Psychiatric residents' views of quality of psychotherapy training and psychotherapy competencies: A multisite surve

Christina Calabrese, Andres F Sciolla, Sidney Zisook, Robin Bitner, Jeffrey Tuttle, Laura B. Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: Few studies of residents' attitudes toward psychotherapy training exist. The authors examined residents' perceptions of the quality of their training, support for training, their own competence levels, and associations between self-perceived competence and perceptions of the training environment. Methods: An anonymous, web-based questionnaire was distributed to residents at 15 U.S. training programs in 2006-2007. Likert-scaled items were used to evaluate attitudes regarding psychotherapy training and self-perceived competence in five modes of psychotherapy: brief, cognitive-behavioral, combined psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, psychodynamic, and supportive. Results: Surveys were completed by 249 of 567 residents (43.9%). Over one-half agreed that their program provided high-quality psychotherapy training. Concerns about the adequacy of the time and resources provided by their programs were expressed by 28%. Although residents generally believed that their training directors supported psychotherapy training, approximately one-third did not believe that other key department leaders were supportive. Across years of training and modes of therapy, residents perceived their own competence in neutral to slightly positive terms, with self-perceived competence increasing with years of training. Conclusion: Given the current residency training requirements, these data provide a mixed picture about how residents experience psychotherapy training. Residency programs may need to reassess the quality and quantity of resources dedicated to psychotherapy training. Critical appraisal of support provided by key departmental leadership is also warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Education
  • Medicine(all)


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