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The Therapeutic Conversation

Back issues now available on Members’ Only page


The next introductory course will be 3rd to 5th July 2024 and is to be held in Manchester face-to-face. There may be the option to attend remotely in future but this course is in person.

The brochure for the 2024 course is available here

The application form is available here

CPD programme 2024

Next CPD sessions described via this link

CPD Events – Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy in the UK (

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Latest news

The PIT Special Interest Group earlier this year became a formal organisation called PIT-UK. This change is part of a range of activities intended to promote the dissemination of PIT, in particular by providing more resources and activities aimed at helping you with your continuing professional development. You will be aware from previous messages and via our journal The Therapeutic Conversation (created jointly with the Australia & New Zealand Association for Psychotherapy) that these include the journal, the bimonthly CPD sessions, the annual training day, the new website, the suite of new training films, and the new PIT Practitioner Course

We are pleased to be able to announce that all the preparatory work has now been completed to enable PIT-UK to admit members… so PIT-UK will be opening for membership on 1st January 2024!

Resources and activities currently happening piecemeal will from 2024 onwards be member benefits, there will be new ‘members-only’ benefits, and in addition PIT-UK members will get a substantial  discount on CPD event fees (including the annual training day)

There will be three categories of membership – full Member; Associate Member; Associate Member+. These are all described below. Many of the people currently on the PIT-UK email distribution list will be full members.


Full members of PIT-UK are mental health professionals with some prior training in PIT who want to further develop their understanding and skills in order to enable them to practise, supervise and teach PIT. They will hold a professional qualification in mental health (clinical or counselling psychology; counselling; psychotherapy; nursing; psychiatry; social work; occupational therapy).

They will have completed the University of Manchester PIT Introductory course or an equivalent basic training in PIT. (Examples of equivalent training would be completion of the PIT module within a clinical psychology doctorate, bespoke PIT training courses run by members of PIT-UK, participation in a PIT research trial, or a supervised PIT placement)


1.  High-quality streaming access to the full suite of eight new PIT-UK training films

2. Access to slides and Zoom recordings of most PIT-UK CPD events

3. Receive The Therapeutic Conversation journal and PIT-UK Newsletters and email updates

4. Access website with additional teaching materials such as training materials on role plays, learning PIT and developing skills

5. 25% discount on booking fees for all PIT-UK CPD events including the annual training day

Fee: £75 per year


An associate member of PIT-UK will wish to have information about PIT and attend events, but need not fulfil the eligibility criteria above regarding professional qualification and PIT training.


1.  Training materials on role plays, learning PIT and developing skills on the website

2. High-quality streaming access to limited PIT-UK training films

3. Receive The Therapeutic Conversation journal and PIT-UK Newsletters and email updates

Fee: £30 per year


Becoming an Associate Member + means that in addition to the benefits of being an Associate member of PIT-UK you are granted access to the full suite of new PIT-UK training films

This category of membership will suit individuals with psychotherapy training responsibilities in NHS trusts

Fee: £75 per year

Whilst PIT-UK is a non-profit organisation it does have running costs, and therefore needs to charge fees like other similar psychotherapy bodies in the UK do. We are confident that the PIT-UK membership, event, and training fees are reasonable and represent excellent investments in your professional development. In particular PIT-UK offers to members a very generous discount on event fees, which in 2024 would mean a member could save £49 against the membership fee of £75!

Applications for membership of PIT-UK are now open. Please email

with any questions or with the following information:


Category of membership applied for:

If full membership applied for, please list your professional qualification in mental health and your PIT training (eg year and nature of course attended):

30/03/23 PIT-UK constituted as a Company Limited by Guarantee Companies House registration is 14770144

Dates for 2024 PIT-UK meetings soon to be announced.

2024 Programme

To be announced


PIT-UK Ltd runs an Introductory Course to introduce Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy

New dates to be announced

The first intake of the revised introductory course started in May 2022

New Level 2 PIT Practitioner course starts January 2024.

