goals training




Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Interpersonal and communication skills are defined as the specific techniques and methods that facilitate effective and empathic communication between the psychiatrist, patients, colleagues, staff and system. In addition to specific skill acquisition, interpersonal skills require an underlying set of attitudes involving the resident’s personal beliefs and values, self-understanding, opinions about other people and understanding of the child and adolescent psychiatrist’s role as a consultant to patients and their contextual system. Development of interpersonal skills is enhanced by the acquisition of basic information about interpersonal communication.

At regular intervals during subspecialty training, the child and adolescent psychiatry resident will demonstrate progressive attainment of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to develop and maintain appropriate interpersonal therapeutic relationships and communicate effectively with patients, patients’ families, professional associates and the public.

Residents are expected to develop a knowledge base relating to interpersonal skills appropriate to their level of training. Specifically, child and adolescent psychiatry residents must demonstrate knowledge of:

-- A variety of interview techniques that facilitate:
-- Effective understanding of the concerns of children, adolescents and families
-- Effective communication, including education about psychiatric disorders and their treatments
-- Establishment and maintenance of a therapeutic contract and therapeutic alliance
-- Delivery and reception of difficult information in an empathic manner

-- The impact of the patient’s emotional reactions and associations to the therapist (and vice versa) on psychiatric evaluation and treatment

-- Techniques for communicating effectively with allied professionals

-- The structure and function of multidisciplinary teams in various settings

-- Cultural differences and their impact on communication

The resident must be able to demonstrate the following interpersonal skills with reliability and efficiency in a wide range of settings appropriate to his or her level of training. Specifically, child and adolescent residents must demonstrate the ability to:

-- Listen to, understand and communicate effectively with children, adolescents, adults and families

-- Elicit and provide information using effective verbal, nonverbal, explanatory, questioning,

-- interpretive and writing skills as appropriate to the developmental level of the patient and caregiver. This must involve patients and caregivers encompassing the full spectrum of cultural, ethnic, gender and educational backgrounds. Such communication should include:
-- the results of an assessment
-- explanations about psychiatric disorders and treatment that are jargon-free
-- alternatives (if any) to the proposed treatment plan
-- education concerning prognosis and prevention strategies

-- Create, foster and sustain a therapeutic alliance and ethically sound relationship with patients and caregivers, as indicated by instilling feelings of trust, openness, rapport and comfort in the relationship with the physician

-- Use negotiation to develop an agreed-upon health care management plan with patients and caregivers

-- Transmit information to patients and caregivers in a clear, meaningful fashion

-- Understand and manage the impact of the physician ’s feelings and behavior on psychiatric treatment


-- Communicate effectively with allied health care professionals and other professionals involved in the lives of patients

-- Educate patients and professionals about medical, psychological and behavioral issues

-- Work effectively within multidisciplinary team structures as member, consultant or leader

-- Form relationships with patients and professionals in a culturally sensitive fashion

-- Exhibit professional, ethically sound behavior and attitudes in all patient and professional interactions

-- Tolerate and manage high levels of affect from patients and caregivers

-- Obtain, interpret and evaluate consultations from other medical specialists and professionals involved in the life of children and adolescents. This shall include:
-- formulating and clearly communicating the consultation question
-- discussing the consultation findings with the consultation
-- evaluating the consultation findings

-- Serve as an effective consultant to other medical specialists, mental health professionals and allied professionals in the lives of children and adolescents and community agencies.

The resident should demonstrate the ability to:

-- communicate effectively with the requesting party to refine the consultation question

-- maintain the role as consultant

-- communicate clear and specific recommendations

-- respect the knowledge and expertise of the requesting party

-- Maintain psychiatric medical records that are:
-- legible
-- timely
-- inclusive of essential information, while simultaneously respectful of patient privacy
-- useful to non-psychiatric health professionals

Residents are expected to identify and develop attitudes enhancing interpersonal skills, as well as minimize those attitudes potentially detracting from interpersonal skills. Specifically, the child and adolescent resident must demonstrate:

-- An underlying attitude of respect for others, even those with differing points of view or from different backgrounds

-- The desire to gain understanding of another’s position and reasoning

-- A belief in the intrinsic worth of other human beings

-- The wish to build collaboration and achieve mutual understanding

-- The desire to share information in an open rather than a dogmatic fashion

-- The willingness to self-observe and confront one ’s own biases and emotional reactions continuously

-- A willingness to act as the patient ’s advocate, as indicated


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