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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)