November 1972

Characteristics of Physicians Who Have Had Psychotherapy

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Research, William A. White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology, New York, NY.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;27(5):705-709. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750290111018

A questionnaire investigating their attitudes and practices toward emotionally disturbed patients was responded to by 1,156 primary physicians. Respondents were subdivided into two groups according to whether or not they had undergone personal psychotherapy. The outstanding characteristics of the treated as compared to the untreated physicians were: (1) greater interest expressed in psychiatry; (2) more positive attitudes regarding psychotherapy; (3) greater confidence in their psychiatric-diagnostic skills; (4) higher rates of psychiatric diagnoses; (5) preference for nonauthoritarian approaches with their disturbed patients; and (6) higher attendance at postgraduate courses in psychiatry. Interestingly, the two groups did not differ in (1) the frequency or ease with which they undertook the management of their disturbed patients; (2) their desire for help in handling these patients; or (3) the frequency of referrals they made for psychiatric treatment.