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    One of my gripes with modern medicine is how we throw drugs at things without giving other routes a solid try, mental health in particular. I'm not criticising individual practice - it's a symptom of "10-minute-slots", defensive practice, failure of training programmes, and year-long waiting lists for therapies such as CBT. I'm not against drugs in, for example, depression, but I do want to learn how to help people through means such as psychotherapy. Sincerity, rapport, finding patient concerns, communication - having started work I know now that these are some of my stronger qualities, and I think I would do well with counselling.

    But I don't know how to tie being a GP - which is what I want to do - and psychotherapy together. I don't want to do core psych training or be a psychiatrist. But I do want to learn the skills that are used in psychotherapy and counselling. I also don't know what that combination leads to, or could lead to.

    Anyone had similar thoughts, or has ideas of what to think about and explore?

    Hey this is a really interesting post. Have you considered becoming a GP with Special Interest in mental health? I assume that it would allow you to be a lead in providing a more specialised service such as counselling in a practice.

    You will definitely need some further training in counselling and delivering various psychotherapies. Probably at a minimum a Diploma (to become a psychotherapeutic councillor) but possibly a Masters or more depending on how in-depth you want.

    1. GPwSI in Mental Health.
    2. Work as a GP 3 days per week and in a completely separate psychotherapy role 2 days.
    3. Build a psychotherapy/counselling role into your work as a GP. You set up a service and either "sell" it to your local CCG for the benefit of NHS patients or as a private service for cash. There's no reason why you couldn't use/rent a room in your own GP practice to deliver this service.

    GPs run their own small businesses and, within the bounds of their contract and professional standards, are pretty free to do whatever they think is most useful/effective/profitable.
    • Community Assistant

    Community Assistant
    We were taught CBT in med school then practised alone on real patients (though admittedly, not new patients).

    But I'm afraid I don't know what kind of qualifications you'd need to be able to prove your competency. As with a lot of psych, covering yourself medico-legally is probably your main obstacle here, not something practical.

    This is really interesting, especially regarding the qualifications you'd need to start offering this.

    Do medicine then seek training in your spare time. I consider myself lucky in that I had a psychology degree before I studied medicine, and psychology for all its criticisms in my opinion helps you to understand things in a different deeper way than a non-psychologist does. For instance, how important social systems and interpretation and big pharma is.
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