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Disambiguation of psychotherapy: a search for meaning

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 November 2020

Giulio Castelpietra*
In-patient and Out-patient Care Service, Central Health Directorate, Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia, Trieste; and Department of Medicine (DAME), University of Udine, Italy
Judit Simon
Department of Health Economics, Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Austria; and Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford; and Oxford Health NHS Trust, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK
Mencía Ruiz Gutiérrez-Colosía
Department of Psychology, Universidad Loyola Andalucía, Seville, Spain
Sebastian Rosenberg
Centre for Mental Health Research, Research School of Population Health, ANU College of Health and Medicine, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Luis Salvador-Carulla
Centre for Mental Health Research, Research School of Population Health, ANU College of Health and Medicine, Australian National University, Canberra; and Menzies Centre for Health Policy, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Australia
Correspondence: Giulio Castelpietra. Email:


This analysis identifies the significant problem of ambiguity, variation and vagueness in relation to the intervention described as ‘psychotherapy’. Its purpose is to raise international awareness of this problem and alternative solutions.

Copyright © The Authors 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

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