Teaching Family Therapy to Psychiatric Residents and Child Psychiatry Fellows: A Department Chairman’s Point of View
Ten years ago we might have debated whether family therapy should be part of the core training in adult psychiatry or child psychiatry. Today we discuss how to do it rather than whether to do it. Family therapy is now considered a required topic in the accreditation of both adult and child psychiatry. The skills related to family evaluation and treatment as well as knowledge about family psychology are no longer novelties. In a recent survey of 300 teachers of psychiatry as well as a random sample of 200 practitioners, 72% of the group felt that knowledge about basic concepts of family organization definitely should be included in the repertoire of the specialists in psychiatry and 28% felt that such knowledge should probably be included. In terms of clinical skills, the same group felt that a specialist in psychiatry should definitely be able to conduct a family interview (81%) and another 16% felt that this skill should probably be included. These attitudes about family therapy come from broad advances in the field and from wide clinical experience which has demonstrated the usefulness of family evaluation and family therapy to the psychiatrist. During the past quarter century, we have come to recognize that family psychology may be an organizing principle for teaching about normal and abnormal behavior of individual and groups.
KeywordsFamily Therapy Family Therapist Child Psychiatry Psychiatry Residency Supervise Experience
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