About this course

The AMBIT Project continues to grow and develop and we have a large number of requests for training both in the UK and abroad. For example, in Holland, there is an extensive service for adults and young people with BPD who have adopted the AMBIT approach to support existing embedded MBT interventions,  and in Denmark they are setting up an AMBIT ‘unit’ (demarcated team) for high risk young people. There are teams who have been trained in Australia, the States, Spain,  Switzerland and Sweden alongside large training programmes for local authorities (ie Camden,  Ealing and Wandsworth) and interest from schools in this approach. This is all very welcome and stimulating but we are painfully aware that the evidence for this approach remains based on local evaluations and small scale doctoral studies etc (and often local testimony, from teams who retain practices in some cases for years after a single 4-day training, with minimal supervision from us) as to how helpful the approach is perceived to be, and whether it impacts on client outcomes in predictable and helpful ways.

AMBIT (Adaptive Mentalization Based Integrative Treatment) is not a therapy but is more a set of principles and practices to apply to children and families, or young adults, who have complex needs (multimorbidity), and who may be experienced by agencies as hard to reach/help. It is thus not a uniform set of procedures, but aims to create a context within teams, and across wider helping systems in a locality, that is more conducive to sustainable and effective implementation of a range of evidence based practices. Strict fidelity to the model is seen as secondary to fidelity to local needs (hence the "Adaptive" in the title: in ways we see it as attending in particular to the requirement for "judicious balancing" of evidence, experience and patient preference that the original definitions of EBP included.)

We need to develop a sophisticated but practical method of evaluating and researching the AMBIT approach - which this adaptability makes harder than it would be if there were fixed protocols. We need your help in developing such an approach!

We are planning to convene a one day meeting on the 21st February 2019 to bring together AMBIT leads from across the world to meet with research and evaluation experts.  We want to see if we could develop effective methods of evaluating AMBIT and perhaps to build a research collaboration using similar methods of research across multiple sites.  The AMBIT team are clear that the research methods and design that would be needed here are beyond our expertise and that we need your help with this challenge. We get very enthusiastic feedback from services about the value of this approach, and local outcomes studies have been encouraging, but we do not have hard data to show its benefit on services or the outcomes for young people and their families.

The day would involve presentations of the work of current AMBIT teams in the UK and abroad along with presentations about how to evaluate whole systems interventions with the aim being to come up with a shared and agreed research method and plan for the Project for the next few years. We will provide more details as we plan the event but would be delighted if you would consider joining us for some or all of the day.