News and events

DBT team



Fortnightly on Wednesday, 12.00 – 1.00 PM (AEST/AEDT) starting from 6th July 2022.

The Personality Disorder and Complex Trauma ECHO is a program for healthcare professionals who are keen to improve their capacity to work with people with personality disorder and complex trauma. The ultimate purpose of these sessions is to establish a community of practice of healthcare professionals ranging in expertise and who have a common purpose to improve the wellbeing of people with personality disorder and complex trauma.

Facilitated by GV Health, each session begins with a presentation from a Spectrum or an affiliated expert on a specific topic which is then followed by an in-depth case consultation. There are opportunities for attendees to ask questions and provide recommendations on the case study which is presented by one of the attendees.

Using a real-time online format, attendees will be able to:

  • Learn new approaches and skills
  • Participate in in-depth case consultation
  • Receive feedback and recommendations
  • Provide expertise to a community of colleagues
  • Earn CPD points (self-managed)
  • Have fun!

The Personality Disorder and Complex Trauma ECHO curriculum will address a variety of topics pertaining to personality disorder and complex trauma. The topics will range from understanding the causes and symptoms to topics that assist in treatment and recovery.

2022 Curriculum

Who should attend: Any healthcare professional in private or public services in Victoria

Cost: Free

Register: http://eepurl.com/h3INrP

Once registered a link to connect will be sent via a calendar invite to your registered email address.

Regular attendance is not required.

General enquires: Email spectrumtraining@easternhealth.org.au or phone (03) 8413 8750

Video: Project ECHO model:  Are you part of the ECHO?


Spectrum Annual Conference 2022

Navigating Diagnostic and Treatment Challenges: Is it Borderline Personality Disorder or Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Where: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf

When: Monday 17th October, 2022

Enquiries: (03) 8413 8750 or spectrumtraining@easternhealth.org.au

Register here: https://spectrum_conference_2022.eventbrite.com.au

Spectrum Annual Conference 2022 (PDF 3MB)

Spectrum Annual Conference 2022 (PDF 910KB)



A survey of 39 staff employed at Spectrum specialist personality disorder service was conducted during the initial National lockdown to investigate their mental health, physical health, sleep quality, management of relationships, alcohol consumption, eating patterns, and use of media. Two participants (5.1%) experienced ‘coronaphobia’. Participants reported a diversity of experiences affecting their health status during this time.

The most challenging aspect of the first lockdown reported by participants was the loss of social interactions with family and friends. However, staff reported that engaging in their work from home by using digital technology obviated the work commute, thereby providing opportunities to spend more quality time with household family members and for self-reflection.

These findings provide valuable information for mental health service managers to understand their staff well-being while engaged in work from home in a clinical capacity, suggesting that having the option to continue working remotely helped to mitigate many of the adverse aspects of social restrictions that arose during the global pandemic.

This study is reported in the Australian Psychologist, a publication of the Australian Psychological Society. For more information, please visit: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/QIG3JYQHDVFBXPHTHX6W/full?target=10.1080/00050067.2021.1990735

Spectrum is pleased to launch its 2021 Annual Report. 

This document really encapsulates how despite the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Spectrum has continued to thrive. Our dedicated and passionate staff have successfully adapted to the changes in delivery of care to support our clients, whilst also progressing significant work in the areas of research and workforce development.

Spectrum Annual Report Cover

Annual Report 2021 (PDF, 6MB)

Annual Report 2021 - Plain Text Accessible Version (DOC, 40KB)


Join us in October 2021 to hear from leading international expert Prof Anthony Bateman, who with Peter Fonagy, developed Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT) for borderline personality disorder (BPD). MBT is an empirically-supported treatment for people with BPD. It offers positive outcomes for people with complex and multifaceted presentations and a high degree of comorbidity.

Prof Bateman will be giving two virtual keynote addresses at the conference, considering how the MBT model has evolved and how it conceptualises and treats the complexities associated with borderline, antisocial, and other personality disorders. 

In addition, MBT experts across Australia will showcase how the treatment is being taken up nationally in a variety of settings. You will also hear from consumers in a panel discussion about their experiences with MBT.

Prof Bateman will also virtually present two post-conference workshops: 'Principles of Structured Clinical Management* for BPD' and 'MBT for Antisocial Personality Disorder' and will co-present the 'MBT for BPD' workshop for participants who would like to access more in-depth training inMBT. 

*Structured Clinical Management is a common factors treatment model developed by Professor Bateman.

