The Bare Essentials of the Conversational Model

The Bare Essentials of the Conversational Model

2020-03-01 00:00:00

Selves in Conversation Humans live in a language environment as much as they live in a physical one. Throughout life we are faced with decisions (or ‘motivated selections’) about whether to associate through language or to dissociate through non-communication. Each person’s life gets shaped by these decisions, many of which occur unconsciously under the influence of traumatic experience. Each self has the form of a story, an incomplete one. Dissociation, relating to trauma, is an important reason for this incompleteness.

Communicative play, analogous to the proto-conversation, is a model for therapeutic interaction that facilitates association and integrates trauma. The core of the therapeutic process is development of a feeling language that focuses on the experience of feeling in the ‘here and now’ of each session in the context of a trusting therapeutic relationship leading to shared understanding.

Learning Objectives
1)  Be able to articulate a normative model of self and mental life
2)  Identify conversational processes of growth and differentiation in self
3)  Identify basic moves in facilitating the patient’s capacity to express
experience (find his or her voice)
4)  Be able to explain the model of therapy to a patient


An Introduction to the spectrum of short term approaches in the Conversational model
By Dr Loyola McLean

Although the Conversational Model began as an approach to seeing difficult patients, often on the wards as well as outpatients and of varying length, it became more associated in Australia with intensive long term therapy for complex trauma. This talk will instead outline some of the various shorter term applications of the CM including: 1) ultra- brief work in the ED, clinic, wards or general practice; 2) Formal Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy (PIT) of 4-8 sessions and its evidence base; 3) the CM as a model of trauma-informed care for individual clinicians and team, including acute care teams and their supervision.

A later talk will focus on the STDIP. This talk will outline the common framework of fostering the bond with the patient, developing a shared understanding of the problem (the formulation) to inform an agreement on treatment and the way real experience and feeling language are used to help the healing process.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this lecture the student will be able to:
1)    Describe several shorter term applications of the Conversational Model
2)    Outline the evidence base for Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy (PIT)
3)    Take a framework of the process common to shorter term work in the CM to
their clinical encounters: fostering the bond; developing a share
understanding (formulation) and using feeling and feeling language in the

Speakers: Anthony Korner
Areas of Interest / Categories: Westmead Meetings 2016, Westmead Meetings 2017
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