Know thyself; personal psychotherapy for the psychiatrist in training
background For the Dutch psychiatrist in training 50 sessions of personal psychotherapy are required. The Netherlands are unique in this measure. Currently there is no discussion about this requirement.
aim To describe different aspects and arguments of supporters and opponents of the requirement of a personal psychotherapy.
method Review of the research literature and personal observations.
results In the past there has been discussion regarding this requirement. Arguments to support the requirement of a personal psychotherapy as a good base to learn psychotherapy are: 1. the resident experiences what it means to be dependent in a clinical relationship; 2. the resident learns the essential competencies (empathy, reflective functioning, etc.); 3. personal therapy contributes to the deepening of feeling; and 4. personal therapy is a measure against stress and burn-out. Opponents of the requirement of a personal psychotherapy point at the lack of evidence demonstrating its effectiveness on the treatment results of the resident.
conclusion Personal psychotherapy is often viewed as an ‘island’ within the training programme, a private spot where everything can be discussed, but which also forms a logical conclusion between supervision and mentoring.