Spectrum Conference Program 2021 (PDF, 570KB)

Spectrum Conference Presenters  2021 (PDF, 335KB)

Spectrum Conference Abstracts 2021 (PDF, 617KB)

Main Conference – Online Only:
Complexities in Personality Disorder: 
A Mentalization–Based Treatment (MBT) Approach
Friday, 1 October 2021; 8.30 AM to 4.30 PM (AEST)

Register here


Post-Conference Online Workshops: 
Principles of Structured Clinical Management for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
Monday, 4 October 2021, 8.30 AM to 2:00 PM (AEDT) 

Register here


MBT for Antisocial Personality Disorder
Tuesday, 5 October 2021, 4.00 PM to 9.30 PM (AEDT)

Register here


Wednesday, 6 October 2021 to Thursday, 7 October 2021
1.30 PM to 9.00 PM (AEDT) both days 

Register here 

Spectrum is pleased to launch their new book “Borderline Personality Disorder - A Practical Guide for General Practitioners” edited by Josephine Beatson and Sathya Rao. This book is a great resource for General Practitioners who treat patients with Borderline Personality Disorder.

"This succinct readable text is an excellent and timely addition to the library of educational resources and education for all practitioners – especially for students and registrars seeking an understanding of a complex area of human behaviour. The authors are to be commended on this initiative which is so comprehensively researched and presented. It is recommended that this area of mental health, hopefully in time, can be expanded to include other similar conditions under the category of dramatic or erratic personality disorders." Emeritus Professor John Murtagh AO, Monash University.

The book can be purchased here.

Practical Guide for GP's 

The GP Manual FAQ 


Register here

We are pleased to announce that registrations are now open for our 2021 calendar training on the following topics which are either online or face to face:

Clinician workshops:

  • Foundation training for working with people with borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy for BPD (Introduction, In Action, Family Intervention, Private Practice, Intermediate)
  • Acceptance & commitment therapy for BPD
  • Mentalization-based treatment for BPD
  • Office-based treatment of people with BPD for GPs and psychiatrists
  • Psychoanalytic clinic symposium
  • Working with crises associated with BPD
  • Question and answer sessions on various topics.

Family workshops:

  • Learning more about BPD: A workshop for families and friends (not for clinicians).

Flyer: A copy of the calendar training flyer 2021 can be downloaded here.

Who should attend: Our clinical workshops are primarily intended for mental health clinicians and other professionals working with people who have personality disorders. Our family workshops are for family, friends and carers who provide care and support in a voluntary capacity to those experiencing BPD.

Online/Face to face: In the first half of the year due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 restrictions, all workshops are online (except for 'Learning more about BPD: A workshop for family and friends'). All workshops in the second half of the year are face to face unless otherwise specified. If a workshop is not able to proceed face to face due to COVID-19 restrictions, it will revert to an online training course.

Prices: Half-day workshops cost $110, 1-day workshops cost $220 and 2-day workshops cost $440 (GST inclusive) unless otherwise specified. The workshop 'Learning more about BPD: A workshop for family and friends' is $10.

If you are an Eastern Health clinician a 50% discount applies. Workshops are free for Turning Point and Spectrum clinicians. Please seek approval from your manager to attend and then email spectrumTregister@easternhealth.org.au to receive the discount. 

Venue for face to face workshops: 110 Church Street Richmond Victoria 3121

Enquiries: (03) 8413 8750 or spectrumTregister@easternhealth.org.au

Currently all Spectrum in-person training has been cancelled for this year. However, we continue to provide our popular free Q&A sessions and we are developing some on-line training options. Please continue to check our website for any notifications about on-line training options.

Online Training Opportunities

Online DBT Training:

Spectrum is offering a DBT training comprising of three 2 ½ hour DBT training sessions focusing on DBT skills in action. The sessions are consecutive and are live online. Dates are November 6th, November 13th and November 27th. See Professional Development page.

Online Foundation Training:

This one day Foundation training will enhance mental health clinicians’ understanding and practice in working effectively and therapeutically with people with borderline personality disorder. Live online. Date: December 1st. See Professional Development page.

Spectrum Conference 2020: Complexities in Personality Disorder, A Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT) Approach

Unfortunately due to COVID-19 restrictions, the planned Spectrum conference for 2020 on “Complexities in Personality Disorder, A Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT) Approach”, featuring Dr Anthony Bateman, has been postponed. The conference will be held next year. Updates will be posted on our website as further information is available. Please also follow our social media for other training options that may be offered in the meantime.

