Psychiatry Trainees’ Attitudes towards Psychotherapy


Background: Psychotherapy education is one of the essential components of specialist training in psychiatry according to the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. How psychiatry trainees perceive psychotherapy has major implications for how trainees will learn about psychotherapy during training, how they will utilize it in their future practice, and how they will integrate it into their professional identity. Methods: The study involved the distribution of questionnaires to psychiatry residents at an Atlantic Canadian Medical School. The survey consisted of Likert-scaled items which assessed residents’ attitudes towards being a psychotherapist and their future study and practice plans in psychotherapy. Results: Surveys were completed by 18 out of 25 residents (72% response rate). Half of participants indicated that conducting psychotherapy was highly rewarding and the majority of residents planned to incorporate psychotherapy into their future practice. Several mean differences were also noted between those residents who completed their undergraduate medical education in Canada versus at International locations. Conclusion: Despite the recent changes in psychotherapy training requirements and concerns about psychotherapy’s role in psychiatry, many residents perceive psychotherapy skills as being important for competent psychiatry practice and plan to incorporate their psychotherapy training into their future practice. Additional implications for teaching, future research, and practice are discussed.

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Radu, G. , Harris, G. , Bonnell, W. and Bursey, K. (2015) Psychiatry Trainees’ Attitudes towards Psychotherapy. Open Journal of Medical Psychology, 4, 124-130. doi: 10.4236/ojmp.2015.44013.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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