Psychology Study & Supervision Group:
‘A Relational and Neurobiological Approach’
For understanding and treating personality disorders
The aim of this group is to support clinicians in developing their ‘capacity to work in an integrated way” when working with clients who present with significant intra-personal and inter-personal disturbance.
Since the time of Freud volumes and volumes of books have been written about how to treat people with “psychological issues”. In the last 20 and so years we have been offered multiple choices of “evidence based” treatments for various disorders. The challenge that a contemporary practitioner faces is to develop a cohesive and coherent model of practice in the field of seemingly different and incompatible modalities.
The recent neurobiological insights have given us hope that the traditional gap between the concepts of body and mind can be finally reduced if not eliminated. For example, are the concepts of ‘transference’ and ‘implicit attachment memory’ referring to the same phenomena? Did you know that the original meaning of the words “soul” and “spirit” is breath and breathing in most European languages? Interestingly, in the Polyvagal Theory they talk about using breath as a way of regulating the Autonomic Nervous System.
The suggested reading list comes from years of professional development that I found useful in my clinical practice with clients who present as complex and severe. As “an eternal student” the challenge always has been to synthesize the diverse literature in a way that can be helpful to me and my clients.
The idea is that participants will read between sessions and discuss their insights in the first hour of the group. In the second hour of the group participants will present cases (one case per group) in a traditional supervision format.
Prior to attending the group for the first time you will be asked to fill and sign the Registration and Group Agreement forms.
Dates for 2020: 7th October, 4th November, 2nd December
Location: Spectrum, Level 1, 110 Church St Richmond, VIC, 3121
Time: Wednesdays from 4.00pm to 6.00pm
All enquires can be put to the group facilitator: Rada Semec, Senior Psychologist, Spectrum. Contact via e-mail: Radmila.Semec@easternhealth.org.au or mobile: 0402 970 935
Please note that we will be reading only parts of the books for group purposes. It is recommended that you get your own copies if possible. The other way to familiars yourself with the authors is to access their talks on youtube etc.
- "The Relationship Management” by David Dawson (article; provided)
- “BPD and The Conversational Model” by Russell Meares (book)
- “The Therapeutic Relationship” by Petruska Clarkson (introduction chapter; provided)
- “The Mindful Therapist” by Danile J. Siegel (book)
- “Management of Countertransference with Borderline Patients” by Glen O.Gabbard and Sally M.Wilkinson (book)
- “Polyvagal Theory” by Stephen W.Porges (article / youtube)
- “The Haunted Self – Structural dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatization” by Onno van der Hart, Ellert R.S.Nijenhuis & Kathy Steele (book)
- “The body keeps the score – Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma” by Bessel van der Kolk (book)
- “Understanding and Treating Chronic Shame – A relational / Neurobiological Approach“ by Patricia A. DeYoung (book)
- “Sensorimotor Psychotherapy – Interventions for trauma and attachment“ by Pat Ogden and Janina Fisher (book)
- “Easy Ego-state Interventions – strategies for working with parts” by Robyn Shapiro (book)
- “Overcoming Trauma through Yoga- Reclaiming Your Body “ by David Emerson and Elizabeth Hopper (book)
- “Self-regulation Interventions and Strategies – Keeping the Body, Mind & Emotions on Task in Children with Autism, ADHD or Sensory Disorders” by Teresa Garland (book)
Congratulations to our very own Spectrum Executive Clinical Director, Dr Sathya Rao who has received a RANZCP Victorian Branch Meritorious Award.
The award acknowledges Sathya’s contribution over many years towards understanding and managing patients with Borderline Personality Disorder, and his immense contribution to clinical services, training and education, and research. Sathya is a pioneer within Australia in the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder and his passion for research, evidence-based practice and teaching has inspired hundreds of health professionals to specialise in this area within Australia and overseas. His quiet determination to dedicate himself to working with people living with Borderline Personality Disorder has saved lives and changed families forever. In the words of the College “Sathya has led Spectrum for a long period and transformed our approach to personality disorders from nihilism to hopefulness.’
Congratulations, Sathya on this prestigious acknowledgement and for the great contribution you have made in your field of expertise.
Monthly Q&A Sessions
Spectrum is offering monthly Q&A sessions on a variety of topics related to working with people with personality disorder. These are conducted via Zoom and are a great interactive way of enhancing knowledge and practice through discussion and questions. Spaces are limited so booking is required.
Please visit our Professional Development page for more information regarding dates and bookings.
For Current Clients
Spectrum remains open and continues to provide treatment and support for all current clients. The method of receiving your treatment however has changed, from in person to tele-health options, either through a secure video-conference platform which we arrange for you, or via telephone.
You will be contacted by your clinician and arrangements will be made to provide ongoing treatment for you that you are able to access.
While this is not our ideal method of providing treatment, our intention is to ensure that we can continue to provide treatment for you. Once the physical distancing requirements of COVID-19 have ended, we will return to usual in person treatment arrangements.
Maintaining Health and Wellbeing
We acknowledge that this is a very unsettling and concerning time for all in our community. Spectrum will continue to support people and services throughout this difficult time.
Please follow the recommendations for keeping yourself well: physical distance and hand hygiene.
We especially encourage you to look after your mental health by staying connected to other people and activities even while maintaining physical distance. There is a variety of on-line resources to help with this. Here are a couple of web-sites to check out:
For Referrers to Spectrum
Spectrum Treatment Clinics
The Spectrum treatment clinics continue to provide treatment for people who are currently engaged in treatment.
