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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

CR139. Role of the Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy


Price: £5.00

Approved: Jun 2005

Published: May 2006

Status: under review

Number of pages: 16

Review by: 2010

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This report reviews the range of roles and responsibilities that are undertaken by consultant psychiatrists in psychotherapy. It sets out three core principles:
 
  1. Consultant psychiatrists in psychotherapy have a range of roles.
  2. Consultant psychiatrists in psychotherapy bring to multidisciplinary teams the knowledge, responsibility and ethos associated with the medical profession.
  3. Consultant psychiatrists in psychotherapy bring specific psychothera­peutic expertise to multidisciplinary teams.
In clinical work these principles mean that consultant psychiatrists in psychotherapy assess and manage complex cases, deal with issues of risk and take special responsibility for patients with a combination of medical and psychological issues. Supervision and management of clinical teams are also important clinical tasks.
 
The important teaching role is discussed in relation to both under­graduate and postgraduate medical education and the education of professions allied to medicine.
 
Strategic advisory and clinical governance responsibilities are discussed and the particular remit to bring a psychologically minded approach to these discussions is highlighted.
 
Finally, the report highlights the future development of the role in relation to the changing role of medical consultants within the health service. It stresses the importance of developing a capacity for flexible ways of working employing a range of therapeutic modalities, learning new evidence-based therapies and participating in the research base for and development of new treatments. Additionally, the changing structure of adult psychiatry is discussed in relation to developing therapeutic roles for consultant psychiatrists in psychotherapy more generally including involvement in developments such as assertive outreach, crisis intervention and home treatment teams.
 
(This report replaces both CR75. Development of Psychological Therapy Services: Role of the Consultant Psychotherapist from 1999 and CR98. Role and contribution of the consultant psychiatrist in psychotherapy in the NHS from 2002.)
 
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