How to improve residents’ interest in psychoanalysis.

The number of psychiatric residents interested in psychodynamic therapies is decreasing. Some are still very interested but this kind of psychotherapy is hardly educated anymore and therapists, supervisors are scarce.

A recent free online available brief report from a psychoanalytical group, Genden (Genève—Denver), explored the possible reasons for psychiatric residents’ hesitation to get psychoanalytic training. They interviewed 100 residents in psychiatry working for at least 4 years. This focus group of 5 psychoanalytical psychotherapists proposes ten commonsense feedbacks for psychoanalysts regarding stimulating young psychiatric residents’ interest in psychoanalytic approaches.

Three important ones to my opinion are:

  • The educational center should have at least one psychoanalyst who is able to demonstrate valid psychodynamic research data in order to satisfy the scientific curiosity of psychiatric residents.
  • Rigid, stereotyped, psychoanalytic behavior outside of the psychoanalytic treatment situation is not helpful in an educational context. We are not psychoanalysts all the time in our lives, and students do not want to be treated as psychoanalytic patients in an educational setting.
  • During the residency training, avoid overly abstract psychoanalytical theoretical explanations and remain connected to the clinical situation. Match the teaching of complex psychoanalytic concepts to the level of the residents’ understanding.

You can read the other 7 suggestions here: Are Psychiatric Residents Still Interested in Psychoanalysis? A Brief Report.
Damsa, C., Bryois, C., Morelli, D., Cailhol, L., Adam, E., Coman, A., Stamatoiu, D., Lazignac, C., & Freymann, J. (2010). Are Psychiatric Residents Still Interested in Psychoanalysis? A Brief Report The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 70 (4), 386-391 DOI: 10.1057/ajp.2010.30