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Does anyone know if psychiatrists can be effective in psychotherapy as clinical psychologists?

I want to be a psychotherapist using CBT to treat mainly anxiety disorders and phobias. At first, I thought about being a clinical social worker because I hear that these days most of them give therapy to the population. Problem is that they aren't trained in CBT according to The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook. Some do receive training in it after graduate school but why not during that time?

Anyway, I'm aware that most psychiatrists are specialized in the biomedical approach these days. But there are a few psychiatrists who are also excellent psychotherapists like Dr. Aaron Beck (the father of CBT) and Dr. David D. Burns (author of Feeling Good: the New Mood Therapy and The Feeling Good Handbook). Still, I'm afraid that if I study to become a psychiatrist then I wouldn't be as good if I was a clinical psychologist.
Hi. The fastest track to "doing therapy" is to get the MSW. (that's what I plan to do if I am ever able)

Don't worry about not being trained in CBT. It isn't really that hard to learn--I've seen your posts a lot on here and you know what you're talking about. I also read a few years ago in Martin Seligman's book Learned Optimism that it only takes a few months at the most to train anyone to know how to do CBT. It just isn't a complicated thing to learn. Really it's techniques. But that doesn't mean it's simple to help people!

If you are psychologically oriented then you've probably already read or heard that the #1 thing that leads to successfully helping people is the "therapeutic relationship"--not the theory or techniqes the therapist believes in or uses. Most claim to be eclectic in my experience. Mix of different theories.

I also believe a degree is useless without the natural talent (like empathy, understanding, being nonjudgmental, being resourceful, persistence, patience, etc.) I don't mean that in a negative way--I mean that if you already have the talent and help people anyway, getting the degree is like just a formality, you know?

My favorite theory is Self-Psychology (Heinz Kohut). When i look at a problem and what the person needs, I think of it in his tems (mirroring, twinship, idealization, narcissism, self-objects, etc.). I am far from dumb, but this theory took a looonnng time for me to learn & understand (still learning), unlike CBT. I'm only recently interested in CBT. But I see there are good things about every theory that can be helpful in different situations with different people.

To get back to your question, I would try to find out what kinds of classes and other requirements are involved in each of the graduate programs you are thinking about, and then go by what interests you the most. For example, if you don't care for medical stuff, and you won't mind having your patients/clients get their prescriptions from a nurse or psychiatrist, then you could lean more toward the PhD rather than MD. Also, the PsyD is better for learning more therapy than a PhD, but will take longer and be more expensive than a Masters, etc.

Good luck!:D
 
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