Journal published by the Hellenic
Psychiatric Association

Logo new


A basic training in psychotherapy is a necessary requirement for the speciality of psychiatry. Nevertheless, any thorough training in psychotherapy in Greece lacks planning and a credible certification system. Τraining is carried out by different psychotherapeutic societies of varying prestige, through a number of programs. There have been very few attempts until now to map this field. The Section of Psychotherapy of the Hellenic Psychiatric Association (HPA) has tried to document the characteristics of the psychiatrists practicing psychotherapy. The study aimed at all of the trainee and trained psychiatrists, members of HPA. 210 questionnaires were filled in by members of HPA in 2000 and 2009–2011. Most of them were returned by post to the Section of Psychotherapy, while some were filled in during the 21rst HPA congress. With regard to psychotherapeutic training 151 (72%) reported some kind of psychoanalytic training, 90 (42.8%) cognitive, 85 (40.5%) systemic and 38 (18%) other (interpersonal, drama therapy, existentialist, cognitive-analytic, hypnosis, group therapy of another kind, orgonotherapy, vegetotherapy, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing). The average duration of the training in years was 5.26 (±3.7) for the psychoanalytic one, 2.73 (±1.6) for the cognitive, 3.83 (±2.1) for the systemic and 3.08 (±2.5) for the psychiatrists with a different type of training. Interestingly, many of the participants reported more than one types of psychotherapeutic training. Another important finding is the fact that the range of training varies from a single seminar to many years, something which underlines the considerable divergence with regard to what is considered psychotherapeutic training. Several questions arise from the above findings: A first one is if a psychiatrist should, during his/her training, also be trained in psychotherapy and what kind of training this should be. A second question is if being a trained psychiatrist entails the capacity to practice psychotherapy and to be called a psychotherapist. Should the title of psychotherapist be a general one or should a specific theoretical-clinical approach be mentioned in the title (psychoanalyst, cognitive-behavioral, systemic, etc.). One more question is which institution is appropriate for the certification of a psychotherapist: a state authority or another, possibly private, institution such as scientific societies or Non-Governmental Organizations? A final question is where professionals from different fields certified as psychotherapists could converge and how their differences could be specified. The mapping and study of the field of psychotherapy within HPA can create the basis for a fruitful discussion on the issue of the psychiatrists’ training and certification in psychotherapy, thus outlining a number of questions and dilemmas.

Key words: Psychiatrist, psychotherapist, training.

K. Charalabaki, I. Michopoulos, A. Filippopoulou, H. Karamanolaki (page 129) - Full article (Greek)