PMRI Clinical Skills Workshop 2020, Dealing with Emotionally Challenging Patient Encounters.

This year's PMRI Communication Skills Workshop Dealing with Emotionally Challenging Patient Encounters aims to help clinicians to navigate emotionally challenging patient encounters by providing participants with practical tools for responding to patients negative emotions, and managing their own negative emotional responses to patients. These "emotion-handling skills" are critical to patient perceptions of clinician empathy, competence, and trustworthiness, and play an important role in maintaining patient engagement in their assessment and treatment planning.

Emotion-handling skills are also crucial to clinicians' wellbeing, and help to protect clinicians from symptoms of burnout and hinder their ability to develop trust and rapport with patients.

Key Features

  • Interactive workshop
  • In-vivo skills demonstration and opportunities to practice
  • Individualised feedback and support
  • Six hours of CPD

Presented By

Dr Claire Ashton-James.

Dr Claire Ashton-James, PhD

Dr Ashton-James, PhD, is a Social Psychologist and Senior Lecturer at the Pain Management Research Institute, The University of Sydney. Dr Ashton-James is an established researcher and experienced teacher/trainer in clinician communication and emotion-handling skills. Her workshops are interactive, participant-led, evidence-based, thought-provoking, and promise to challenge assumptions about what "good communication" looks like.


Time Session Title
9:30-10:00am Session 1
Introductory Session
10:00-10:45am Session 2
Identifying patient emotions and identifying own emotions
10:45-11:00am Morning Tea
11:00-11:45am Session 3
Responding to patient emotions: Theory
11:45am-12:30pm Session 4
Responding to patient emotions: Practice
12:30-1:00pm Lunch
1:00-2:15pm Session 5
Responding to our own emotions: Theory and Demonstration
2:15-2:30pm Afternoon tea
2:35-3:30pm Session 6
Responding to our own emotions:Practice
3:35-4:00pm Session 7
Review of goal progress and feedback/evaluation

* Subject to change

CPD Points

This event provides 6 hours of professional development. Participants will receive a certificate of attendance for these hours at the end of the event.


Date: Friday 20 September 2019
Time: 9:30am - 4:00pm

Note: Registrations will close on Tuesday 10 September 2019.


Registration fees include morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. Prices are GST inclusive and are in Australian Dollars (AUD).

Registration  Amount
Standard $195.00


The Clinical Skills workshop will be held at:

Kolling Building
Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH)
Reserve Rd
St Leonards NSW 2065

Map: Royal North Shore Hospital
Map: Royal North Shore Hospital in St Leonards
Map: St Leonards in Sydney

Getting Here

Public Transport

St Leonards train station is on the T1 North Shore & Northern Line and is a 10 minute walk from Royal North Shore Hospital. It takes approximately 20 minutes to travel by train from St Leonards to Central Station in the city.

There are regular buses running between the upper and lower North Shore, Epping, Ryde and Sydney CBD, that stop on the Pacific Highway outside Royal North Shore Hospital. It takes about 5 minutes to walk from the Highway to the hospital.

Public transport in Sydney uses the OPAL card system. You can still purchase single fare tickets at ticket vending machines. More information is available here:

TripView Lite is a free app for iPhone and Android which provides easy access to Sydney's public transport timetable:

More information about planning your trip by public transport is available here:


Visitor parking is available in the multi-storey car park, which is owned and operated by Wilson Parking. Parking fees are displayed at all entrances to the car park. See [Map] and [Parking Rates] for more information.

Off-street parking in the area is typically limited to two hours and is often metered.


  • You are welcome to register and pay by credit card (Mastercard or Visa) here.
  • Alternatively, you can request to have an invoice raised by emailing with your details. If you are working for a NSW Health department, please note you will also need to provide a purchase order number.
  • The number of registrations is limited to 15 participants.
  • Registrations will close on Tuesday 10 September 2019.

Refund and Cancellation Policy

Cancellations before 5pm Tuesday 10 September 2019 receive a 90% refund of the registration fee (i.e. less 10% administrative fee). There will be no refunds after this date.