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Ethics and evidence in general practice psychotherapy

Professor Jill Gordon

Most of today's general practitioners were originally taught about psychological medicine within the context of psychiatry, rather than general practice. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has only recently acknowledged GPs who practise psychological medicine as a specific interest group with specific training needs. In addition, an evidence based approach to mental health care in general practice is a relatively recent phenomenon. While we expect new entrants into general practice to have the advantage of more appropriate training in the future, established practitioners can choose to regularly review their practice in the light of the available evidence concerning what works in mental health care in general practice. Patients are aware that a GP psychotherapist is somewhat different from a psychologist or 'counsellor'. S/he can prescribe medication, for example and has a deeper understanding of the relationship between physical health conditions and emotional wellbeing. But with this status come some significant responsibilities.

WORLD DREAMING: WORLD CONGRESS FOR PSYCHOTHERAPY
24-28 August 2011 Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
Darling Harbour, Australia.
Visit The World Council for Psychotherapy at http://www.worldpsyche.org

Jill Gordon
Jill Gordon
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Professor Jill Gordon

Jill Gordon is a Sydney-based general practitioner specializing in psychotherapy. She is President of the Australian College of Psychological Medicine, an organisation for general practitioners who practice in psychological medicine. She is an honorary Associate Professor in the Sydney Medical School where she established a Master of Medical Humanities program. She has contributed to an edited book series A Medical Humanities Companion published by Radcliffe Press.

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