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J Am Acad Psychoanal Dyn Psychiatry. 2011 Spring;39(1):111-32. doi: 10.1521/jaap.2011.39.1.111.

Is that an unconscious fantasy or an automatic thought? Challenges of learning multiple psychotherapies simultaneously.

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  • 1Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, New York, NY 10034, USA.


Today, psychiatry residents learn multiple psychotherapeutic techniques during their training. Learning these different modalities at the same time can cause confusion in the areas of assessment, making a psychotherapeutic recommendation, and conducting a treatment. To investigate these issues, we presented a complex training case to three psychotherapy experts. Although they had somewhat different ideas about how to treat the patient, there was general consensus that adhering to a single conceptual formulation is key to treating individual patients in psychotherapy. A final discussion addresses the pedagogical implications of this perspective.

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