Psychology Group Supervision

For understanding and treating personality disorders



The aim of this group is to support clinicians in developing their capacity to work in an integrated way with clients who present with significant intra-personal and inter-personal disturbance. The participants will be encouraged to read literature on relational and neurobiological understandings of personality disorder (a reading list will be provided). 


This group is open to registered psychologists from public and/or private practice in Victoria. There is no requirement to commit regularly. In its format the group is open which means that you can register for a specific date(s). The maximum number per group is six participants.  The group is run on a monthly bases.

The primary focus is on the group working together to develop a shared understanding of a clinical issue and then reflecting together, rather than on an individual presenting a perfect case study per group.  All participants come to sessions with a possible client or dilemma in mind for presentation and reflection and the group decides together who will present.  

Prior to attending the group for the first time you will be asked to fill and sign the Registration and Group Agreement forms. 

Dates in 2020: 16th September, 21st October, 18th November, 16th December

Day and Time: On Wednesdays from 4.00pm to 6.00pm

Location: Spectrum, Level 1, 110 Church St Richmond, VIC, 3121

All enquires can be put to the group facilitator: Rada Semec, Senior Psychologist, Spectrum. Contact via e-mail: Radmila.Semec@easternhealth.org.au or mobile: 0402 970 935.


Psychology Study & Supervision Group:

A Relational and Neurobiological Approach’

 For understanding and treating personality disorders


The aim of this group is to support clinicians in developing their ‘capacity to work in an integrated way” when working with clients who present with significant intra-personal and inter-personal disturbance.


Since the time of Freud volumes and volumes of books have been written about how to treat people with “psychological issues”. In the last 20 and so years we have been offered multiple choices of “evidence based” treatments for various disorders. The challenge that a contemporary practitioner faces is to develop a cohesive and coherent model of practice in the field of seemingly different and incompatible modalities.

The recent neurobiological insights have given us hope that the traditional gap between the concepts of body and mind can be finally reduced if not eliminated. For example, are the concepts of ‘transference’ and ‘implicit attachment memory’ referring to the same phenomena? Did you know that the original meaning of the words “soul” and “spirit” is breath and breathing in most European languages? Interestingly, in the Polyvagal Theory they talk about using breath as a way of regulating the Autonomic Nervous System.

The suggested reading list comes from years of professional development that I found useful in my clinical practice with clients who present as complex and severe. As “an eternal student” the challenge always has been to synthesize the diverse literature in a way that can be helpful to me and my clients.

The idea is that participants will read between sessions and discuss their insights in the first hour of the group. In the second hour of the group participants will present cases (one case per group) in a traditional supervision format.

Prior to attending the group for the first time you will be asked to fill and sign the Registration and Group Agreement forms.

Dates for 2020: 7th October, 4th November, 2nd December

Location: Spectrum, Level 1, 110 Church St Richmond, VIC, 3121

Time: Wednesdays from 4.00pm to 6.00pm

All enquires can be put to the group facilitator: Rada Semec, Senior Psychologist, Spectrum. Contact via e-mail: Radmila.Semec@easternhealth.org.au or mobile: 0402 970 935

Reading List:

Please note that we will be reading only parts of the books for group purposes. It is recommended that you get your own copies if possible. The other way to familiars yourself with the authors is to access their talks on youtube etc.

  • "The Relationship Management” by David Dawson (article; provided)
  • “BPD and The Conversational Model” by Russell Meares (book)
  • “The Therapeutic Relationship” by Petruska Clarkson (introduction chapter; provided)
  • “The Mindful Therapist” by Danile J. Siegel (book)
  • “Management of Countertransference with Borderline Patients” by Glen O.Gabbard and Sally M.Wilkinson (book)
  • “Polyvagal Theory” by Stephen W.Porges (article / youtube)
  • “The Haunted Self – Structural dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatization” by Onno van der Hart, Ellert R.S.Nijenhuis & Kathy Steele (book)
  • “The body keeps the score – Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma” by Bessel van der Kolk (book)
  • “Understanding and Treating Chronic Shame – A relational / Neurobiological Approach“ by Patricia A. DeYoung (book)
  • “Sensorimotor Psychotherapy – Interventions for trauma and attachment“ by Pat Ogden and Janina Fisher (book)


  • “Easy Ego-state Interventions – strategies for working with parts” by Robyn Shapiro (book)
  • “Overcoming Trauma through Yoga- Reclaiming Your Body “ by David Emerson and Elizabeth Hopper (book)
  • “Self-regulation Interventions and Strategies – Keeping the Body, Mind & Emotions on Task in Children with Autism, ADHD or Sensory Disorders” by Teresa Garland (book)