Psychotherapy Training

The Brown General Psychiatry Residency teaches and assesses competence in multiple psychotherapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Interpersonal Psychpotherapy (IPT), Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Residents participate in a one-year group therapy experience and a course in family therapy. These psychotherapies are learned through clinical experiences, didactic seminars, and supervision.


During the PGY-2 year, residents are assigned a psychotherapy supervisor. The psychotherapy supervisor, with whom they meet weekly, guides them through one or two cases of intensive psychotherapy.

General outpatient supervision also takes place in real time in the resident's outpatient clinic, as the supervisors hear presentations on all patients seen and briefly meet with the resident and the patient together. This supervisor helps the residents with cases that typically consist of a mixture of supportive, psychotherapy and psychopharmacologic treatments.

During the PGY-3 year, residents have a number of additional supervisions. They participate in weekly small group CBT supervision, in which the residents gain practical experience with CBT. Resident pairs co-lead a weekly therapeutic group , which is supervised by a specific group therapy supervisor. For family therapy supervision, the residents videotape family sessions and review their videotapes during weekly supervision.

During the PGY-4  year, residents can select their psychotherapy supervisor. If residents choose to, they may receive additional supervision in other areas such as child and adolescent psychotherapy or continued group therapy.

During the first and second year, residents attend groups on the inpatient units and are introduced to group therapy experiences. In addition, there are a series of seminars focused on group therapy techniques and practice. Starting in PGY-3, residents co-lead an outpatient group with another resident or attending.

The family therapy didactics consist of a combination of seminars and resident presentations of family assessments and therapy during PGY-2 and PGY-3. These didactics are coordinated with supervision and ongoing family therapy experiential training.

PGY-1: Residents meet weekly with senior psychotherapy teaching faculty to review basic concepts in psychotherapy theory and practice. Supportive psychotherapy and psychotherapy combined with psychopharmacology are emphasized as they are particularly applicable to the clinical demands and experiences of the first year of psychiatry residency.

PGY-2: Residents have a yearlong seminar with two senior psychotherapists who teach and facilitate a systematic and comprehensive curriculum with an emphasis on psychodynamic psychotherapy principles and application. The texts used in that course are Long-Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy by Glen Gabbard.

PGY-3: Seminars include a half year series of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as well as seminars on brief psychotherapy, the different schools of psychodynamic therapies, and the history of psychoanalysis.

PGY-4: The yearlong psychotherapy course focuses on advanced psychodynamic psychotherapy with an emphasis on self-psychology and relational theory. The format of this course is a combination of seminars on theory and resident presentations of clinical material.