WPA's Psychotherapy Section, under the leadership of César Alfonso (USA), Allan Tasman (USA) and Alma Jimenez (PHL), has developed a new Evidence-based Psychotherapy Competency Training program. Aimed at helping psychiatrists in all countries (particularly trainees and early career psychiatrists) improve competency in evidence-based psychotherapies, the program covers eight modules of learning:
1. Common factors in psychotherapy
2. Supportive psychotherapy
3. Psychodynamic psychotherapy
4. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
5. Interpersonal therapy (IPT)
6. Motivational Interviewing (MI)
7. Group psychotherapy
8. Family and couple psychotherapy
These psychotherapeutic modalities were selected due to the robust evidence base that proves them helpful in the treatment of psychiatric disorders in all settings and regions of the world. Each module is composed of a variety of educational materials, such as:
· Full reprints of a review article or textbook chapter in PDF format.
· A Power Point presentation on the fundamentals of each evidence-based psychotherapy.
· Self-assessment multiple-choice questions.
· Informative theoretical and clinical video links (including demonstrations of technique).
· A bibliography of suggested books, chapters and articles.
The creation of this excellent program was only possible thanks to the work of many contributors; in particular, the assistance of psychiatric trainees Marco Michael (USA) and Andrés Fuenmayor (USA) was invaluable. Fuenmayor graduated medical school in Venezuela and currently works as a research assistant at the Division of Global Mental Health at Columbia University, while applying for residency in psychiatry. Marco Michael is a senior resident in psychiatry at SUNY Downstate applying for a geriatric psychiatry fellowship. Drs. Fuenmayor and Michael were tasked with curating the video selection and preparing the MCQs under the guidance of Alfonso. Other members of the task force included Constantine Della (PHL), Katerina Duchonova (CZE) and Amir Jalali Nadoushan (IRN), who helped create the psychodynamic psychotherapy and family therapy modules; Reham Aly (EGY), who helped with the CBT module; Faiz Tahir (MYS), who helped create the Motivational Interviewing module; Erin Crocker (USA), who helped with the supportive psychotherapy module; and Scott Stuart (USA) and Xavier Pereira (MYS), who helped with the interpersonal therapy module. Careful attention was payed to cultural aspects of care and tailoring treatments for delivery in countries with scarce resources.
The educational task force from the WPA Psychotherapy Section liaised with WPA President, Afzal Javed; WPA Secretary for Education, Roger Ng; and WPA Education Coordinator, Catherine Devine to approve and upload materials to WPA's innovative Education Portal that can now be accessed by WPA members worldwide. Plans are in place to supplement the existing psychotherapy modules with additional ones covering the third-wave therapies, and to add other publications after obtaining permission for free distribution from publishing companies.
All WPA members are encouraged to browse through the psychotherapy modules and to test their knowledge by taking the self-assessment examinations!
Author: Prof. César A. Alfonso, Chair, WPA Section on Psychotherapy