Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry


As a belated response to the debate about the value of teaching psychotherapy in psychiatric residency training, (Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 5(I):54-66, 1987) I would like to add my voice to the affirmative side. That there is such a debate seems symptomatic of an unfortunate and unnecessary misuse of important advances in neurobiology to justify the sidelining of psychodynamic psychotherapy. A search of the psychiatric literature of recent years reveals an emphasis on biological psychiatry and a relative neglect of psychotherapy. A similar trend has been noted in some residency programs and in the annual meetings of the American Psychiatric Association. However, the pendulum appears to be swinging back, as was demonstrated at a recent meeting of the APA, where panels and lectures on psychotherapy attracted overflow audiences. A symposium on psychotherapy sponsored by the American Psychoanalytic Association could not be contained in the 200 seat room and several hundred other people had to be shunted into adjacent rooms where the discussion could be heard over loudspeakers. The audience, composed mainly of young people, was obviously hungry for more information on the psychological aspect of psychiatry, a fact noted by officers of the APA who recognized the relative imbalance of the recent programs.

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