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Unit of study_

PSTY5202: Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy

This unit offers an introduction to ultra-brief psychodynamic psychotherapy using the evidence-based approach of Psychodynamic -Interpersonal Therapy (PIT) suitable for acute and general medical and mental health practice, including as an approach to Project Air clinics, emergency department presentations, self-harm and psychosomatics. This unit is suitable for interested clinicians from a variety of backgrounds, including counselling, nursing, social work, medicine, psychiatry and psychology. The techniques generalize well to developing the therapeutic relationship. Over the semester students will be able to communicate the strong theory and RCT evidence base of this model and how this model can offer a person-centred and recovery-based approach to trauma-informed care and stepped care. Students will attend some initial training and then group supervision to support their acquisition of knowledge, attitudes and clinical skills in the clinical experience of running 2 brief psychodynamic therapies of 4-8 sessions. Students will bring cases from their workplace or allocated from an affiliated clinical program. Students will apply the basics of assessment and engagement and feeling language, using statements and developing formulations. They will demonstrate the PIT structure including the writing of a good bye letter and collaborative future planning, whether for maintenance, onreferral or further treatment.

Code PSTY5202
Academic unit Brain and Mind Science
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge:
This unit assumes a working clinical knowledge of basic counselling and mental health, commensurate with a clinician having worked 2 or more years in a setting with general health counselling or mental health clients.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. effectively communicate the theory and evidence base of Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy with clinicians, consumers and carers
  • LO2. discuss how this model applies a psychodynamic approach that is person-centred, recovery-focused and trauma-informed and is a tier in stepped care
  • LO3. understand and demonstrate the skill of valuing the consumer’s experience, using statements and feeling language
  • LO4. effectively conduct and demonstrate brief psychodynamic therapy in the Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy model, including collaboration, assessment, engagement, finding a focus, feeling language, the problem “alive” in the room, and co-constructing the goodbye letter
  • LO5. apply the concepts of transference, countertransference, co-transference, unconscious repetition, complex trauma, dissociation and coping mechanisms and adaptations as relevant to assessments and cases
  • LO6. develop a collaborative psychodynamic formulation to understand the presenting symptoms or predicament during assessment and consider any reformulation needed for the goodbye letter
  • LO7. appropriately consider and collaborate around future planning, whether for maintenance, on-referral or further treatment
  • LO8. discuss applying the model and its principles to acute and brief care across settings and sectors
  • LO9. write and present a case study that demonstrates a clinical experience of running a Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy case, including reflections on the process and the learning for the therapist.