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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 48 (2006) 5, 361 - 372

New research

Resident psychiatrists in Amsterdam recognize the value of personal therapy

G.M.G.A. Piras, B.W. van de Kar, A. Oostindiër

background Resident psychiatrists in the Netherlands, unlike their counterparts in other countries, are obliged to undergo 50 hours of personal psychotherapy. In 1994 Trijsburg et al. published the results of a questionnaire that had been completed by psychiatrists, psychologists and other persons training to become psychotherapists.
aim To find out how resident psychiatrists in Amsterdam in 2003 characterised and rated the therapy module in their course.
method Resident psychiatrists in Amsterdam were asked to complete a shortened version of the 1994 questionnaire. The Utrecht Burn-out Scale was added.
results Personal therapy was greatly appreciated, but the psychotherapists were more convinced of the positive effects than were the residents. Hardly anyone referred to any negative aspects. The residents did not consider personal therapy to be an essential element in their course. Two-thirds of the residents in Amsterdam were female, a large increase compared to the malefemale ratio in 1994. The workload of the residents was in accordance with that of other workers in the health care sector. conclusion Since resident psychiatrists in Amsterdam have a positive attitude to compulsory personal therapy, there seems to be no compelling reason for abolishing this module - even though the beneficial effects of this therapy have never been demonstrated.

keywords internship and residency, personal therapy, psychiatry, psychotherapy