Training and Vocational Initiatives (TVI) in personality disorders


Training and Vocational Initiatives (TVI) in personality disorder (formerly the Thames Valley Initiative) is a provider of training in personality disorder located in Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

We deliver training and consultancy services to both statutory and third sector organisations across the South of England. TVI collaborates with a range of organisations, including ex-service user groups, to develop effective services for people with personality disorders and complex psychological and emotional needs.

The expert training offered by the TVI clinical trainers in conjunction with ex-service users of local Complex Needs Services (STARS) is well regarded as highly effective in the changing of attitudes and reducing stigma surrounding the diagnosis of personality disorder.

TVI offers a variety of training opportunities and can also design bespoke training to suit your workforce or workplace. Consultancy is available for service development and for staff working in any setting with people who have a diagnosis, or are diagnosable with, personality disorders.  An example of this is recent work to create Enabling Environments in two Oxford hostels in partnership with Oxford City Council.


Our services

We overarch the clinical teams in the Thames Valley and provide training and consultancy services, both locally and further afield.  All training and consultancy is provided by experienced clinicians and ex- service users of the Thames Valley Complex Needs Services (STARS).

Our remit is wide-based and currently includes the following:

  • We run a year-long skills course, People: Personality and Pathology
  • We facilitate the STARS group, providing ‘back to work’ opportunities both in the form of co-facilitating training days and offering clinical experience in local services
  • We offer training to administrative staff to aid ‘first contact’ patient relations
  • We offer consultancy to new services being set up in the area
  • Bespoke training is designed to meet the needs of specific groups
  • We are the sole providers of the Knowledge and Understanding Framework Awareness training covering the South Central SHA region. (

Useful information

STARS (Support Training and Recovery Systems) is an organisation consisting of ex service users from local Complex Needs Services and clinicians working together to deliver training and other services in the field of personality disorders and their treatment.

Meetings take place in Thame on a monthly basis.  The format of the meetings includes a review of the previous months’ activities, an opportunity to volunteer for future events, a reflective space, social time and a supportive slot regarding work undertaken. The aim is to prepare members for a return to work by increasing their confidence and skills.  Support for the group is offered by clinicians and administrative staff of TVI to ensure that the whole system is managed in a safe way.

STARS are an integral part of all training delivered by TVI.  Their ‘lived experience’ of personality disorder is invaluable to students.

For more information please email

The TVI team offer a selection of courses of different lengths to suit staff with different backgrounds.  We offer training in a location near to you – either your workplace or nearby.  All training is facilitated by a clinician and at least one ex-service user (STAR) to give a rounded view.

Below are a selection of courses that we offer. In all instances, for more information or to book please email You can also find out more about the way TVI and STARS work together in our our leaflet.

Knowledge and Understanding Framework Personality Disorder Awareness Training
This government-funded training is provided in the NHS South Central Region by The Thames Valley Initiative and STARS.  The training consists of three facilitated days alongside personal work using a virtual learning experience designed by the Open University alongside professionals and ex-service users. For more information about the course please see

You can also read reports on the course here:

People: Personality and Pathology
This multidisciplinary, experiential course runs one day a month from March to November. Theory is covered, a project of the participants choosing is undertaken, and time is spent in small groups discussion of work situations.   A residential weekend is included where participants can experience life as a member of a transient therapeutic community. The course staff team includes members of STARS.

You can read a report about the course here: PPP Report 2014

For further information about this training course, please see our leaflet. To book the course, please fill in our application form.

Managing difficult interactions - training for admin staff
This course is designed for administrative and non-clinical staff who may face difficult situations in the course of their daily work.  It gives space to think about how reactions may influence the outcome of the encounter.
Skills Day: Personality Disorder
A day exploring practical ideas to promote good services for those diagnosable with personality disorder.

You can read a report about it here: Skills day report 2014

Skills Day: self-harm
A day exploring practical idea to promote good services to those who self harm in a wide variety of ways.
Workforce development

The Thames Valley Initiative specialises in creating skills-based workforce development programmes.

Training whole staff teams is an effective way to create a culture of positivity and hope when working with the challenging issues people with personality disorder and complex trauma present within organisations.

The practice-based modules equip all grades of staff with the skill sets required for effective practice.  Students work with people who have a lived experience of personality disorder or complex trauma. They report that this has a positive impact on their attitude and ability to work confidently with challenging clients.

The programmes are designed with Workforce Development Leads to meet the specific requirements of the organisation.  A typical format would be delivering two whole day modules to groups of 20 at fortnightly intervals.

This report relates to personality disorder awareness level training provided by the Thames Valley Initiative for staff with a wide variety of roles within the Hampshire Constabulary.

You can read about how to support people effectively with personality disorders in the community in this our ‘Meeting the challenges, making a difference’ booklet, which is produced by the Department of Health.

Please feel free to contact us for more information or to book courses.

Team leader

Gill Attwood           Email:

For enquiries relating to service development

Sheena Money              Email:

For all other enquiries


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Page last reviewed: 14 May, 2024