The need for training in the management of personality disorder is now firmly established following publication of policy implementation guidance for the development of services for people with such disorders. We report on the development of a training course for people from a range of disciplines, which is group-based, psycho-analytically informed and experiential in nature.
Those attending the course rated it highly. They showed marked changes in attitude towards, and greater confidence to work with, the client group, and were more willing to communicate their own difficulties openly both within and between agencies, to pass on their skills and to develop further the networks they had formed.
Given a containing structure and reflective space, professionals from a number of agencies rapidly become able to use difficult theory to develop a ‘feeling language’ to communicate about clients with personality disorder. User presentations can be important to these changes. Repeating such a course over a number of years might lead to a more therapeutic culture within mental health services and associated agencies. The course format is likely to be transferable.
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