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Functions of a Short-Term Therapy Program Problems of the Maintenance of Quality

Malkah T. Notman, MD; Norman E. Zinberg, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;20(4):403-407. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740160019003.
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IN any psychiatric training program the maintenance of high standards of quality always involves some degree of conflict between service and training objectives. These problems are to some extent common to all programs emphasizing training in psychotherapy. In recent years more attention has been paid to short-term psychotherapy, especially in relation to residency training. Those training programs which had emphasized long-term treatment previously made a point of adding a specific program featuring short-term psychotherapy. While eventually the short-term programs have proved a valuable addition and have added balance to the residents' training, we came to recognize that a short-term psychotherapy program is particularly vulnerable to conflicting pressures arising from those priorities related to patient care and those from excellence of training.

If they are going to be sound and reliable, training or education programs for psychiatric residents will have a fair amount of conflict built in. A good program


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