What are they?
The Spectrum outpatient treatment clinics comprise a range of evidence-based therapeutic approaches.
The outpatient treatment clinics are collectively referred to as the BPD Clinic, and are made up of the:
- Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Clinic (DBT)
- Mentalization Based Treatment Clinic (MBT)
- Psychoanalytic Clinic (PAC).
Treatment in the BPD clinic usually takes 18 months from the start of pre-treatment. The Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Clinic and Mentalization Based Treatment Clinic comprise both individual and group therapy for the duration of the program. PAC offers individual therapy only.
Currently, the Spectrum clinics operate from two sites in Melbourne — one in Ringwood East and one in Richmond — both within easy walking distances from train stations.
How do they work?
The programs in each clinic start with pre-treatment. During this phase, the person with BPD and clinic staff assess whether the program is a good fit. The pre-treatment phase educates the person about the main ideas used in that clinic’s approach, and what they can expect throughout their treatment. Formal treatment commences after pre-treatment, and continues until the date of discharge. Programs run from February to December, with a break over Christmas and New Year.
In the event of the BPD Clinic being full, people requiring treatment can go on a waitlist until a place becomes available. Clinic staff can advise on the waiting period. The clinician who made the referral to Spectrum (usually a case manager, GP or private psychiatrist) will continue to manage the person’s mental health needs. Prior to entry into the clinic, the case manager and the client will be notified by the clinic staff.
Spectrum also offers a shorter treatment option — the 10-Week Intensive Group Treatment Program.
Who is responsible for crises management?
The client’s Area Mental Health Service, GP or private psychiatrist sign an agreement with Spectrum agreeing that they (not Spectrum) will manage any crises the client may have over the course of Spectrum treatment. This arrangement has been shown to be the most effective one for the client. Clients are able to focus solely on their therapy while at Spectrum and attend to other issues in their lives with the support of their case manager, doctor, or community mental health support service. Spectrum and the case managers, doctors, or support services consult regularly regarding their client and their current situation.