Psychiatric residents' interest in psychotherapy and training stage: A multi-site survey

Sidney Zisook, John R. Mcquaid, Andres F Sciolla, Nicole Lanouette, Christina Calabrese, Laura B. Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Most psychiatric residents enter training intent on learning both psychopharmacologic and psychotherapeutic interventions. After graduation, however, many emphasize pharmacotherapy over psychotherapy. Methods: A multisite survey of psychiatry residents queried psychotherapy interests, attitudes, and practice intentions. Factors associated with selfreported decreased interest in psychotherapy since beginning residency were examined. Results: Although 11.8% of the entire sample (n=229 PGY1-PGY4 residents) reported decreased interest in psychotherapy during training, among PGY4s the corresponding figure was 16.4%. Positive attitudes towards psychotherapy, and self-perceived competence in cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic psychotherapy were most highly correlated with maintained interest in psychotherapy. Dissatisfaction with the quality of psychotherapy faculty and curriculum, and viewing departmental leadership as unsupportive of psychotherapy training were correlated with decreased interest during training. Conclusions: Maintaining residents' interest in psychotherapy requires improvements in curriculum, teaching, and supervision throughout training. Our data underscore the crucial role that departmental leadership must play in supporting trainees' goals of becoming comprehensively trained psychiatrists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-59
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


  • Evidence-based practice
  • Psychiatric training
  • Psychotherapy
  • Residency education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychiatric residents' interest in psychotherapy and training stage: A multi-site survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this