The Conversational Model is an evidence-based approach for working with complex trauma, personality disorders and treatment resistant depression.

ANZAP Theory and Research

The Conversational Model incorporates contemporary outcome research, affect theory, neuroscience, infant research and trauma research.

Attachment theory, infant development research, trauma, affect, memory, consciousness, intersubjectivity and relational psychoanalytic theory are important strands in this training, as are neuroscientific correlates of these phenomena, and linguistic theory pertaining to psychoanalytic therapy.

Attachment theory is studied from its origins in the work of John Bowlby, through its development in infant and adult research by Ainsworth and Main, to its current central position in psychotherapy theory in writings of Fonagy, Target, and Holmes.

Infant development research is studied in the work of Daniel Stern, Michael Lewis, Colwyn Trevarthen, Beatrice Beebe and others. Analysis of the infant/parent interaction, with its mutual and self regulation of affect, provides an understanding, both of the failures of normal self development and the requirements of therapist and the therapeutic milieu in an effective psychotherapy.

Trauma is studied, from the early work of Pierre Janet to the more recent work of Bessel van der Kolk, Alexander McFarland, Onno van der Hart, Ellert Nijenhuis, Judith Herman. Concepts such as developmental trauma and complex post-traumatic stress disorder provide understanding of the origin of disorders of the self and thus the salient therapeutic approaches.

Affect theory is studied in the work of Darwin, Tomkins, Panksepp with particular emphasis on the role of guilt and shame described by Nathanson and others.

Memory and consciousness have been topics of major interest in recent decades. Aspects of these topics are addressed, as they apply to psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

Neuroscience is studied in its application to understanding trauma, memory, affect, attachment and the effects of psychotherapy. The writings of Allan Schore, Antonio Damasio, Daniel Siegel, and Jaak Panksepp are studied. Students are encouraged to analyse scientific studies and understand how these connect with clinical work.

In intersubjectivity and relational psychoanalysis the focus is on contemporary understanding of the therapeutic relationship. The works of Robert Stolorow, George Atwood, Donna Orange, Stephen Mitchell, Philip Bromberg, Donnel Stern and others are examined.

Historical and contemporary psychoanalytic theories form an essential context for the study of the Conversational Model. The psychoanalytic schools and influence derived from the writings of Sigmund Freud (Classical Psychoanalysis), Heinz Kohut (Self-Psychology), C G Jung (Analytical Psychology), H S Sullivan (Relational), Melanie Klein (Object Relations) and D W Winnicott, are studied.


A goal in the development of the Conversational Model has been achieving a testable model of psychotherapy. Research published in leading peer- reviewed journals of this mode of therapy has demonstrated beneficial change to patients. 

The Conversational Model continues to evolve in the light of new evidence.




anzap icon 1000 2

A Short Introductory Seminar to the Conversational Model

Date: 21 Oct 2017

Venue Map Link here: 123A Mitchell Street, Glebe, NSW

anzap icon 1000 2

Responsibility, Blame and Forgiveness in the Clinical Setting

Date: 04 Nov 2017

Sydney University, New Law School Annexe 340, Eastern Avenue.


PO Box 4087

Key Contact: Anne Malecki. 

  • dummy(02) 8004 9873 from Australia

  • dummy(04) 887 0300 Toll free from New Zealand

  • dummy(02) 9012 0546

  • dummy

First Point of Contact

Anne Malecki is responsible for the ANZAP Secretariat. She is the first point of contact for all matters. 

Telephone: AUS (02) 8004 9873



Copyright © ANZAP 2017