PIT Training

Core competences in PIT

PIT is identified as an evidence-based adaptation of the psychoanalytic/psychodynamic model in the UCL competence frameworks by Anthony Roth and Stephen Pilling. The PIT competences referred to in that framework can be found here. PIT is also identified as a specific evidence-based intervention for medically unexplained symptoms/long term conditions in the UCL competence framework for people with persistent physical health problems. The PIT competences referred to in that framework can be found here.

There is a detailed adherence scale which can be used to assess fidelity to the PIT model:

The adherence scale for PIT is available here.

Training in PIT

We offer a Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy (PIT) Level 1 Introductory Course, a three day course providing an introduction to the theoretical and therapeutic principles of working with PIT and the application of these principles in clinical practice. This Continuing Professional Development course is being run by members of PIT – UK . Information on the dates of the next course will be released soon.

More details about the course is available here.

Further training in PIT for experienced clinicians

There is also a practitioner training available and further details can be found here

Key resources when learning PIT

PIT SIG UK recommends the following as the primary resources for learning about the theory and practice of PIT:

(i) Forms of Feeling: The heart of psychotherapy

Hobson, R. F. (1985). Forms of Feeling. London: Routledge.

Despite its age, Hobson’s seminal overview of the theory and practice of the conversational model still remains the key text for PIT therapists. We normally recommend that newcomers to the model focus particularly on chapters 11-15, which provide a straightforward description of key theoretical concepts within the model and the basics of PIT practice.

(ii) Barkham, M., Guthrie, E., Hardy, G. & Margison, F. (Eds., 2016). Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy: A conversational model. London: Sage.

This book provides an overview of research on PIT and a detailed practical guide to using PIT in practice.

(iii) A Conversational Model of Psychotherapy (DVD)

This training video was produced by Robert Hobson and Frank Margison in the 1980s and provides demonstrations of the main interventions within PIT. Although a little dated in appearance, the demonstrations remain entirely current and it is still widely used on PIT training courses. You can access the films here

A suite of films is available for members through this website – there is an introduction to training; four role-played case studies on Loss, Anxiety, Shame and The Body; and three skills developmental films covering Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced skills See here for more information

(iv) Meares, R. & Hobson, R. F. (1977) The persecutory therapist. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 50, 349-359.

The conversational model was inspired by dissatisfaction with aspects of then-current therapeutic approaches (such as the ‘blank-screen’ stance of many in psychodynamic therapists) that Hobson and Meares considered anti-therapeutic or even persecutory. Whilst not strictly on the conversational model itself, the concepts outlined in this paper served as an impetus for the development of key techniques within PIT, specifically aimed at minimising the potential for damage within psychological therapy. It is therefore considered essential reading for therapists who are training in the model.

In addition to these core training materials, trainee therapists may also find the following references useful:

Borderline personality disorder and the conversational modelMeares, R. (2012) Borderline Personality Disorder and The Conversational Model: A Clinician’s Manual. New York: Norton

This book provides an accessible introduction to the practice of Conversational Model therapy with patients with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), as practised by Russell Meares and colleagues in Australia. Although specifically focused on BPD, it explores numerous issues that are pertinent to PIT more generally, and provides extensive clinical transcripts that illustrate particular techniques.

Meares, R. (2004) The Conversational Model. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 58, 51-66.

For anyone who is particularly keen to learn about some of the theoretical background to PIT, the following books may be of interest:

Meares, R. (2000). Intimacy and Alienation: Memory, Trauma and Personal Being. London: Brunner-Routledge.

Meares, R. (2005). The Metaphor of Play. London: Brunner-Routledge.

Meares, R. (2012). A Dissociation Model of Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Norton.

Meares, R. (2016). The Poet’s Voice in the Making of Mind. London: Brunner-Routledge.

Supervision in PIT

Clinical supervision for therapists is a crucial part of safe and effective practice with all psychological therapies. PIT – UK has developed a set of recommendations for establishing and maintaining PIT supervision, which can be accessed here.

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