Teaching behavioral medicine professionals and trainees an elaborated version of the Y-Model: Implications for the integration of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, and motivational interviewing

Amir Ramezani, Daniel M. Rockers, Richard L. Wanlass, Robert M. McCarron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


The Y-Model is used to teach evidence-based psychotherapy to mental health care trainees. We adapt the Y-Model to help teach psychotherapy to providers in medical settings (e.g., physicians, nurses, dietitians, physical therapists, etc.). This elaboration of the Y-Model aids educators to help learners overcome multiple barriers that inherently exist as new psychotherapy concepts are being assimilated in medical settings. The stem of the Y-Model represents foundational therapeutic principles and techniques common to all psychotherapy approaches. One branch of the Y-Model represents cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques, while the other represents psychodynamic therapy (PT). Because motivational interviewing (MI) is highly utilized in medical settings and share foundational therapeutic principles, we conceptually integrate MI with the stem of the Y-Model to present one cohesive, unified teaching model that utilizes high yield interventions in behavioral medical settings. Furthermore, helping the trainee to identify their default communication style also tends to improve learning of foundational psychotherapy principles. Theoretical differences, therapist relationships, and therapeutic techniques are outlined and contrasted in user-friendly charts to facilitate teaching and learning. Finally, a case example demonstrates how this model is applied with behavioral medicine providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-424
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Psychotherapy Integration
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016



  • Behavioral medicine
  • Curriculum
  • Health psychology
  • Medical education
  • Teaching psychotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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