However, clinics have transitioned to tele-health methods of delivery, either through a secure video-conference platform or via telephone.
Spectrum intake continues to operate both for:
- Telephone support for people with BPD and their families/carers
- Provision of information for other services and intended referrers
Referrals to Spectrum from Primary Care
Spectrum continues to provide primary care assessments for referrals from GPs and private psychiatrists. Please note these will be completed via telehealth (secure video-conference or telephone) until further notice.
Following assessment, recommendations will be provided to the referring GP or private psychiatrist.
Given current pandemic circumstances, we are not able to operate at our full capacity for competing assessments at this stage.
Referrals to Spectrum from AMH Services
Spectrum will continue to provide urgent assessments for AMH Services, again via tele-health methods.
We will provide secondary consultation via tele-health for AMH Services.
Some tele-health treatment will be provided for people with personality disorder when this is indicated.
Phone enquiries: (03) 8413 8750
Fax: (03) 8413 8498
Complexities in Personality Disorder: A Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT) Approach
Clinical experience and clinical experience and contemporary research acknowledge the complexities that can arise in working with people with a personality disorder. Mentalization-based treatment (MBT) is an empirically–supported treatment for people with borderline personality disorder. It offers positive outcomes for people with complex and multifaceted presentations and high comorbidities.
Two keynote addresses from a leading international expert in the area of personality disorder, Professor Anthony Bateman, will consider how the MBT model has evolved and how it conceptualises and treats the complexities associated with borderline, antisocial and other personality disorders. It is anticipated that the conference will discuss consumer experience of receiving MBT treatment and will showcase how the treatment is being taken up across Victoria and nationwide in a variety of settings.
For attendees who may be less familiar with the MBT model, Spectrum will host Professor Bateman in providing in-depth training in MBT, Structured Clinical Management which is a Common Factors Treatment model that he developed. Professor Bateman will also present a separate post-conference workshop covering the diagnosis and treatment of antisocial personality disorder.
Please note: Unfortunately due to COVID-19 restrictions, the planned Spectrum conference for 2020 on “Complexities in Personality Disorder: A Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT) Approach”, featuring Dr Anthony Bateman, has been postponed. The conference will be held next year. Updates will be posted on our website as further information is available. Please also follow our website and social media for other training options that may be offered in the meantime.
Who can attend the workshops?
Professional development workshops are primarily intended for mental health clinicians and other professionals working with people who have personality disorders.
Register for training:
In his opening address to the 2019 BPD Foundation conference, Minister Foley spoke of the ‘tide of change” that is coming and the partnership between Spectrum and the State Government to conduct the PDI Program to help to build the capability and expertise of the clinical Mental health workforce which is being rolled out in six health services. By building the skill and competency of clinicians to provide effective treatment of people with BPD it is hoped that they will be able to help increase awareness of and improve understanding of Personality Disorders and also to help to reduce stigma and discrimination.
LATE BREAKING NEWS! – Additional presentation by Professor Louise Newman AM - Mothering & Identity in BPD - Early intervention approaches.
PROFESSOR LOUISE NEWMAN AM, BA(Hons) MBBS(Hons) PhD FRANZCP Cert. Child Psych. RANZCP
Louise Newman is the Director of the Centre for Women’s Mental Health at the Royal Women’s Hospital and Professor of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne
Prior to this appointment she was the Professor of Developmental Psychiatry and Director of the Monash University Centre for Developmental Psychiatry & Psychology. She was the founding Chair of Perinatal and Infant Psychiatry at the University of Newcastle and the previous Director of the New South Wales Institute of Psychiatry. In January 2011 she was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for work in child protection and asylum seeker advocacy.
She is a practising infant psychiatrist with expertise in the area of disorders of early parenting and attachment difficulties in infants. She has undertaken research into the issues confronting parents with histories of early trauma and neglect. Her current research focusses on the evaluation of infant-parent interventions in high-risk populations, the concept of parental reflective functioning in mothers with borderline personality disorder and the neurobiology of parenting disturbance
She has published in the areas of infant mental health, attachment disorders, trauma, and prevention of child abuse. She is co-author of the textbooks Clinical Skills in Infant Mental Health and Contemporary Approaches in Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
She is the Convenor of Doctors for Justice and the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Group. She has been a Government advisor on asylum seeker and refugee mental health and contributed to the development of policy for mental health screening and response to torture survivors. She has been involved in research into the impact of immigration detention on child asylum seekers.
Spectrum’s Annual Conference
Borderline Personality Disorder: Expression, Impact and Treatment across Life Stages
Date: Friday 13th September 2019
Time: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Location: Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre – 1 Convention Pl, South Wharf VIC 3006
Cost: $295 Contact: Lalitha Ganapathy – Phone: 03 8413 8753 Email: email@example.com
Human Personality undergoes continuous development and modification in response to maturation and environmental factors.
Contemporary research is pointing to the recognition of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) across the life stages.
This conference will consider the diagnosis, prevention, early intervention and treatments across life stages, with eminent speakers presenting on BPD from childhood, through adolescence and adulthood to older age.
Three concurrent workshops have also been planned for the afternoon.
This group is designed to support psychologists with their practice in the public and/or private sector who encounter challenging and complex clients with diagnoses of personality disorders.
This one day workshop for families, friends and others who support someone with BPD (or a likely diagnosis of BPD) provides information about BPD and how to best support the person whilst still caring for yourselves. The group will explore a number of educational and practical approaches to learning new skills in the context of a safe environment amongst other carers.