Psychotherapy training in Core Psychiatric Training in the East of England.
Psychotherapy experience is recognised as integral to the training and development of psychiatrists, and is an essential component of the core psychiatric curriculum.
The aim of psychotherapy training is not that all trainees will go on and become specialists in psychotherapy but to develop psychotherapeutically informed psychiatrists who are able to bring their psychotherapeutic knowledge and skills to their everyday clinical practice. This is for the benefit of their patients and themselves through their reflective capacities that they have developed through their psychotherapeutic experience and continue to do so throughout their career.
This has been helpfully outlined in the RCPsych occasional paper ‘Learning from the cradle to the grave: the psychotherapeutic development of doctors from beginning to end of a career in medicine and psychiatry’, by Dr James Johnston.
As part of their core training all trainees are expected to participate in a Balint or case based discussion group during their core training for a period of year, or longer. Trainees find this a helpful reflective space where they can start to explore their emotional responses from their contact with their patients and learn how these can inform their understanding of their patient’s and thus their clinical work. The term ‘Balint group’ was named after Michael Balint and his wife Enid Balint, both psychoanalysts who developed this way of working for GPs in the 1950s.
Once trainees have established themselves in their core training and they will be encouraged to take on a patient in psychotherapy under close clinical supervision. Psychotherapy tutors will prepare trainees both theoretically through reading, tutorials, and practically by joining a supervision group before starting with a patient.
The curriculum expects that trainees should have seen two patients for psychotherapy during the course of their core training, a long case ( 20 sessions or more) and a short case ( 12 sessions or more) and that these would be in different modalities of therapy. Usually trainees would see a long case in a psychodynamic psychotherapy, or cognitive analytic therapy, and see their short case in cognitive behavioural model of therapy. There is flexibility and it would depend on the local training resources linked to trainee’s interests and aptitudes. However it is essential to complete the psychotherapy training requirement to gain a successful outcome at the final ARCP of the core training before going on to higher specialist training.
For a trainees guide to psychotherapy core training requirements please follow the link:
All the training schemes in the east of England have psychotherapy tutors who are responsible for the oversight, governance and delivery of psychotherapy training:
Bedfordshire: Dr TBC
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough: Dr Alison Jenaway / Dr Mark Morris
Hertfordshire: Dr Parveen Bains
Norfolk and Suffolk: Norfolk - Dr Roger Wesby, Suffolk - Dr Carol Gregory
North Essex Colchester/Chelmsford: Dr Miomir Milovanovic
Harlow/ Epping: Dr Alice Levinson
South Essex / Basildon: Dr Hamideh Heydari
Southend: Dr William Burbridge-James
If you any queries about psychotherapy training or would like to discuss this please get in touch.
Training Programme Director Higher Medical Psychotherapy Training East of England.
Friday, 4 January, 2019
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Friday, 4 January, 2019