Psychiatric training experiences in psychotherapy: integrating a psychological perspective into mental health care
Article publication date: 9 December 2011
This paper seeks to report upon psychiatric trainees' experience of providing psychodynamic therapy for the first time and their experience of group supervision.
A total of five trainees, undertaking training in psychodynamic therapies, were interviewed on multiple occasions over an 18‐month period – before, during, and after undertaking their first case of psychodynamic therapy. A semi‐structured, qualitative interview approach was used to explore providing psychodynamic psychotherapy and participating in psychodynamic supervision groups. Interviews were transcribed in full and data analysed following the conventions of thematic analysis.
Trainees' anxieties about working psychodynamically and their concerns for developing new competencies are recognised. Personal and professional challenges associated with this therapeutic approach are identified and the importance of ”looking after” trainees is stressed; the role of trainee supervision groups in this is advocated. The potential challenges of integrating psychodynamic thinking into general psychiatric practice are discussed and suggestions to address these difficulties are proposed.
The small sample size reflects the total number of trainees participating in training at the time of the study; for future work, a larger sample drawn from multiple training centres would be recommended.
Training in psychotherapy is now mandatory for all trainee psychiatrists and this is something which many trainees find daunting; training in psychodynamic techniques is particularly challenging. A fuller awareness and understanding of trainees' experiences is important in nurturing clinicians who are competent in psychodynamic thinking, and who might consequently apply these skills clinically.
Phillips, N., Leighton, P. and Sargeant, R. (2011), "Psychiatric training experiences in psychotherapy: integrating a psychological perspective into mental health care", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 167-176. https://doi.org/10.1108/13619321111202322
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