Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Data Show Current State of Psychotherapy Training

Noting that "psychotherapy skills are at the core of clinical psychiatry," and with several forms of psychotherapy now a mandated focus of training in psychiatry residency programs, researchers conducted a nationwide survey of U.S. general-psychiatry training directors about their methods of didactic presentation, supervised clinical experience, and numbers of patients treated with the models of psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and supportive therapy. Describing their findings in the new issue of Academic Psychiatry, Donna M. Sudak, M.D., and David A. Goldberg, M.D., reported a wide variation in psychotherapy education. "Psychodynamic training is the most robust, but has the greatest variability," they said, and in some programs psychodynamic psychotherapy training is "far below" a baseline set by psychiatric educators in 1990. "CBT [cognitive-behavioral therapy] training has advanced significantly over the past decade. Supportive psychotherapy is the most widely practiced, but receives the least amount of didactic time and supervision." It also has the "least-defined pedagogical base and the most limited focused training." They concluded that "[C]ore content, sequencing of training, length of training, patient availability, and faculty education must receive ongoing attention and development to ensure more effective psychotherapy training for psychiatrists."

Read more about the study in Academic Psychiatry here. And learn more about psychodynamic psychotherapy training in Psychiatric News here.

(image: lisa s/


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