Other Professional


Training for Mental Health Nurses (MHN’s)

A comprehensive training program is currently being complied for 2011, that will offer specialised training in therapies, for those working under the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP). Courses will include one day seminars and training packages that run monthly for most part of the year. The courses are not restricted to MHN’s and other disciplines such as social workers, occupational therapists, psychologists and nursing students could benefit from attending.

Courses offered

Comprehensive training in ABC CAT (Affective Behavioural Cognitive Computer Assisted Therapy)

This is year long course with a one day a month seminar (10 months in all) and supervision of practice once in between sessions. The course is facilitated by Dr Athula Polonowita (Psychiatrist and founder of the ABC CAT counselling program) and Andrea Polonowita (Mental Health Nurse working in the private setting for over 15 years and co-founder of the program). The monthly seminar will be class based with experiential learning progressing through sessions of the counselling program and run from 10am – 4pm (6 hours). Supervision is flexible and can be face-to-face, live chat (eg MSN), videoconferencing (eg Skype) or over the telephone and will be offered for 1 hour slots. 

The course content is based on the ABC CAT program for patients with Depression and Anxiety. There is a strong psychoeducational component, skill training in problem solving, assertiveness and relaxation. Additionally feelings, thoughts and actions are considered in maintaining vicious cycles in people’s lives and how easy it is to feel stuck. Early on problems are identified and realistic goals are developed to lift the self esteem and self confidence of the patient. In the middle of the course is the bulk of the skill training and strategies used to cope with the disorder and associated symptoms, along with regular monitoring of the goals setting. As the course draws near completion, the ABC CAT focuses on how the patient can put the illness in its place, plan for the future and be proactively assertive. Outcomes over the years have been provided within the website under “ABC CAT” bullet point. The main outcomes have been the vast majority of patient reach remission during the ABC CAT counselling course and there was improvement in the ratings of their major problem. 

Assessment is based on a minimum required attendance of at least 8 out of the 10 sessions offered and observational assessment during seminars. An additional pre course survey and post course survey will be completed by participants to monitor outcomes of the teachings. This is a compulsory part of the course and may be used to inform the assessment. A certificate of completion will be offered to those meeting the above criteria.  

In addition to the monthly seminars and supervision sessions, the electronic program will be included in the course fees so that participants can start using the program with their patients. Access is via the internet with password permission required. This is available for the duration of the course and will be offered for sale by access thereafter. Other support materials include a comprehensive manual, text book and work book for the patient.

Payment forms accepted are Credit card (Mastercard, VISA and Bankcard), cheque and cash. The payment, in full, needs to be received 2 weeks prior to the course commencing. Refund conditions apply and will be outlined in enrolment documentation.

Other day long seminars will be offered next year and even though dates have not yet been confirmed, the topics may include:-

-Social Rhythm Therapy for patients with Bipolar Mood Disorder

-Relaxation skills to teach your patients

-Introduction to Mindfulness for Mental Health Nurses

-How to set yourself up under the MHNIP

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