Sydney Workshop – Adapting CBT for the personality disorders: Managing difficult interactions and complex cases – Professor Ross G. Menzies

$379.00 inc GST

Date: Friday 31 May 2019

Time: 9.00am to 5pm (registration from 8.00am).

Location: University of New South Wales Kensington Campus, Colombo B Theatre.


Super Early (book by 16 Feb 2019): $279

Early (book by 30 April 2019): $329

Standard (from 1 May 2019): $379

Registration includes lunch, tea, coffee and refreshments all day, handouts, stationery.


Scroll down for detailed workshop information.

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In this 1-day clinical workshop, Professor Menzies presents on ways to adapt cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for addressing maladaptive core beliefs and features of case complexity in clients with personality disorders and demanding personality features. CBT involves challenging maladaptive thoughts, beliefs and attitudes as well as patterns of dysfunctional behaviours. This process can be confronting for many clients, who may have held entrenched negative beliefs over decades about the nature of people, the world we live in, and the future. Reframing events from the past and restructuring core beliefs can appear invalidating if not balanced with empathy and understanding, particularly in individuals with high levels of anger. Additional complexity is presented by comorbid anxiety disorders and depression, previous traumatic experiences, drug and alcohol use and transdiagnostic factors, such as anxiety sensitivity. Moreover, clients often have maladaptive beliefs about therapy, which can interfere with treatment progress. This workshop explores the problems involved with delivering high quality CBT in people with complicated personality features and presents ways to address these. Professor Menzies will draw on his extensive clinical and research experience to discuss how to adapt CBT to clients with personality pathology and how to manage case complexity.


Workshop learning objectives:

  • Identify key adjustments to cognitive restructuring for addressing maladaptive core beliefs within personality disorders
  • Determine ways in which to use empathy and the therapeutic alliance to enable management of maladaptive core beliefs
  • Learn to recognise and manage unhelpful therapist beliefs and behaviours that can influence therapy
  • Refine therapeutic approaches to manage common features of client complexity including anger, comorbidity and risk issues


There are no prerequisites for this workshop, though participants should have some knowledge of core CBT skills. It is appropriate for clinicians seeking to advance and refine their clinical skills in working with adult personality and emotional difficulties. Professionals including psychologists, psychiatrists, GPs, social workers and mental health nurses are welcome to attend.

This workshop complies with the requirements for CPD as per Psychology Board of Australia requirements.


About the presenter

Professor Menzies is Professor of Psychology at the Graduate School of Health at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). He was formerly Associate Professor in Health Sciences at the University of Sydney. In 1991, he was appointed founding Director of the Sydney University Anxiety Disorders Clinic, a post which he held for 20 years. He has also been the Chief Consultant Clinical Psychologist to that unit. He is a founding member of the Anxiety Disorders Foundation of Australia (NSW Branch), serving on the Board for two years. He is an Advisory Board Member of the Sydney Anxiety Disorders Practice. He was the Head and Director of the Anxiety and Stress Research Group, a collaborative research grouping of academics from three Australian universities. He is past NSW President, and twice National President, of the AACBT. He is a board member of the AACBT and Chair of the National Conference Committee. He was Convenor of the 29th National Conference of the AACBT in Sydney in 2006, and is the editor of Australia’s national CBT scientific journal, Behaviour Change. He was the Convenor and Chair of the 8th World Congress of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, which was held in Australia in 2016. He continues to practice clinically and is an active researcher with numerous national competitive grants in areas of anxiety and avoidance, the treatment of the phobic disorders, CBT for social anxiety, new treatment programmes for obsessive-compulsive disorder, computerized treatment packages for anxiety disorders, and innovative treatments for child and adult stuttering. He currently holds over $7 million in national competitive research grants. He has produced over 180 international journal manuscripts, books and book chapters. He holds a B.Sc (Psych), M.Psychol (both with First Class Honours) and a PhD in clinical psychology at the University of NSW.