One of the best ways to learn is to bring together as many experts as possible in a room and ask them to share their experiences, knowledge and work with an audience. And so a conference is born. Yet all too often a piece of research that you hear about at a conference may have little relevance to the reality of your clinical practice. As clinicians we need to provide evidence based care- yet I question how can we achieve this when there seems to be this rather large gap between the optimal research setting and the complex clinical setting. And how can we apply an intervention if we aren’t give the actual tools and resources to do so? We end up cobbling together some make shift version of what we think the therapy is that we read or heard about and deliver a modified (often shorter) version.
The aim of the Better Conversations Conference is to break down these barriers. We are inviting clinicians to tell clinicians about how they are delivering these interventions, planning these interventions, measuring these interventions and developing these interventions to meet the needs of their clients in clinical practice. This could be a particularly interesting case you worked with, a novel group you ran, a complex issue you want to discuss, a new idea you want to suggest.
The Better Conversations Conference will bring together work on communication partner training on stroke led aphasia, primary progressive aphasia, dysarthria, brain injury, children and any other client group where this approach is used. Many of the principles of communication partner training share areas of practice such as:
– making a video of a conversation,
– viewing the video,
– identifying barriers (things that stop the flow of conversation) and facilitators (things that enhance the flow of conversation) in conversations,
– and supporting clients and/or their communication partners to do less of the first and more of the second.
We propose that part of the conference include workshops where we show videos of these things in action in speech and language therapy sessions. We aim to provide a forum to learn the basics of how to deliver communication partner training but also to refine and grow existing skills for example how to identify barriers and facilitators, how to explain conversation, how to set goals and what activities to plan.
That said we would also like to share some of the new developments in Better Conversations and communication partner training. We are therefore planning to invite some keynote speakers who will present some of the work going on in this area.
We are spreading the word about this conference now- it is likely to take place at the end on 2019, but we would like speech and language therapy clinicians to know well in advance. We know you need to tell your managers and plan your training for the year. Equally we would like the first ever Better Conversations Conference to meet your needs. With this in mind we want to hear from you:
Do you use Better Conversations?
Would you like to come to a Better Conversation Conference?
Would you be interested in presenting?
Who would you like to hear about and from whom?
The new Better Conversations website will be online early next year and we will start to advertise the conference as we know more! So keep an eye on the website here!