Parity of esteem for the psychological within a bio-psycho-social model of psychiatry; identifying a problem and addressing the need to rebuild psychological understanding at the heart of psychiatric practice

Dr Jessica Yakeley, Dr Simon Heyland, Dr Jo O'Reilly, Dr Rachel Gibbons

75 minutes


June 2022

Congress webinar


We will present three interlinked talks addressing the need to re-engage with psychological factors n psychiatry. Simon Heyland will underline the importance of psychiatry as a biopsychosocial discipline and present evidence that we have drifted towards an overly biological approach to psychiatric practice and mental disorder. The costs of this drift to the practice of psychiatry, to our identity as psychiatrists and to job satisfaction will be highlighted. The work of the Medical Psychotherapy Faculty to restore parity of esteem for the psychological (alongside the biological and social) will be described. Using case examples, Jo O'Reilly will then illustrate how psychoanalytic ideas can shed light on issues fundamental to psychiatric practice. Questions explored include; Why do we take a developmental history? Do symptoms have a meaning? If most mental activity is unconscious how can I understand my patient better? And what differences does this make to clinical care?

Chair: Dr Jessica Yakeley, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

Is psychiatry still a psychological profession? Have we drifted away from the psychological and what does this mean for patient care and our professional identity - Dr Simon Heyland, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust

Meaning, madness and unconscious process: 3 case examples to illustrate why the psychological matters - Dr Jo O'Reilly, Medical Psychotherapy Faculty Executive Committee, Royal College of Psychiatrists

The dangers of working with psychosis - if psychological factors are neglected - Dr Rachel Gibbons, Chair of the Patient Safety Group and Working Group on the Effect of Suicide and Homicide on Clinicians


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