Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 248–252 | Cite as

Therapy 101: A Psychotherapy Curriculum for Medical Students

Original Articles

Abstract

Objective

This pilot project, designed and taught by a resident, created a curriculum to introduce medical students to the practice of psychotherapy. Medical students who are knowledgeable about psychotherapy can become physicians who are able to refer patients to psychotherapeutic treatments. A search of the literature did not identify a curriculum that introduced psychotherapy, its applications, and evidence for its use.

Methods

The authors worked closely with a faculty mentor to create a course that fulfilled a perceived need for more psychotherapy teaching of medical students. “Therapy 101: An Introduction to Psychotherapy” is a 6-hour curriculum that employs creative teaching techniques such as video clips from TV shows, role play, and recordings of therapy sessions. The series was evaluated using a multiple-choice pre/postcourse test with questions on psychotherapy, written feedback, and perceived knowledge of psychotherapy.

Results

The scores from the pre/postcourse test measuring the students’ knowledge of psychotherapy did not change significantly. However, students’ self-rating of knowledge greatly increased after the series. Written feedback showed substantial enthusiasm for the course.

Conclusion

Students can benefit from a short and engaging curriculum on psychotherapy. “Therapy 101” was very well accepted by students and has been integrated into the curriculum for students in the mental health pathway. Medical students may benefit from more exposure to psychotherapy as taught by a resident.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry: Clinical Learning Objectives Guide for Psychiatry Education of Medical Students. Omaha, Ne, ADMSEP, 2007. Available at http://www.admsep.org/Clinical_LO_Guide_Outline_Format_Nov_07.doc
  2. 2.
    Paulley J: Training medical students in psychotherapy. Lancet 1957; 273:1340–1341CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Steiger W, Hirsh H: The medical student. Int Psychiatry Clin 1964; 1:293–305PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Tasini M: Teaching psychodynamic psychiatry to students on general medical rotations. J Psychother Pract Res 1999; 8:204–209PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Tasman A: Teaching psychodynamic psychiatry during medical school and residency. J Psychother Pract Res 1999; 8:187–190PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ornstein P: An experiment in teaching psychotherapy to junior medical students. J Med Educ 1961; 36:154–161PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Agathon M, Samuel-Lajeunesse B: Teaching behavioral assessment and therapy to French psychiatric students. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry 1988; 19:27–30CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cabaniss D: How to think like an analyst 101. J Psychother Pract Res 1999; 8:198–200PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ghatani K, Waisman Z: Teaching medical students about personality disorders and psychotherapeutic principles: a resident pilot initiative. Acad Psychiatry 2006; 30:178–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jibson M, Hilty D, Arlinghaus K, et al: Clinician-educator tracks for residents: three pilot programs. Acad Psychiatry 2010; 34:269–276CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Amblin Entertainment: ER. Season 8, episode 20. “The Letter.”Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    HBO: In Treatment. “In Treatment: Sophie: Session 1.” Available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1iev0zph3o
  13. 13.
    Gabbard G: Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in Practice. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Publishing, 2005, pp 3–91Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gabbard G: Textbook of Psychotherapeutic Treatments. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Publishing, 2005, pp 43–67, 239–338, 727–753Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Fonagy P, Target M: Attachment, trauma, and psychoanalysis, in Mind to Mind. Edited by Jurist E, Slade A, Bergner S. New York, Random House, 2008, pp 15–49Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Allen JG, Fonagy P, Bateman A: Mentalizing in Clinical Practice. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Publishing, 2008, pp 25–36Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Beck J: Cognitive Therapy. New York, Guilford, 1995, pp 1–24Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wright JH, Basco MR, Thase ME: Learning CBT: An Illustrated Guide. DVD. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Publishing, 2006Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    HBO: In Treatment. “Sophie’s Sexual Problem Part 1.” Available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF6cmqYJk10
  20. 20.
    Winston A, Rosenthal R, Pinsker H: Introduction to Supportive Psychotherapy. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Publishing, 2004, pp 1–43Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Douglas CJ: Teaching supportive psychotherapy to psychiatric residents. Am J Psychiatry 2008; 165:445–452CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesBaylor College of MedicineHouston
  2. 2.Harvard/Massachusetts General HospitalBoston
  3. 3.Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical CenterMental Health CarelineHouston

Personalised recommendations