for Didactic or Other Purposes. Psychologists do not disclose in their writings, lectures, or other public media, confidential, personally identifiable information concerning their clients/patients, students, research participants, organizational clients, or other recipients of their services that they obtained during the course of their work, unless (1) they take reasonable steps to disguise the person or organization, (2) the person or organization has consented in writing, or (3) there is legal authorization for doing so.

  2. Author disguise of the client. Applying APA standards 3.04 and 4.07 to submitting case studies to PCSP, the Editors expect that an author has taken "reasonable steps" to disguise a client's identity. Consent by the client to the publication of the case study as written is an added plus, but not required. Moreover, even with consent, the author is required to disguise the client's identity in order to reduce any harm that could come to the client because of disclosure of their identity.

    The issue of how to disguise a client's identity while preserving the important parts of a case's "clinical and contextual reality" is a question that will evolve with experience and will certainly deserve early and ongoing discussion in case-study-method articles in PCSP. Examples of disguise that would not seem to alter context in a major way in many clinical situations is to change the age of a client by a few years (e.g., from 68 to 64); to change the client's ethnic origin from one geographic area to one that is similar (e.g., from one Asian nationality to one that is relatively similar in culture); to change a client's profession (e.g., from lawyer to accountant, both of which are white collar and require similar types of education); and/or to change a client's religion, while retaining the degree of religiosity or spirituality. The decision as to what characteristics to disguise is in part a conceptual decision, based upon separating those factors that are crucial to the clinical reality of the case as opposed to factors that are more peripheral. 

  3. Other means. Other means of protecting confidentiality and reducing potential harm may invove case hybridization where elements of two or three similar cases are combined; publication under an author pseudonym; or posthumous publication a sufficient number of years after the death of the client. 

    Another procedure for enhancing the effectiveness of client disguise involves having the author submit a statement from a colleague in the same geographical area indicating that the information revealed in the case would not be likely to reveal the identity of the client. The advantage is that knowing the geographical area and the base rates of various problems in that area, the likelihood that identity might be deduced would be clearer to a local person than to those who would apply a hypothetical or national standard. (For example, the identity of a case of polygamy in Utah would be a lot harder to deduce than one in Vermont.)  

  4. Editorial review. Editorial appraisal of a manuscript will include a thorough examination of the protection of confidentiality in the cases reported in an individual publication. Changes requested in manuscripts my be specifically for reasons of protecting confidentiality. In many clinical contexts, co-workers, co-therapists, and supervisors are also familiar with a case being reported and may provide an additional check on the degree to which the client's identity has been effectively concealed. (For a thorough discussion of the confidentiality issues raised by case study reports, see R.B. Miller (2004), Facing Human Suffering: Psychology and Psychotherapy as Moral Engagement, Washington, DC: APA.)  

Adherence to the APA Ethics Code for Reporting and Publishing Scientific and Scholarly Information

SUMMARY: Authors are expected to adhere to the relevant standards in the Ethics Code of the American Psychological Association (APA) that ensure proper reporting and publishing of scientific and scholarly information.

The specific standards involved are listed below, as taken from the 2002 "Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code Of Conduct," which can be found on the APA web site (

5.01 Avoidance of False or Deceptive Statements (a) Public statements include but are not limited to paid or unpaid advertising, product endorsements, grant applications, licensing applications, other credentialing applications, brochures, printed matter, directory listings, personal resumes or curricula vitae, or comments for use in media such as print or electronic transmission, statements in legal proceedings, lectures and public oral presentations, and published materials. Psychologists do not knowingly make public statements that are false, deceptive, or fraudulent concerning their research, practice, or other work activities or those of persons or organizations with which they are affiliated. (b) Psychologists do not make false, deceptive, or fraudulent statements concerning (1) their training, experience, or competence; (2) their academic degrees; (3) their credentials; (4) their institutional or association affiliations; (5) their services; (6) the scientific or clinical basis for, or results or degree of success of, their services; (7) their fees; or (8) their publications or research findings.

8.10 Reporting Research Results (a) Psychologists do not fabricate data. (See also Standard 5.01a, Avoidance of False or Deceptive Statements.) (b) If psychologists discover significant errors in their published data, they take reasonable steps to correct such errors in a correction, retraction, erratum, or other appropriate publication means.

8.11 Plagiarism Psychologists do not present portions of another's work or data as their own, even if the other work or data source is cited occasionally.

8.12 Publication Credit (a) Psychologists take responsibility and credit, including authorship credit, only for work they have actually performed or to which they have substantially contributed. (See also Standard 8.12b, Publication Credit.) (b) Principal authorship and other publication credits accurately reflect the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their relative status. Mere possession of an institutional position, such as department chair, does not justify authorship credit. Minor contributions to the research or to the writing for publications are acknowledged appropriately, such as in footnotes or in an introductory statement. (c) Except under exceptional circumstances, a student is listed as principal author on any multiple- authored article that is substantially based on the student's doctoral dissertation. Faculty advisors discuss publication credit with students as early as feasible and throughout the research and publication process as appropriate. (See also Standard 8.12b, Publication Credit.)

8.13 Duplicate Publication of Data Psychologists do not publish, as original data, data that have been previously published. This does not preclude republishing data when they are accompanied by proper acknowledgment.

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The data collected from registered and non-registered users of this journal falls within the scope of the standard functioning of peer-reviewed journals. It includes information that makes communication possible for the editorial process; it is used to informs readers about the authorship and editing of content; it enables collecting aggregated data on readership behaviors, as well as tracking geopolitical and social elements of scholarly communication.

This journal’s editorial team uses this data to guide its work in publishing and improving this journal. Data that will assist in developing this publishing platform may be shared with its developer Public Knowledge Project in an anonymized and aggregated form, with appropriate exceptions such as article metrics. The data will not be sold by this journal or PKP nor will it be used for purposes other than those stated here. The authors published in this journal are responsible for the human subject data that figures in the research reported here.

Those involved in editing this journal seek to be compliant with industry standards for data privacy, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provision for “data subject rights” that include (a) breach notification; (b) right of access; (c) the right to be forgotten; (d) data portability; and (e) privacy by design. The GDPR also allows for the recognition of “the public interest in the availability of the data,” which has a particular saliency for those involved in maintaining, with the greatest integrity possible, the public record of scholarly publishing.