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The Y Model: An Integrated, Evidence-Based Approach to Teaching Psychotherapy Competencies

Plakun, Eric M. MD*; Sudak, Donna M. MD; Goldberg, David MD

Journal of Psychiatric Practice: January 2009 - Volume 15 - Issue 1 - p 5-11
doi: 10.1097/01.pra.0000344914.54082.eb

Objective The authors' goal was to develop an integrated model for teaching psychotherapy competencies across schools of therapy.

Method The authors surveyed the comparative psychotherapy process literature to identify core features of psychotherapy shared across schools and differentiate those features from the defining features of psychodynamic therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Results The resulting Y Model for teaching psychotherapy competencies locates core processes of therapy that are shared across schools on the stem of the Y, differentiates psychodynamic therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy on the branches of the Y, and locates supportive therapy largely on the stem of the Y.

Conclusions The Y Model offers an efficient, integrated, evidence-based system for teaching psychotherapy competencies across schools in a conceptually clear way that is free of competition and bias between schools. (Journal of Psychiatric Practice 2009;15:5–11).

*Austen Riggs Center, Stockbridge, MA

Drexel University, College of Medicine

California Pacific Medical Center

Please send correspondence and reprint requests to: Eric M. Plakun, MD, Austen Riggs Center, 25 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA 01262.

The authors wish to acknowledge the help of current and past members of the APA Committee on Psychotherapy by Psychiatrists, including Bernard Beitman, Lisa Mellman, Norman D. Clemens, Eva Szigethy, Deborah Cabaniss, Lee Ascherman, Katherine Shear, J. Christopher Perry, Cindi Murrer, and Alexander Huang, in the development of the ideas in this paper.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.