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Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner as Psychotherapist
St. Thomas University
NUR-640-AP1: Psychiatric Management III
August 24th, 2023
Psychotherapy refers to strategies that assist individuals with changing problematic behaviors, beliefs, and emotions. Psychotherapy can help individuals overcome challenges and treat conditions such as depression, anxiety, substance use disorder, eating disorders, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Numerous studies have shown that psychotherapy can improve patients’ well-being. Some of the professionals who perform therapy are psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, mental health counselors, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (Cherry, 2020).
The responsibilities of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner include diagnosing, educating, prescribing, and managing medications, as well as psychotherapy. Due to the rising number of mental disorders, the role of psychotherapist is becoming more relevant for the PMHNP (Kumar et al., 2020). Their role as psychotherapy can be performed with individuals, groups, or families (Wheeler, 2020). Some of the different types of psychotherapy include hypnosis, psychoanalytic, cognitive behavioral (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, and family. The PMHNP who desires to be proficient in a particular psychotherapy style must obtain additional training beyond the basic requirement for their degree (Wheeler, 2020).
The Nurse practitioner is in a unique position to provide psychotherapy for patients, especially the patients that he or she is already treating with medications. There is already a patient-provider relationship established, which can enhance the patient’s treatment plan. Building a trusting relationship with patients can take time which can affect the type of psychotherapy that can be done during a visit. The PMHNP needs to be skilled at the particular type of psychotherapy he or she uses with patients and be aware of his or her limitations.
The PMHNP, trained in multiple psychotherapy techniques, will be better able to treat patients with different disorders (Wheeler, 2020).
Feasible to provide psychotherapy at each patient encounter
Psychotherapy can take time to get to know the client, establish the patient-therapist relationship, and formulate a treatment plan. This can be time-consuming for a PMHNP working in a busy office. Depending on the patient’s needs, the type of practice, and the provider’s skill, providing some form of therapy at each visit can be possible. I think this would be individualized based on multiple variables. Overall, I think the two main barriers to therapy at every visit are provider skill and time.
Cherry, K. (2021, October 17).
What to Know About Psychotherapy. Verywell Mind.
Links to an external site.
Kumar, A., Kearney, A., Hoskins, K., & Iyengar, A. (2020). The role of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners in improving mental and behavioral health care delivery for children and adolescents in multiple settings.
Archives of psychiatric nursing,
Links to an external site.
Wheeler, K. (2020). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse (3rd ed.). Springer Publishing Company, New York, NY. ISBN: 978082619379