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Medical psychotherapy

Medical psychotherapists are trained psychiatrists (doctors who treat mental health problems) who have specialised in psychotherapy (psychological or talking treatments). This can include different therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and systemic (group or family) therapy.

Training and qualifications required

Training usually starts with a five year first degree in medicine. You’ll then complete two years of foundation training and three years of core training (CT1-3), followed by three years of specialty training (ST4-6). This period of training will include your royal college exams. Length of training can vary according to your circumstances.

Expected working hours and salary range

Doctors may work up to 48 hours a week. The working hours may sometimes extend beyond the normal working day to include early mornings, evenings, on call possible. Pay scales (2017): NHS consultants earn between £76,761 and £103,490.

Desirable skills and values

For this role you’ll need to be able to work well under pressure and take initiative in highly pressurised and emotive situations. You’ll also have emotional resilience, empathy and compassion, and will work well in a team. You’ll enjoy problem solving and decision making and have excellent communication and leadership skills. A strong interest in different therapies and psychoanalytic theory and practice is necessary.

Prospects

There are 50 consultants in medical psychotherapy in England in 2016. Opportunities exist for research and teaching.
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