The Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education General Psychiatry and training scheme has introduced a new Dual training in Medical Psychotherapy and General Adult Psychiatry. The five year advanced training integrates training provision in both sub-specialties to enable qualification on the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ specialist register with two Certificates of Completion of Specialist Training (CCT) recognised by the General Medical Council as a Medical Psychotherapist and as a General Psychiatrist. The General Medical Council ratified this dual training award in 2012.

The training programme outlined describes a combined structure for training in medical psychotherapy and general psychiatry with the aim of integrating these specialist trainings to equip the doctor to practice as a Consultant Psychiatrist in Medical Psychotherapy, and/or a Consultant General Adult Psychiatrist.

The training programme is guided by an awareness of the need for the future Consultant Psychiatrist in Medical Psychotherapy/General Adult Psychiatry to deliver expert psychotherapy, to apply expert psychotherapeutic thinking to inform patient care through consultation and reflective practice in a range of psychiatric settings but also, to deliver and manage specialist psychotherapeutic services in inpatient, day patient and outpatient settings for highly complex patients.

This dual training offers a psychotherapeutic approach to the understanding of the development of the personality, which forms a bridge between both the general psychiatric and the general psychotherapeutic patient populations. The dual training will also equip the trainee to understand and respond to the emotional demands of working in general psychiatric settings therapeutically. It is recognised that it is likely in future that the role of medical psychotherapists will be in the psychotherapeutic treatment and therapeutically informed management of people with combinations of eating disorder, personality disorder, substance misuse and autistic spectrum disorder. The training therefore has particular opportunities in these areas for trainees. The training offers breadth of experience of working with a high range of complexity including medically unexplained symptoms, gender dysphoria, family and parenting assessments and Primary Care liaison.

For psychoanalytic trainees personal therapy will be a central part of their professional development throughout the five year training programme. For trainees who major in other models of therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy, self-reflective personal development experience, which would be considered congruent with the adopted main therapeutic modality training orientation, would be required. The chosen path of self-reflective development would not preclude personal therapy. The importance of an awareness of a range of models of psychotherapy will be incorporated in the dual training programme in line with the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ curriculum requirements for medical psychotherapy training. In addition, the role of pharmacotherapy in combination with psychotherapy will be a feature of both the psychiatric and the medical psychotherapeutic training of the dual trainee, who will be using psychotherapeutic approaches (alongside psychotropic medication and bio-psycho-social approaches).

The Scheme offers posts in all Trusts providing psychiatric care in Devon and Cornwall, with experience ranging from cities to suburban and dispersed rural areas.  There is a range of models of service provision on inpatient, outpatient and community based care.  The general adult rotational scheme affords placement in several branches of psychiatry; Liaison Psychiatry, Substance Misuse, General Psychiatry, Psychiatry Of Old Age, Forensic Psychiatry, Home Treatment and Early Intervention in Psychosis.  Training occurs in a number of different settings; psychiatry hospitals, community units and academic departments. As there are more approved training opportunities than funded posts Specialty Trainees have considerable choice and flexibility in planning an individually tailored training programme.  The Medical Psychotherapy Training scheme offers placements in a Generic Psychotherapy outpatient service offering a range of evidence based models, a Therapeutic Day Programme for people with a Personality Disorder in Exeter as well as experience of psychological therapies as provided by the Personality Disorder Service, the psychology service, mental health teams and IAPT services.   The training in each of the training posts has been planned to give each Specialty Trainee a broad experience as well as providing scope to develop research and pursue a special clinical interest.

For further information on the psychotherapy training programme, please see below: