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Unit of study_

PSTY5208: The Long Conversation 1B

Semester 2, 2021 [Normal day] - Remote

This unit provides teaching and supervision for a second semester following The Long Conversation 1A (PSTY5207) to support the clinical experience of running an initial intensive psychodynamic psychotherapy of 2 sessions per week in the Conversational Model. Supervision will centre on listening to audiotaped sessions of the psychotherapy of a patient brought from the student's workplace or allocated from the Westmead Psychotherapy Program, discussing the ongoing developmental and relational formulation and maintenance of the frame, developing work on the middle and ending phases of therapy. Ongoing supervision will focus on the micro-processes of the interaction including attunement, affect, language, states of mind, transference, countertransference and co-transference and separation anxiety. The student will deepen their capacity to work with traumatic states of mind. The aim is to further develop student's skills in sensitive and responsive practice that will foster the conversational flow of the therapy, the development of the therapeutic relationship and the patient's self, facilitating higher levels of reflective capacity and coherence, allowing the integration of trauma. The way the difficult past repeats itself in the therapy is then addressed and work in the co-transference will be explored.

Unit details and rules

Unit code PSTY5208
Academic unit Brain and Mind Science
Credit points 3
PSTY5201 and PSTY5202 and PSTY5203 and PSTY5204 and PSTY5205 and PSTY5206 and PSTY5207
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Anthony Korner,
Lecturer(s) Kamal Touma,
Philip Graham,
Deborah Chisholm,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation Oral examination
30 minutes oral examination
50% Formal exam period 30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO11 LO10 LO9 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Participation Participation in supervision
Individual (participation in group)
20% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO11 LO10 LO9 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Discussion boards
Participation, post and reply required on discussion boards (Weeks 2,6&11)
20% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11
Assignment Case reformulation
10% Week 08 2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2 LO1 LO7 LO6

Assessment summary

  • Discussion Boards: These will be open in weeks 2, 6 and 11 and will each remain open for a minimum of 2 weeks. Each student is expected to make a post of no less than 250 words including one or more references on the first week. Each student is also expected to make a response to one of the other student’s posts of no less than 100 words. Note some discussion boards will require at least one citation.
  • Case reformulation: The reformulation should be the reformulation of the case presented at the end of semester 1 in PSTY5207. It is expected that this will be a longer formulation which reflects an increased level of knowledge of the patient with whom the trainee is working. There should also be a discussion relating to an aspect of a formulation with appropriate referencing. (Word count 2000)
  • Oral Examination: The examination will be of 30 minutes duration. Trainees will be asked to prepare a recorded segment of a session to be played to the examiners. This should be of about 3 minutes duration. In the event that a trainee is unable to record sessions, he/she should present a detailed account including elements of the conversation from that session of an interaction that was felt to significant in the therapy. In either case candidates should prepare a transcript or account to be submitted via Canvas prior to the examination.

Assessment criteria

Result name

Mark range


High Distinction














When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.


The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good

standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

All assignments must be submitted by the due date. Students are expected to manage their time and to prioritise tasks to meet deadlines. Assessment items submitted after the due date without an approved extension using a special consideration or special arrangement form or request will incur the following penalties: • Late assignments that have not been granted extensions and are of a standard to receive a pass or higher mark will attract a penalty of 5% of the maximum mark per day (or part thereof) late including weekend days (e.g. if the assignment is worth 40 marks, the penalty is 2 marks per day late) until the mark reaches 50% of the maximum mark (e.g. 20 marks if the maximum is 40 marks). • Assignments that are not of a pass standard will not have marks deducted and will fail regardless. • Assignments submitted more than 10 days late without prior approval from the unit of study coordinator will not be accepted and will be given a zero (0) mark.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Multiple weeks Weekly Grand Rounds (1hr/week) Lecture (13 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11
Weekly Supervision (45-60 mins/week) Tutorial (13 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11
Weekly online modules, readings and discussion boards Independent study (30 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11
Week 01 Differences between short and long forms of psychotherapy Seminar (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 02 Transitional phenomena Seminar (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO7
Week 03 Joy & Interest, Care & Lust Seminar (1 hr) LO9
Week 04 Fear & Rage Seminar (1 hr) LO9
Week 05 Working in the transference Seminar (1 hr) LO1 LO5 LO6
Week 06 Working with countertransference Seminar (1 hr) LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 07 Depression Seminar (1 hr) LO10
Week 08 Anxiety Seminar (1 hr) LO10 LO11
Week 09 Addiction Seminar (1 hr) LO4 LO6 LO8 LO10
Week 10 Borderline Organization and Personality Seminar (1 hr) LO3 LO7 LO10
Week 11 Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Seminar (1 hr) LO3 LO7 LO10
Week 12 Separations and Endings Seminar (1 hr) LO7 LO10 LO11
Week 13 Reflections on “The Long Conversation 1B” Seminar (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11

Attendance and class requirements

Grand rounds
Students are required to attend weekly one-hour presentations by faculty or invited speakers on topics of interest and relevance to Trauma-informed Psychotherapy.


Weekly seminars

Pre-seminar readings and recordings will be available for you to read along with relevant literature for each weekly, one-hour seminar. 


The therapy

The frame of the therapy is twice a week sessions of 50 minutes each. 

Supervision is conducted on an individual basis.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 3 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 60-75 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Most readings for this unit can be accessed on the Library eReserve link available on Canvas. 

  • Meares, R. (2005). Metaphor of Play, Third edition, London Routledge.
  • Meares, R., Bendit, N., Haliburn, J., Korner, A., Mears & Butt, D. (2012). Borderline Personality Disorder and the Conversational Model: A Clinician’s Manual. Sydney. Norton.
  • Siegel, D. (2012) The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact To Shape Who We Are. 2nd edition. New York: Guilford.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

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

  • LO1. Understand and be able to develop a clinical formulation emphasizing psychodynamic / developmental principles within a biopsychosocial framework.
  • LO2. Identify patients likely to benefit from longer term psychotherapeutic interventions
  • LO3. Understand emotional development including biological and psychosocial factors, including complex trauma and dissociation, and apply this knowledge in understanding the presentation of individual patients.
  • LO4. Identify potential risks of psychotherapeutic intervention as part of the assessment for psychotherapy.
  • LO5. Describe the relational factors that shape the development of self with a particular focus on the interactions of the proto-conversation.
  • LO6. Describe the major forms of attachment and their therapeutic implications.
  • LO7. Recognize the importance of the therapeutic framework and the need to maintain clear boundaries in all forms of psychotherapy.
  • LO8. Identify ethical parameters for the conduct of psychodynamic psychotherapy.
  • LO9. Discuss the major principles of psychodynamic therapy including the role of feeling in mental life; trauma and dissociation and implications for development; the growth of self; transference and countertransference.
  • LO10. Develop a flexible technique adaptable to a range of specific clinical presentations
  • LO11. Recognize and repair disjunctions when they occur.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

We value your feedback about any aspect of the unit of study and your experience as a student of Sydney Medical School. To help ensure our courses meet your needs and maintain a high standard, we welcome your feedback at any time and we ask you to complete the Mid-Semester Evaluation Survey and the unit of study Evaluation Survey at the end of the semester. You can also rate any component of the unit using our star rating system found at the bottom of many pages as you progress through the unit. Your ratings and comments are anonymous and specifying what you liked and didn’t like about any of the learning materials, assessment items, discussion forums, feedback etc will help us to target our improvement efforts. Please note that your participation in this unit of study permits de-identified information about your learning experience and interaction with learning resources to be used for the purpose of improving the student learning experience.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.