ANZAP Course Structure

Training is delivered interactive on-line in real time using Zoom

The first year offers a one-year intensive introduction to the basics of the Conversational Model that practitioners will be able to integrate in their clinical work with shorter term clients.   

All suitable candidates will then be given the opportunity to extend this first year to another two years of in-depth training in long term psychodynamic work in the Conversational Model.  Each year will be offered part-time with all seminars conducted on-line in real time so as to be interactive.  Supervision will be offered locally where possible, or on-line.

 Our course is open to:  

  • Clinical nurse specialists
  • Medical graduates
  • Psychiatry trainees or consultants
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Psychologists
  • Counsellors
  • Social workers
  • Clinical workers


The training of the Conversational Model trainee is achieved through closely supervised clinical practice, psychodynamic theory through didactic seminars with extensive reading material. This is supported by individual and small group clinical supervision with the use of patient/client audio-recordings that allow a microanalysis of the therapeutic process.

The course has 7 strands:

i) Seminars

The seminar curriculum is designed to provide a learning experience over three years in which the clinical strand is closely interwoven with the didactic strand. These will be one and a half hours duration and will be held every week of the academic year. These weekly seminars of a didactic nature are conducted to give the trainee a strong and coherent framework in which to organise their therapeutic work. The Conversational Model is the core focus within contemporary and traditional psychodynamic theory, along with contributions from related fields such as neuroscience, developmental research and linguistics. The ethical and practical aspects of psychotherapy are presented in an integrated way. 

 (ii) Clinical casework

Trainees will undertake psychotherapy with patients/clients during the year (or three years) of the course. They will be expected to begin with the first patient/client early in the first year and to begin with the second patient/client early in the second year. By the middle of the second year all trainees will be seeing two patients/clients, each for at least one sessions per week. The three-year course requirement is for one patient/client to be seen for a minimum of 100 hours and a second patient/client for a minimum of 50 hours.

(iii) Clinical Supervision

The clinical supervision will be conducted weekly for the whole of the academic year. In the first year all trainees are expected to present audio-recorded sessions in individual supervision. In the second and third years individual supervision will continue and will be supplemented with small group supervision where the trainee will be expected to present audio-recorded sessions to the supervisor and 2-3 trainees. These supervisions are arranged to allow a variety of supervision experience.

(iv) Individual Study

Trainees will be given reading material and a reading list at the beginning of each year and will be asked to prepare a seminar in second and third year.

(v) Collegial activities

The course includes a weekend residential component with a focus on group development and participation. The prize-winning dissertations from Year III are presented to the members and trainees, as part of the Graduation ceremony at this Retreat. Attendance at the Saturday seminars is part of the course. 

(vi) Assessments

Assessment is an ongoing process throughout the whole year with an essay paper, including clinical material, presented six-monthly and a clinical viva at the end of each year.

At the end of each semester a trainee will be required to have their supervisor record what progress has been made in both the clinical and theoretical strands. The group supervisor will assess the six-monthly essays. In the clinical viva the trainee will be expected to present an example of their psychotherapy sessions on audiotape to the examiners. This assessment will focus on clinical and theoretical issues and will include time for feedback.

At the end of third year, subject to satisfactory progress in clinical work, the trainee will present at a clinical viva as described above. trainees will present an 8,000-word thesis, which will be internally marked. The written dissertation should display a scholarly grasp of either a clinical or theoretical issue. It should be the result of the trainee’s ability to think critically and independently.

(vii) Personal Therapy

In the first year of training, personal therapy is highly recommended but not mandated. In the second year and third years of training, personal therapy of at least one session per week is required. 

Year I

Module 1. Introduction to Self and the Conversational Model
Module 2. Assessment and the Psychotherapy Relationship
Module 3. Self and Psychopathology
Module 4. The Disrupted Self

Trainees in Year I will be expected to develop increased skills in assessment, formulation, developing the therapy relationship as well as application of core concepts of the Conversational Model, in particular the linguistic expression of self-states and therapeutic interaction. Ethics seminars are presented each year.

Year II

Module 1. Trauma and the Self
Module 2. Affect Regulation and Self
Module 3. Self in Relation to Other Schools
Module 4. Self and Contemporary Schools

Seminars in first semester will cover theory and clinical disorders related to Trauma, Affect, and Affect Regulation, followed in second semester by contemporary and classical psychodynamic schools. These modules will contextualize and deepen the theoretical understanding of the Conversational Model. The clinical focus will be on increasing ability to recognise the emergence of traumatic memory systems in the therapy and to respond to patient/client material by representation and amplification particularly of emerging affect.

Year III

Module 1. Disruptions of Self in Therapy
Module 2. Clinical Conditions in Self-Disorder
Module 3. Transformation
Module 4. Integration and Termination

Seminars explore developments that potentially block or disrupt the therapy process, and common clinical conditions that require particular therapeutic approaches. Advanced concepts in the Conversational Model are studied. Later seminars in third year describe the transformational process of therapy and the indicators of progress in the language and experience of the therapy relationship. The final seminars prepare the trainee for ongoing practice and development as therapists.

In Year 2 and Year 3 seminars are scheduled for trainee presentations on current topics, including in Year 3 the thesis topic.

Course Materials

At the course orientation session that begins each academic year, trainees are provided with a USB containing the readings pertaining to each seminar, with a further collection of classic or topical papers.

Trainees commencing the course receive their Handbook and Coursebook containing important information including curriculum, timelines, details of assessment tasks, formats for consent to tape and feedback, ANZAP Ethics statement, Student Rights and Responsibilities, Grievance procedures. A seminar summary with aims and objectives is forwarded to each trainee prior to the seminar, and feedback sheets are provided for trainee response to each seminar and for each year’s supervision experience.

The ANZAP library is available for trainees and members.


PO Box 3595

Key Contact: Anne Malecki. 
Ph: (02) 8004 9873 from Australia
Ph: (04) 887 0300 Toll free from New Zealand

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