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Residents' Personality, Motivation Keys to Learning Psychotherapy

April 5, 2009

One cold, gray day in January, the day when a U.S. Airways pilot landed a crippled plane on the Hudson River, a less-publicized drama was playing out on the west side of Manhattan, but one critical for the future of North American psychiatry.

In a warren of offices on the first floor of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, which is part of Columbia University, psychiatry residents attended courses on various types of psychotherapy and applied their newly learned skills with patients. Videotapes of their sessions with patients were then used to give them feedback.

In brief, psychotherapy educators were attempting to "pass the psychotherapy torch" on to a new generation of psychiatrists, just as they do nearly every day of the year, and just as psychotherapy educators in the other 200 some psychiatry residency programs throughout the United States and Canada do (see What Does the Future Look Like?).

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