Micro-skills of group formulations in care settings: Working with expressions of staff distress

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The help of specialist clinicians is often sought to advise staff in residential and nursing care homes about how to work with people with dementia whose behaviour is challenging. The Newcastle Model (James, 2011) is a framework and a process developed to help care staff understand and improve their care of this group. The model emphasises the use of sharing information with staff to develop effective care plans. In the Shared Formulation Sessions characteristic of the Newcastle Model, clinicians take the role of a group facilitator, helping the staff reach a consensus about what needs to change. These sessions can be difficult to manage as intra and inter-group processes emerge and the group express their anxieties. This paper aims to explore the processes that might be in play Shared Formulation Sessions and to suggest ways in which the facilitator might approach this to manage effective collaborative working.

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