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Cognitive therapy training for psychiatrists: impact on individual clinical practice

  • G. Swift (a1), I. Durkin (a2) and C. Beuster (a3)
Aims and Method

We aimed to survey how psychiatrists with in-depth training in cognitive therapy use these skills. A postal questionnaire based on a previous survey was sent to all psychiatrists who are accredited members of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.


There was a 94% response rate. Psychiatrists in non-psychotherapy posts used formal cognitive therapy, with an average of 20% of new patients compared with 65% for those in psychotherapy posts, and were less satisfied with the extent to which they were able to use their skills (20% v. 80%). A total of 85% of respondents described themselves as being involved in teaching, training and supervision of cognitive therapy.

Clinical Implications

Unless psychiatrists are planning on working in specialised psychotherapy posts, they are unlikely to use cognitive therapy training in formal therapy sessions. Further research is needed to determine whether cognitive therapy training for psychiatrists translates into improved outcomes for patients.

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Ashworth, P., Williams, C. & Blackburn, I. M. (1999) What becomes of cognitive therapy trainees? A survey of trainees' opinions and current clinical practice after postgraduate cognitive therapy training. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 27, 267277.
British Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapy (1997) Minimum Training Standards for the Practice of CBT(
Department of Health (2000) National Service Framework for Mental Health. London: The Stationery Office.
Department of Health (2001) Treatment Choice in Psychological Therapies and Counselling. London: The Stationery Office.
Le Fevre, P. D. & Goldbeck, R. (2001) Cognitive–behavioural therapy: a survey of the training, practice and views of Scottish consultant psychiatrists. Psychiatric Bulletin, 25, 425428.
Royal College of Psychiatrists (1997) Educational Policy (Occasional Paper OP36). London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Cognitive therapy training for psychiatrists: impact on individual clinical practice

  • G. Swift (a1), I. Durkin (a2) and C. Beuster (a3)
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