Short Courses

How to Shift Complex Cases

The Bower Place Complexity Series

Online video master classes – ready to download in late October 2018

Complex cases can be hard to shift  …  here’s why

When you struggle to create change, the challenge may lie in client, family or wider system complexity.

For example, your client may present with comorbid diagnoses and concurrent life challenges that make it difficult to identify which problem to address first. Family or systemic complexity can result in competing advice which confuses the client, and even in a power struggle over who “owns” or does not “own” the problem. These cases are personally and professionally demanding, time-consuming and stressful.

In this series of downloadable video master classes, clinical psychologist Catherine Sanders, social worker and family therapist Malcolm Robinson and family therapy colleagues from Bower Place Complex Needs Clinic look at how complexity can baffle practitioners working with children, adolescents and adults.

Bower Place Complex Needs Clinic has specialised in work with these families and their systems through over 10 years. The clinic’s practitioners have produced a body of theory and practice developed with complex cases involving individuals, couples, families and the wider statutory, educational and health systems in which they are embedded.

What topics are covered?

Topic 1: A Theoretical Frame for Understanding and Working with Complex Cases

1 hour presented by Malcolm Robinson, Catherine Sanders and Charles Maddison

Available Now

Working effectively with the confusing mass of information that accompanies complex cases calls for a clear theoretical base. This introduction to the Complexity Series outlines a systemic approach to understanding and working with complexity. It emphasises understanding the politics behind these matters and the proper alignment of the authority to effect change and the responsibility to make the change. This lecture forms the basis for all the following presentations and is mandatory for anyone wishing to study any of the other three topics.

Topic 2: Working with Complex Children and Families

2 hour session presented by Catherine Sanders, Melissa Minney and Ann Weir

Available Now

These sessions focus on children and their families. The content is divided into four lenses: Politics, Space, Development and Time. We will explore what we mean by “complex” when applied to children and their families and how we might locate the different forms of complexity within the Bower Place Model. These may include complicated family arrangements that occur with step families or children placed in care, or difficult behavioural or emotional symptoms including sexualised, aggressive or anxious presentations. When a school or child protection system is added to the mix difficulties are further exacerbated. The challenges for practitioners and how we may become “stuck” will be addressed and we explore the skills needed to work effectively with these cases. The course content includes clinical examples.

Topic 3: Working with Complex Adolescents and Families

2 hour session presented by Melissa Minney, Ann Weir, Malcolm Robinson and Ecaterina Eltahir

Available Now

Complex adolescents and their families will be addressed four lenses: Politics, Space, Development and Time. We will identify the forms of complexity presented by this group and how we might explore these through the lens of the Bower Place Model. Presenters will discuss how to work with adolescents with behavioural and relationships issues which may be played out on background of neurobiological challenges (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Intellectual Disability) in a fractured socio-relational world. These issues may be complicated by family conflict, trauma, and mental health issues. Challenges presented to practitioners by this age group and how the therapeutic process may be immobilised will be discussed, and specific skills to address these will be outlined. Course content will be supported by clinical case examples.

Topic 4: Working with Complex Adults and Families

2 hour session presented by Malcolm Robinson, Charles Maddison, Catherine Sanders and Ecaterina Eltahir

Available Now

Sessions on working with complex adults and their world will also be addressed in four lenses: Politics, Space, Development and Time. The Bower Place Model will be used to structure information about complexity as it is applied to adults and their families and different forms of complexity identified. Adults may present with mental health diagnoses, hoarding, violence, drug and alcohol dependence and the consequent fractured relationships which characteristically accompany these. Neuro –biological issues can add to the challenge as can a multiplicity of helper systems, each with their own idea about how best to effect change. Difficulties practitioners may encounter with this cohort will be explored and practical skills explored. The course material will include clinical examples.

How does the series work?
Topic 1 (Theory) is mandatory for all participants and you can enrol for Topic 1 + any or all of Topics 2, 3 and 4.
For example, if you wish to learn more about complex children and adolescents you would enrol in Topics 1, 2 & 3.
If you only have an interest in adults you would enrol in Topics 1 & 4. Topics 2 to 4 will refer to mandatory Topic 1. 

Who are the presenters?
The series will be presented by the director and practitioners of the Bower Place Complex Needs Clinic:
• Malcolm Robinson, Director of the Bower Place Complex Needs Clinic, social worker and family therapist
• Catherine Sanders, clinical psychologist and family therapist
• Ann Weir and Melissa Minney, psychologists
• Ecaterina Eltahir and Charles Maddison, social workers & counsellors

Who is the audience?
All mental health practitioners: psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health social workers, family therapists, counsellors, mental health nurses and case coordinators. Post-graduate students in relevant disciplines will also benefit.

What will you learn?
• A coherent systemic methodology through which to address complex clients
• An understanding of the part of all those involved in creating and maintaining complexity
• A way of thinking that addresses constraints to change
• Practical tools to explore and understand each client
• Strategies and intervention to address presenting difficulties

What is the cost?
• Theory topic + 1 Topic = $150
• Theory topic + 2 Topics = $200
• Theory topic + 3 Topics = $250

Group discount for 4 topics
One person = $250
2-5 people = $250 per person – 10% discount each
6-10 people = $250 per person – 20% discount each

How do I enrol?
Click here for more information or to enrol online

If registering more than one participant please list all names in the comments section of your booking.

Professional Development
Psychologists and social workers are eligible to claim Continuing Professional Development points:
• Theory topic + 1 Topic = 3 CPD points
• Theory topic + 2 Topics = 5 CPD points
• Theory topic + 3 Topics = 7 CPD points

For more information please contact Bower Place on 08 8221 6066