Latest news: November 2019

Dates for 2019 PIT SIG meetings announced. Click here for further details.

NEW LEVEL 1 PIT CPD COURSE LAUNCHED! PIT SIG UK is delighted to announce a new five-day introductory course in PIT, developed in collaboration with the University of Manchester. The course is taking place on the 9th-13th September 2019 at the University and will provide attendees with a basic knowledge of the approach, including the ability to use Level 1 PIT practical and formulation skills as an adjunct to other therapeutic models (including CBT). Click here for further information.

New Level 2 PIT course recently approved and due for launch soon. The University of Manchester have recently approved a new course offering advanced training and clinical supervision in PIT for people who wish to use the model as a standalone therapy in their clinical role. We will be releasing further information about this shortly.

NIHR gives 4m funding boost to research on PIT. NHS funding body the National Institute for Health Research has recently invested nearly 4m in two projects investigating the efficacy of PIT. The FReSH START study is investigating PIT as one of several treatments for people with a history of self-harm, while WORSHIP-III is a pragmatic trial of PIT for women offenders with repeat self-harm.

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.

Training in PIT

We’re delighted to announce the relaunch of the Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy (PIT) Level 1 training, a five 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 Special Interest Group UK and is approved by the School of Health Sciences, University of Manchester. The first Level 1 course will be running from 9.30 to 16.30 on the 9th-13th of September 2019 in the Zochonis Building, University of Manchester. The cost of the course is £850.

Further details of the course can be found by clicking here.

If you have already completed the 5 day course (or the PIT module on the Manchester ClinPsyD), the best way of developing skills in the model is to use it in clinical practice under the supervision of an experienced PIT therapist. The University of Manchester has recently approved a new Level 2 course in PIT that will provide participants with a series of advanced training workshops as well as 30 weeks of clinical supervision from an experienced PIT therapist and member of PIT SIG UK. In order to be eligible, participants will need to have completed the Level 1 training (or equivalent, including the previous five day course in PIT run by Else Guthrie, or the University of Manchester Clinical Psychology Doctorate) and will be expected to be seeing therapy clients within their existing clinical role and governance arrangements. Further details about the Level 2 course will be released soon.

Key resources when learning PIT

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

Forms of Feeling(i) 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. It can be purchased from the University of Manchester by clicking here (click on the Video Catalogue link in the left hand column of that website to reveal a list of videos where the relevant link can be found). Alternatively, it can be purchased directly from Nick Jordan, with a cheque payable to ‘University of Manchester’: Nick Jordan, Video Producer, University of Manchester, 2nd Floor Rawnsley Building, MRI, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL (Tel: 0161 276 6682).

As of April 2018, PIT SIG UK is putting together new training recordings with a more modern look and feel. Filming begins in May 2018 and further information will be released in due course.

(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 practicve with all psychological therapies. PIT SIG UK has developed a set of recommendations for establishing and maintaining PIT supervision, which can be accessed here.


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