Psychiatrists have a unique place in the spectrum of mental health services, as being able to integrate psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy in clinical practice. It is through psychotherapy training that a trainee gains optimal communicative skills and competence in establishing therapeutic alliance with a patient. It helps developing empathic understanding, which is very important for a good collaboration and enable understanding, diagnostic and treatment. It improves trainees’ own insight. All are these fundamental aspects of a biopsychosocial approach of psychiatry.
In many countries psychiatry trainees have a positive attitude towards psychotherapy during their training. Moreover, patients often prefer and adhere to combined psychotherapy and medication than split-care treatments. Research in psychotherapy provides ample evidence that these treatments are effective. The UEMS considers psychotherapy education as mandatory. EFPT advocates that all trainees must gain competence in at least one recognised form of psychotherapy and have a basic knowledge for other forms. Altogether, there is a consensus among all actors of mental health services that psychotherapy training is essential and should be improved. Yet, it is still far from being a priority in psychiatric training and is subdued by biological training and research, which is easier, faster and prevailing in training institutions. Also, psychotherapy training is found less affordable by trainees.
With collaboration from other organizations, EFPT aims to improve standards of psychiatry training, including psychotherapy. We present some initiatives led by UEMS, EPA, WPA and ECNP. Today's technology allows trainees to reach various psychotherapeutic training availabilities, including online tools (Webinar, MOOCs, online guidebooks) and international courses. It is advisable that training institutions devote more time on psychotherapy training and supervision, associations provide costly training availabilities or scholarships, encourage more scientific research on psychotherapeutics and take into account the progress of research in psychology and neuroscience [1–5].
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.