Psychotherapy Written Case
This page is for candidates wanting to find out about and prepare to undertake the Psychotherapy Written Case.
The Psychotherapy Written Case is a summative assessment of the RANZCP Fellowship Program. It should be successfully completed by 60 months FTE training and it is assessed at the standard expected at the end of Stage 3.
The assessment involves providing psychotherapy under supervision, using therapy informed by psychodynamic principles, for at least 40 sessions. The psychotherapy should last for 6–12 months, with at least one session weekly.
Candidates must then submit an 8000–10,000-word case report detailing their assessment and subsequent psychological management of the person. The case report is the component that is assessed.
The Psychotherapy Written Case may be submitted on four occasions per year. Refer to the exam timetable for dates and details. The submission form is below.
Formative case discussions
During the therapy process, trainees must participate in three formative psychotherapy case discussions with their psychotherapy supervisor to encourage reflection on treatment progress and to provide opportunities to receive qualitative feedback.
Psychotherapy case discussions should occur during the early, middle and late phases of the psychotherapy and should focus on pivotal points or milestones in the therapy process or on treatment dilemmas and/or emerging issues.
Note: case discussions are in addition to the regular supervision sessions trainees should have with their psychotherapy supervisor.
For each case discussion, the psychotherapy supervisor will complete the Psychotherapy case discussion form with the trainee. Trainees must submit the three completed forms with their written case report.
The following resources may be helpful:
- Psychotherapy Written Case e-module, available on Learnit [member log-in required]
- Guide to Psychotherapy Training [PDF; 124 KB], prepared by Dr Paul Cammel, SATPsy Chair.
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy reading list [PDF; 140 KB], prepared by members of the American Psychoanalytic Association.
- Makers of Modern Psychotherapy book series, edited by Laurence Spurling [Routledge Publishing].
- The Psychotherapy Written Case in the 2012 Fellowship Program [video; 18.46 min]
Following discussions with the Faculty of Psychotherapy, Associate Professor Beth Kotze (Chair, Case History Subcommittee, Committee for Exams) has prepared a video for psychotherapy supervisors, to help them assist trainees in the preparation and submission of the Psychotherapy Written Case. The video will also be useful for trainees. Also available: Presentation slides [PDF; 240 KB]
- The case for case histories written by Dr Mary Frost, the then Chair of Case History subcommittee, Committee for Exams, appeared in Australasian Psychiatry in October 2009. The underlying principles of writing a good case history that Dr Frost refers to are as relevant today for trainees as they were in 2009. It will assist trainees in their preparation for the Psychotherapy Written Case.
Forms and documents
The process of supervision must begin before therapy actually starts. Psychotherapy supervisors must be involved in considering whether a patient is suitable for (at least) 40 sessions of psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy supervisors are accredited by the Branch Training Committee (BTC). Trainees should contact their BTC or Director of Training for assistance in locating a psychotherapy supervisor in their area.
Results are released on the dates specified in the exam timetable. When released, the results are available from the Results, timetables, fees page.
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