Proposal to deliver training on how to use the Maastricht Interview for Problematic Thoughts Beliefs & Paranoia
A Social & Biographical Approach a Lived Experience Perspective

This workshop provides training for professionals in mental health care to work with people who have paranoia problematic thoughts and beliefs. The method involves accepting and making sense of the experience as a means of providing both relief and the possibility of recovery.

The workshop provides also an opportunity for the workers to understand the underlying principles of the approach through tracing its history and evidence of success, and develop practice of interviewing and basic skills in working with people who have lived experience of paranoia

Traditionally mental health professionals do not talk to people directly about their beliefs and paranoia because it is believed that it reinforces socially unacceptable behaviour and madness. The tradition lets us believe that they have no relevant meaning other than manifestation of an illness, usually schizophrenia. People who experience beliefs and paranoia are mostly treated according to this traditional ideas, which means that the experiences and other so called psychotic experiences like hearing voices, intrusive thoughts etc and even self-harm are seen as symptoms of an illness, with the consequence that professionals try to treat the suspected illness and mostly not attend to the persons experiences and the consequences of those experiences for the individual.
Most people who experience paranoia as well as people who hear voices feel that the traditional approach does not relate to their experience, but the reference alienates them from their experience and is not very helpful. Paranoia and beliefs and the other experiences are meaning full experiences they are open for learning to cope with, the paranoia as well as with the problems that are the root of them. This assumption that such experiences in itself are not a sign of an illness but might lead to illness is based on contemporary epidemiological research. The traditional approach focuses on the inabilities instead of the persons own abilities to learn to cope with the experiences. The ability to use their experience instead of being used by them. It therefore is beneficial that professionals are trained in a different approach that is better related to the person’s experiences. Who can do this in a more convincing way than those who know the experience themselves and have learned to cope with them? In this course the focus will be problematic thoughts, beliefs and paranoia. For the other different experiences there is a need of personal knowledge and experience. For instance different interviews to explore the different experiences, the accepting and making sense method of understanding and working with service user’s experiences is a systematic one. It is now an international movement of professionals, peers and carers, and has furthered understanding and practical strategies, especially by self-help support groups. It stimulates the person to take back the necessary power for their recovery. It enables practitioners to help people who have these experiences achieve this.
This workshop introduces the course member to these approaches through understanding the principles of the approach, exercising the interview which explores the experience and learn about short-term strategies for people with lived experience of beliefs and paranoia to take control of the experience.

To develop sufficient knowledge and self reflection to train, workers in mental health care, in applying a structured approach to understanding, problematic thoughts, beliefs and paranoia and strategies for helping people manage their experience.

By completion of the workshop, delegates will have had the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to:
1. To talk to a person about his/her experiences in a comprehensive way

2. Have knowledge of different frames of reference about problematic thoughts, beliefs and paranoia in relation to historical evidence and epidemiological data and be able to discuss these.

3. Demonstrate competence in the use of the Maastricht problematic thoughts, beliefs and paranoia interview and recording the experiences of the interviewee
4. Understand and be able to teach about the difference in role between the interviewer and the interviewee. The interviewer role needs an ability to extract information and be an objective listener, suppressing therapeutic ambitions or comments.

5 Demonstrate competence to enable, a person to normalise their experiences, in which the person feels interest, acceptance and respect.

6 Demonstrate competence in identifying and exploring those strategies that enhance the control of the interviewee over their experiences.

7. Demonstrate competence to teach about the possible relationships of thoughts, beliefs and paranoia with the individual life history and in the understanding and manifestation of the experience in what the person say.

8. Demonstrate the competence of teaching the main elements of recovery from distress the experience may cause

9. Demonstrate that the aim of the course for the professional is the difficult and sensitive task to change their attitude towards problematic thoughts, beliefs and paranoia

Day 1
• There will be a maximum of 20 workers and 3 people with lived experience of problematic thoughts, beliefs and paranoia present, the people with lived experience will come from the National Paranoia Network
• There will be a presentation and overview of how to use the Maastricht Interview
• Workers will work in groups and they will interview a person with lived experience using the Maastricht Interview and they will then be required to write a report of the interview

Day 2
• The workers will interview a second person with lived experience and write up the second interview
• They will then have to develop a construct of the experiences of the people they interviewed
• They will look to answer two questions
1. What fears in the person’s life do the experiences represent?
2. Who or what created the fears in the person’s life?

• They will then be asked to feed them back, and they will be compared to the reports and constructs, that have already been completed by Professor Marius Romme & Dr Sandra Escher
• If there are any mistakes they can be rectified and the worker will have a correct report and construct, as an outline to use with other people

• Day 3
The third day of the Maastricht training we would look at how we would use the information from the construct, to enable them to identify the alarm system in paranoia this is the stage that occurs before the trigger. We would try and associate events in a person’s life to their experiences with the aim being to reduce the fear behind their experiences which can often be created by frozen terror, this is when the person often still sees difficult events in their life through a Childs eyes. This would include setting the scene to use the interview, facilitating disclosure, inner child work and using the trauma triad to unlock the frozen terror

All travel will be charged at standard rate travel.

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