Adaptation-based Process Therapy (APT): An integrative psychotherapeutic approach for complex presentations and diagnoses of personality disorder

Please note this event has been cancelled

Adaptation-based Process Therapy (APT) was developed by the speakers in response to both our clinical feelings and client demands for an intervention that went beyond behavioural or cognitive based therapies . In particular APT was developed for clients who informed us ‘I understand it, but I can’t feel it’, indentified as a ‘heart-head lag’. These were clients who had completed one or several therapeutic interventions, often CBT,  but felt emotionally disconnected from the aims and structure of the therapies. The clients are secondary care (Step 4), usually with one or more diagnosis of personality disorder. NICE does not currently provide guidance for co morbid personality presentations or cluster A or C personality disorders (DSM-IV). These presentations make up a majority of secondary care referrals, and audit of our service found this to be approximately 87% of all referrals. We based the approach on what what we found helpful in our practices and cintegrated aspects from NICE recommend treatments for Borderline Personality disorder, DBT and psychodynamic theory.

The workshop will reflect the process of running an APT group, by presenting psychoeducation components of the model and inviting participants to experience the interventions used. The structure, rationale and ethos of APT will be explained and where possible videoed material and facilitator led role play will be also be presented to illustrate key points.  We are conducting ongoing outcome research but initial results have shown significant decreases on the MCMI-III subtests of disclosure, debasement, dysthymia, alcohol abuse,  and results are approaching significant decreases for approaching significance, Borderline and Histrionic  scales (pls correct the end of this sentence)Client evaluation has also been positive with groups rating ‘Progress Made’ 21 out of potential 28, and ‘Quality of Service’ 27 out of 28.

Provisional timetable
09:30 Registration/tea and coffee 
10:00 Workshop starts (there will be a break for lunch)
16:30 Workshop ends


This workshop is intended for Counselling and Clinical Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Counsellors, Psychological Therapists, Integrative Practitioners, Commissioners for Psychological therapy services.

Learning outcomes and objectives

  • Understanding and awareness of the APT lmodel
  • Increased feelings of motivation and confidence in working with challenging presentations
  • Understanding of the use and application of the techniques used
  • Consideration of the nature and definition of complex presentations and diagnosis of personality disorder
  • Participants feeling that they have gained new skills or insights

Facilitator: Dr Hamilton Fairfax CPsychol AFBPsS and Dr Frances Gillies

Dr Hamilton Fairfax is a Chartered psychologist and HCPC registered practitioner who has been working in Adult Mental Health in the NHS for more than 15 years. He currently works as the Adult Mental Health lead in Devon Partnership Trust. His interests include Personality Disorder Mindfulness, OCD, Neuropsychology and therapeutic process and has published in these areas. He has also presented at the Society's annual conference, Counselling Psychology Annual conferences, BPS workshop Approaching Borderline Personality Disorder. He has also provided teaching at the Clinical Psychology Doctorate programme, University of Exeter, and Counselling Psychology  Doctorate course, University of West England, and provided training within the NHS Trust. He is also on the Working Party Practice Group, Division of Counselling Psychology, with a special interest in developing  Neuropsychological practice.

Dr Frances Gillies, is a Chartered psychologist and HCPC registered practitioner who has been working in Adult Mental Health in the NHS for more than 10 years. She has recently taken up a role working in a specialist Personality Disorder Service in Devon Partnership Trust, and is involved in a research trail for Mentalisation Based therapy. She is also a senior lecture on the Clinical Psychology Doctorate programme, University of Exeter and also teaches on MSc Psychodynamic and undergraduate in psychology. She has presented at Division of Counselling Psychology Annual Conferences, coordinated training programmes for the local NHS Trust. Her interests include psychodynamic therapy, Mentalisation and therapeutic outcome and she has published in these areas.

Fri, 19/04/2013 (All day)
Contact Information: 

BPS Learning Centre

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 9925

Division of Counselling Psychology & BPS Learning Centre