The Practitioner Training involves a year of seminars and supervised practice.

It is organised through PIT-UK LTD

It is intended to give the expertise needed to be able to provide PIT with a high level of adherence and treatment integrity.

Research update: NIHR gives approximately £6m funding boost to research on PIT.

NHS funding body the National Institute for Health Research has recently invested almost £6m projects on three major studies investigating the efficacy of PIT in self harm

WORSHIP-III is a pragmatic trial of PIT for women offenders with repeat self-harm.

“To see if a talking therapy developed with women and prison staff for prisoners who self-harm, Psychodynamic Interpersonal
Therapy (PIT), will lead to less self-harm and be value for money for the NHS and improve the lives of women who self-harm in prison”.


Research lead is Professor Kathryn Abel

The award is £1,434,089.80

There is a major new study on self harm called SAFE-PIT looking at the effectiveness of PIT . It is run by Professor Else Guthrie and colleagues:

“We want to find out whether a type of brief therapy, psychodynamic interpersonal therapy (PIT), helps people who attend an emergency department (ED) after an episode of self-harm (SH), over and above NHS best care. We are interested in whether PIT helps people reduce future Self Harm, Emergency Department attendance and improve their mental health and quality of life”. 

The Self-harm, Assessment, Formulation, Engagement Trial of Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy (SAFE-PIT)

The award is for £2,030,552.05

What about repeat self-harm?

This study with lead investigators Dr Cathy Brennan and Professor Else Guthrie asks

“Is brief psychodynamic interpersonal therapy (PIT) plus best care effective for people who attend hospital following self-harm (SH) compared to best care?”


Function REplacement in repeated Self-Harm: Standardising Therapeutic Assessment and the Related Therapy: FReSH START

The award is for £2,507,913.00

Recent research findings

A significant study comparing Conversational Model to DBT was published in 2020 showing broad equivalence between the two treatments for BPD in reducing suicidal behaviour

Walton CJ, Bendit, N, Baker, AL, Carter GL, Lewin TJ. (2020) A randomised trial of dialectical behaviour therapy and the conversational model for the treatment of borderline personality disorder with recent suicidal and/or non-suicidal self-injury: An effectiveness study in an Australian public mental health service. Aust. NZ J Psychiatry 54 (10) 1020-1034



Objectives: Borderline personality disorder is a complex mental disorder that is associated with a high degree of suffering for the individual. Dialectical behaviour therapy has been studied in the largest number of controlled trials for treatment of individuals with borderline personality disorder. The conversational model is a psychodynamic treatment also developed specifically for treatment of borderline personality disorder. We report on the outcomes of a randomised trial comparing dialectical behaviour therapy and conversational model for treatment of borderline personality disorder in a routine clinical setting.

Method: Participants had a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder and a minimum of three suicidal and/or non-suicidal self-injurious episodes in the previous 12 months. Consenting individuals were randomised to either dialectical behaviour therapy or conversational model and contracted for 14 months of treatment (n = 162 commenced therapy). Dialectical behaviour therapy involved participants attending weekly individual therapy, weekly group skills training and having access to after-hours phone coaching. Conversational model involved twice weekly individual therapy. Assessments occurred at baseline, mid-treatment (7 months) and post-treatment (14 months). Assessments were conducted by a research assistant blind to treatment condition. Primary outcomes were change in suicidal and non-suicidal self-injurious episodes and severity of depression. We hypothesised that dialectical behaviour therapy would be more effective in reducing suicidal and non-suicidal self-injurious behaviour and that conversational model would be more effective in reducing depression.

Results: Both treatments showed significant improvement over time across the 14 months duration of therapy in suicidal and non-suicidal self-injury and depression scores. There were no significant differences between treatment models in reduction of suicidal and non-suicidal self-injury. However, dialectical behaviour therapy was associated with significantly greater reductions in depression scores compared to conversational model.