Preconference Skills Course
Consult Liaison (C-L) services in most institutions are busy and fast paced. C-L psychiatrists are routinely asked to help manage complex clinical scenarios (Some examples: treatment refusal, disruptive behaviors, medically-unexplained symptoms, personality disorders and patient-provider disagreements). Navigating the many contextual variables relevant to such situations is a special skill set for consultants and involves an updated knowledge base in the psychological aspects of behavior and in communication breakdowns, the use of various clinical interventions, and the application of psychodynamic ideas. Teaching and practicing psychotherapy is an essential skill set to manage a busy C-L service.
This preconference course is sponsored by the Psychological Considerations SIG and will focus on four C-L friendly therapy modalities:
--Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: Understanding of basic principles of psychodynamic psychotherapy provides the basis of all therapeutic interactions. The session will focus on the concepts of transference, resistance and how they can be successfully and usefully incorporated into the C-L setting. The session will also provide an overview of what psychodynamic therapeutic processes comprise good psychiatric management.
--Supportive Therapy: Most C-L psychiatrists are engaged in supportive psychotherapy with their patients, sometimes without recognizing it. However, explicit teaching about supportive psychotherapy tends to be limited; both trainees and faculty struggle to articulate what they are doing and why. The C-L service is also a rich environment in which to learn supportive psychotherapy: patients seen in consultation often benefit significantly from supportive psychotherapy. The structure of many teaching services allows for close supervision of trainees as they learn and practice these skills.
--Positive Psychology: Positive psychology focuses on increasing resilience, social engagements, positive emotions, wisdom, and character strengths. There is a substantial empirical base for positive psychology based interventions in clinical setting. These interventions are the easiest tools for C-L psychiatrists to use as short, brief therapeutic interventions. Learning these interventions has the added benefit of increasing personal wellbeing and resilience for us as psychiatrists.
--Mindfulness: The use of mindfulness in psychiatric practice has become increasingly popular. Mindfulness based therapies like MSBR have a vast body of evidence based mainly for the patient populations that are commonly seen by C-L psychiatrists. In addition to providing the evidence base for the use of mindfulness in a C-L setting, this session will focus on teaching various kinds of mindfulness techniques that can be taught to trainees easily and used with patients.
Each of the sessions above will include three components:
--A brief evidence based overview of the evidence base and theory of the relevant therapy modality
--A C-L case demonstrating the practical utility of the therapy, and
--Interactive experiential session.