Psychotherapy Provided by Psychiatrists

Poor reimbursement from insurers, and administrative demands, such as frequent requirements for prior authorization for treatment, and prescription medications, and insurer’s demand for ongoing treatment documentation, are factors discouraging psychiatrists from also providing psychotherapy, as part of comprehensive treatment.

In one study, 50% of psychiatrists polled said they provided only medication treatment to their patients, 41% said they provided both psychotherapy, and medication treatment to their patients, and less than 10% said they provided only psychotherapy to their patients. In the later group most psychiatrists were 65 y.o. and older, in solo private practice, with 50% of their patients using insurance, and 50% paying out of pocket. Given current trends, there will be fewer psychiatrists who provide psychotherapy, as more established psychiatrists age out of the field of medicine. I believe that it is extremely important for contemporary psychiatrists to preserve psychotherapy as a part of their skill set, maintain their professional identities as providers of psychotherapy, and continue to appreciate the benefits provided to patients by the integration of psychotherapy, and medication treatment.

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