At the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic we strongly support research and education in psychotherapy. Therefore, we are proud to offer a program that provides confidential psychotherapy for interested residents. We believe that outstanding clinical training for psychiatrists demands self-awareness and should include a focus on one’s own emotional and psychological readiness and insight. All manner of theorists from differing perspectives have discussed the importance of psychiatrists experiencing therapy first-hand in an effort to understand their own unconscious conflicts and how they can interfere with the therapeutic process and relationship. Furthermore, psychiatry residency training takes a minimum of four years and is, at times, stressful. Unfortunately, psychiatrists are increasingly graduating from residency training programs without ever having the opportunity to be in psychotherapy. At the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, however, we strongly believe that sitting “in the chair” is an excellent training experience for those who wish to perform eclectic mixes of therapies (e.g., psychodynamic, CBT, IPT, etc.) as well as simple psycho-education in conjunction with biological therapies. By engaging in their own psychotherapy, residents experience projection and transference, which exist in every human interaction therapeutic or otherwise, but are especially salient in encounters with mentally ill patients.
The PIT Program is open to trainees without a formal psychiatric diagnosis and utilizes off-campus volunteer clinical faculty (including psychiatrists and psychologists) as psychotherapists, placing no restrictions on the number of visits or types of therapies employed. The PIT Program, therefore, allows residents access to some of the best therapists and analysts in the city, whose fees would typically far exceed the $50-75 per session maximum that is charged to residents. Consequently, there is less financial burden on the resident. The program is entirely voluntary and is available to all interns, residents, and fellows at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.
Residents who need to see a therapist/physician for reason other than the training experience provided by the PIT program, would either contact their Program Director or directly contact the Employee Assistance Program, (Resident and Fellows Assistance Program).