CBI Process is now being used in training ‘vignettes’ by the Paediatric Mental Health Training Unit (PMHTU) at the University of Adelaide. PMHTU offers a unique training experience within the field of child, family, and adolescent mental health. It aims to enhance the skills and confidence of clinicians working with young people and their families when in crisis. Experiential learning through simulated clinical scenarios forms the foundation of the teaching methodology.
The intent of the teaching is to supplement mental health assessment and intervention skills in non-psychiatric settings, so that general practitioners, allied health professionals, emergency department staff, teachers and counselors feel more confident dealing with distressed individuals at their point of the first contact.
This is done by using actors skilled in CBI Process to create highly realistic individuals and families, complete with backgrounds and histories developed to replicate the kind of depth of knowledge any real individual might have about themselves. PMHTU’s Director of Performance, Robert Marchand, engages the actors in research, discussions and carefully-structured improvisations to develop the complexity of their ‘characters’.
When the actors are ready, the medical students meet them in a simulation of a real consultation, a ‘vignette’ of the conditions the student will find themselves in once they graduate.
For the medical student, these vignettes using CBI Process are experienced as (at times uncomfortably) similar to real consultations: the patient and carer (or family member) present as real people, even though they are constructs of complex three-dimensional characters using the drama-based conventions of CBI Process; the relationship between the two appears dynamic, interactive, and above all credible.
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