The University of Southampton
Courses

HLTH6122 Interpersonal Therapy: Working with Trauma and Relational Difficulties

Module Overview

This module aims to enable students to advance their knowledge and understanding of interpersonal therapies which look at how depression and anxiety (and other mental health problems) are linked to interpersonal difficulties. Relationship based therapies focus on our need for interpersonal security and on the adverse consequences for mental and emotional well-being when insecure attachments in early and later life predominate. This module will enable students to focus on relationship difficulties across the lifespan (the perinatal mental health period, childhood or in older adults, for example). Interpersonal therapies offer tools with which to look at relationship in the here and now and identify blind spots, increase insight and make changes. This module will enable students to integrate knowledge and skills from various therapeutic traditions and more deeply understand different perspectives on mental health care and treatment. This module can be studied either: - Face to Face (when the student numbers are quorate i.e. 10 or more) or - Through Academic Coaching and Action Learning Groups (ALGs) 6-9 students - Through Academic Coaching alone (5 or fewer students)

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This module aims to enable students to advance their knowledge and understanding of interpersonal therapies which look at how depression and anxiety (and other mental health problems) are linked to interpersonal difficulties. Relationship based therapies focus on our need for interpersonal security and on the adverse consequences for mental and emotional well-being when insecure attachments in early and later life predominate. Relationship difficulties can be experienced in childhood and adulthood and interpersonal therapies enable us to make formulations about how our early experience of relationships affects later relationship patterns. Interpersonal therapies offer tools with which to look at relationship in the here and now and identify blind spots, increase insight and make changes. Relationship difficulties can arise between parents and their children, between children and their peers and between adult romantic partners and this module will enable students to focus on relationship difficulties across the lifespan (the perinatal mental health period, childhood or in older adults, for example). This module will enable students to integrate knowledge and skills from various therapeutic traditions and more deeply understand different perspectives on mental health care and treatment. The Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies initiative in the UK initially prioritised the training and roll out of CBT therapists (see Talking Therapies: a four year plan of action, 2011), but it now promotes Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT) Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Counselling for Depression. These therapies represent the psychodynamic, person-centred and cognitive behavioural traditions in psychological therapy. Interpersonal and relationship based therapies aim to increase a person's insight into how they experience themselves, others and form relationships with a view to changing relationship problems. They are different in philosophy and technique to CBT and they are appropriate for different types of mental health difficulties in which there is significant anxiety about forming attachments. This module aims to develop students' ability to situate their understanding about therapeutic interventions in a psychosocial context by specifically highlighting the historically situated roots of different types of therapy and by contextualising them in national and international debates about recovery and well-being.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate current initiatives and ideological debates about contemporary therapies and service user outcomes
  • Critically discuss a psychosocial critique of the promotion of well-being and recovery by psychological therapy
  • Develop a critical awareness of a relational model of therapy and its core features and strategies
  • Critically analyse the difference and similarities in understanding the roots of common mental health problems offered by cognitive and relational therapies
  • Critically evaluate service user views of therapeutic efficacy
  • Critically reflect on your own experience of working therapeutically and on your preferred choice of therapy

Syllabus

- Western models and goals of therapy and culturally appropriate mental health care - Types and sources of evidence in evidence based therapy - Core Clinical Skills in Interpersonal Therapies (e.g. therapeutic alliance, interpersonal trust, empathy, working with emotion, etc.) - Research and Clinical Skills in Interpersonal Therapies (e.g. attachment patterns, mental model of relationships, unconscious communication, self-awareness, boundaries, etc.) - Research and Clinical Skills in CBT (vulnerability factors, beliefs, negative automatic thoughts, treatment targets, etc.), with a view to comparing them with interpersonal therapy - Service user narratives of therapeutic care - Therapeutic use of self and Reflective Practice

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

- For and Against Debates (working with emotion and mind and/or behaviour and thought) - Case histories and competency frameworks - Genograms - Attachment style questionnaire - Assessment and formulation templates - Interpersonal maps - Narrative accounts of mental health difficulties and recovery (poetry, biographies, service user organisations and networks) - Service user involvement: Service user accounts of psychological therapies - Research led teaching: Professorial staff and staff who have published and undertaken research in this are will lead these sessions - Clinical expertise: Staff who have clinical expertise in interpersonal therapy will lead these sessions Face to Face taught option will take place over five days and it will be classroom based Academic Coaching option (with or without Action Learning Groups): This option will be delivered using an Independent Learning model. You will be supported in your learning by an academic coach, and where the number of students enrolled on the module allows (6-0 students) there will be 3 Action Learning Groups offered during the study period. Where there is more than one student undertaking the academic coaching mode of delivery a discussion group will be set up on the Blackboard site so that students can have a sense of a community of practice. Where student numbers allow (6-9) 3 action learning groups will be facilitated which may result in some students requiring fewer individual coaching sessions. It is anticipated that for this group of students group coaching may be an option. Using a comprehensive, detailed and clearly defined learning contract, you will identify a strategy to address the module's aims and objectives. The contract will be agreed with your academic coach. The number of hours will be adjusted if the module is delivered by: Academic Coaching with ALGs - 4-6 hours academic coaching with 3 x 3 hours ALGs Academic Coaching alone (without ALGs) - 6 hours academic coaching

TypeHours
Lecture30
Preparation for scheduled sessions220
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

Adams, M. (2014). The Myth of the Untroubled Therapist: Private Life, Professional Practice. 

Cuijpers: et al. (2016). Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Mental Health Problems: A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis. The American Journal of Psychiatry. ,0 , pp. 0.

Implementing NICE guidelines for the psychological treatment of depression and anxiety disorders: The IAPT experience. ,23 , pp. 375-384.

Lemma, A., Target, M. and Fonagy, P. (2011). Brief Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy. 

Rippere, V. & Williams, R. (1985). Wounded Healer: Mental health workers’ experience of depression. 

Grosz, S. (2013). The Examined Life: How we lose and find ourselves. 

Binder, E-R, Holgerson, H., & Hostmark Nielson, G. (2009). Why did I change when I went to therapy? A qualitative analysis of former patients’ conceptions of successful psychotherapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. 

House, R. and Lowenthal, D. (2008). Against and For CBT: Towards a constructive dialogue. 

Wilkins, P. (2016). Person-centred Therapy: 100 key points. 

Gerhardt, S. (2006). Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby's brain. Infant Observation: International Journal of Infant Observation and its Applications. ,9 , pp. 305-309.

Wampold, B.E. and Imel, Z.E. (2015). The Great Psychotherapy Debate: The Evidence for what makes Psychotherapy Work. 

What are mental health service user’s priorities for research in the UK?. ,17 , pp. 520-530.

Styron, W. (1990). Darkness Visible: A memoir of madness. 

Cusk, R. (2002). A life's work: On Becoming a Mother. 

Brown, J. (2012). The therapeutic use of self in Tee, S., Brown, J. and Carpenter, D. (eds) Handbook of Mental Health Nursing,. 

Furedi, F. (2004). Therapy Culture: Cultivating vulnerability in an uncertain age. 

Roberts, G.A. (2000). Narrative and severe mental illness: What places do stories have in an evidence based world?, Advances in Psychiatric Treatment: CPD, 6:432-44. 

Assessment

Formative

Case study

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Case study  (3500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Texts are accessible from the library and /or good academic book shops such as John Smith’s and Blackwells.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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