Letter to the Editor
Core Clinical Skills
Psychiatric News
Volume 36 Number 15 page 26-26

In his Viewpoints article in the June 15 issue, my colleague, Dr. Sidney Weissman, criticized the APA Commission on the Practice of Psychotherapy by Psychiatrists (COPP) as being interested only in intensive psychotherapy. It might be helpful to APA members, therefore, to review the interests of those on COPP and the activities we have sponsored in the recent past.

COPP has members from diverse clinical orientations, including experts on cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, child and adolescent, family, psychodynamic, and group therapies, to name but a few. We have sponsored symposia at the APA annual meetings, Institute on Psychiatric Services, and other national meetings on a variety of topics including brief therapies of all theoretical persuasions, combined psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy, supervision of psychotherapy, self-reflection in psychotherapies, and the neurobiological bases of psychotherapy.

The commission has published scientific papers in APA’s Journal of Psychotherapy Practice and Research and published white papers on psychotherapy effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. We have also assisted APA’s Office of Research in constructing more useful data on the practice of psychotherapy as measured in the Practice Research Network surveys and have been very active in maintaining the importance of psychotherapy by psychiatrists within the confines of managed care. Last, but not least, COPP has worked closely with those involved in establishing and teaching the new core competencies in psychotherapy, which include brief, supportive, cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic, and combined treatment.

As always, COPP welcomes suggestions from APA members about important issues in keeping psychotherapy as a core clinical skill in our field.

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