A postal survey was conducted to determine what proportion of psychiatric specialist registrars working in Scotland (n=119, excluding those specialising in psychotherapy) met the requirements for experience in psychotherapy. Since 2004, this has been a compulsory part of eligibility criteria for the MRCPsych part II examination.
Two-thirds of those surveyed responded. One-third of respondents met the Royal College of Psychiatrists' requirements for psychotherapy experience. Half the respondents reported competence in at least one modality of psychotherapy. Four-fifths of respondents were interested in gaining further experience and training, two-thirds in developing a special interest and one-quarter in dual training, in at least one modality of College psychotherapy. There was no significant association between adherence to the requirements and self-perceived competence, qualification or the wish to gain further training and experience in psychotherapy.
The majority of trainees, even those interested in psychotherapy, still fail to meet College requirements. Many trainees would appreciate an opportunity to gain greater depth of psychotherapy experience, in addition to gaining broad experience of various aspects of psychotherapy as required by the College.
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