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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Psychotherapy training and CPD

Psychotherapy is integral to the training of psychiatrists and is part of the core and higher curricula for general psychiatry. Find out more about:

Training requirements for CT1-3

CT1-3 Core curriculum guides

Higher specialist training ST4-6 psychotherapy to become a Consultant Psychiatrist in psychotherapy

You can obtain a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in Psychotherapy by specialising in:

Training comprises three years at ST 4-6 level in a GMC approved psychotherapy scheme quality assured by local deaneries through the schools of psychiatry. Trainees acquire an indepth knowledge of theory and practice of their major approach, and also receive training in psychodynamic, CBT or systemic, approaches. At the end of this training you will gain a CCT as specialists in psychotherapy and will be eligible to apply to be on the Specialist Register of the GMC. This will allow you to train Specialty Registrars in psychotherapy and to take the role of leading multi-modal psychological therapy teams. It is also possible to spend a year in psychotherapy which will lead to an endorsement in psychotherapy

Read more:

Psychotherapy training for ST4-6 in specialties other than psychotherapy

The curriculum indicates that trainees continue to develop their psychotherapeutic expertise as they become higher trainees, according to their interest and specialty. For example:

  • a rehabilitation or general adult trainee might seek to gain experience of cognitive therapy of psychosis
  • a trainee interested in eating disorders may gain further experience of family therapy
  • psychodynamic psychotherapy, or training on group therapy may interest a learning disability trainee.

The combinations are many and tailored programmes of experience can be devised in conjunction with Psychotherapy Tutors and Training Programme Directors.

CPD

Relevant CPD Online learning modules and podcasts

These RCPsych CPD online modules and podcasts are relevant to medical psychotherapy. All links will open in a new window.

CPD Online logo

CPD for SAS and consultant psychiatrists

Staff and Associate Specialist (SAS) doctors and consultant psychiatrists can access psychotherapy training by attachments to departments of psychotherapy organised by the psychotherapy tutors of the organisation they work in, achieving and advancing competencies in the main psychotherapy modalities, working with individuals, couples, families or groups.

tutor, programme director and advisors

Psychotherapy Tutor Role

Each core training programme should have a Psychotherapy Tutor who is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy.

The tutor works together with the Training Programme Director ( TPD) of core training and the Director of Medical Training of the Trust to make sure psychotherapy training requirements are met in the training scheme.

This includes making sure that:

  • case based discussion groups(CBDs) are available in years 1and 2 
  • CBT, psychodynamic, systemic or integrative trainings and supervision are available for trainees
  • liaising with and advising supervisors, who may be non- medical, of the training requirements
  • advising trainees when and what kind of psychotherapy cases are appropriate.

The Psychotherapy Tutor and other Consultant Psychiatrists in Psychotherapy will also conduct and advise on the workplace based assessments such as the ACE on the psychotherapy long case.

The Psychotherapy Tutor will then contribute to the review of the trainee's progress by advising the TPD whether the psychotherapy requirements have been met.

The overall aim of the Psychotherapy Tutor is to help core psychiatric trainees develop habits of self reflection and emotional curiosity, to have an understanding of the therapeutic relationship, unconscious modes of communication and learn about different models of psychotherapy enough to be able to refer or work alongside as the patient undergoes therapy.

Training Programme Director (Scheme Organiser)

Training Programme Directors (TPD) have responsibility for managing specialty training programmes including Fixed Term Specialty Training Appointments. TPDs responsibilities include:

  • making sure the programmes deliver the specialty curriculum and enable trainees to gain the relevant competences, knowledge, skills, attitudes and experience
  • taking into account the collective needs of the trainees in the programme when planning individual programmes
  • providing support for clinical and educational supervisors within the programme and  contribute to the annual assessment outcome process in the specialty.
  • careers advice.
  • helping the Postgraduate Dean manage trainees who are running into difficulties by supporting educational supervisors in their assessments and in identifying remedial placements.

TPDs work within the Trust with:

  • the Director of Medical education, the Schools of Psychiatry within the Deanery
  • delegated College/Faculty representatives (e.g. college tutors, regional advisors)
  • national College/Faculty training or Specialty Advisory Committees (SACs).

Psychotherapy advisors at schools of psychiatry

Each school of psychiatry has access to a regional representative in psychotherapy who:

  • makes sure the Deanery is aware of the requirements for psychotherapy training for core and higher psychiatry training and higher specialist training
  • offer advice on how to make sure information is available to trainees and that they attain appropriate competencies in psychotherapy pre and post MRCPsych Examinations.

Financial support for trainee medical psychotherapy