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Introducing a conversational model therapy approach as a team model of care: the clinician experience in a sexual assault service


McLean, L and Kornhaber, R and Holt, R and West, S and Kwiet, J and Visentin, D and Cleary, M, Introducing a conversational model therapy approach as a team model of care: the clinician experience in a sexual assault service, Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 39, (10) pp. 821-828. ISSN 0161-2840 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

DOI: doi:10.1080/01612840.2018.1491655


This article examines clinician experience in adopting a contemporary psychodynamic model of care by exploring the experiences and perspectives of staff at an Australian hospital-based sexual assault service (SAS), reflecting then on implications for how to best engage clinicians in a model of care change and training. The Conversational Model of Therapy (CMT) is a contemporary psychodynamic approach integrating evidence from developmental psychology, neuroscience and trauma. Training was provided in the CMT approach to Short-Term Intensive Psychodynamic Psychotherapy seeking to enable the service to better provide for the needs of adult clients with less recent sexual assault experiences and/or those able to receive a short-term psychotherapy. Five semi-structured individual interviews and one focus group (with four participants) were undertaken to identify SAS staff perceptions of their experiences after initial training of up to 13 sessions with CMT. Thematic analysis was performed to identify, analyse and report patterns in the responses with the following themes emerging: the challenges staff face in providing a service to clients; coping mechanisms staff utilise in their work; the current service structure and how this compares with their experiences of CMT, and; feelings and thoughts on SAS staff being evaluated. Findings provide evidence that the majority of staff understood the need for change and were able to undertake training towards this due to effective coping mechanisms within their work and good support from within their team. The research also highlights the need to ensure effective training to evaluate participantsí understanding of the model being taught. In the context of training experience elsewhere, learning and synthesis of all of the knowledge relevant to a psychodynamic model of care may require experiential learning through supervision of audio-recorded sessions, although this has challenges in the SAS context.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:conversational model, sexual assault service, CMT, training, Conversational Model of Therapy
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Mental health nursing
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Mental health services
UTAS Author:Kornhaber, R (Dr Rachel Kornhaber)
UTAS Author:West, S (Dr Sancia West)
UTAS Author:Visentin, D (Dr Denis Visentin)
UTAS Author:Cleary, M (Professor Michelle Cleary)
ID Code:128691
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2018-10-07
Last Modified:2019-05-22

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