Psychotherapy Committee

Co- Chair                                       Co-Chair
               Margaret Tuttle, MD                Stephen McDermott, MD          

Committee Report: September 2021

by Stephen “Chip” McDermott, MD, Radu Iliescu, MD, Margo Goldman, MD, and Margaret Cheng Tuttle, MD

The MPS Psychotherapy Committee continues to be quite active.  We have pioneered the promotion of psychotherapy by psychiatrists at the District Branch level by members representing a breadth of theoretical frameworks and work settings.  In addition to sponsoring psychotherapy CME conferences, we maintain and update a comprehensive list of Psychotherapy Training resources, available on the MPS website.  We are also exploring options for psychotherapy mentorship, enhancing Committee meetings’ content to include clinical, practical and theoretical discussions, and collaborating with other MPS committees.

To add the resident perspective, Committee Co-Chairs Drs. Margaret Cheng Tuttle and Stephen “Chip” McDermott invited Radu Iliescu, MD, a fourth year Psychiatry Resident at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) to serve as Resident Co-Chair of the Psychotherapy Committee.  In addition to providing a trainee’s perspective to lead and guide the Committee, Dr. Iliescu helped us prepare for the November 14, 2020 virtual Psychotherapy CME Conference by sharing his experience of the multiple challenges and capacities of Zoom.  He used his experience of attending day-long virtual residency seminars at the BIDMC to predict how much Zoom our audience could tolerate and therefore determine each session’s duration.  Dr Iliescu’s experiences, together with Debbie Brennan’s expertise with Zoom and conference formats, resulted in a smooth experience for attendees of the MPS’s first full-length virtual CME conference.

The conference, Psychosocial Treatment of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, was a great success.  An important feature of the conference was our usual emphasis on similarities among our various psychotherapies, rather than highlighting differences.  The morning program included two talks devoted to psychodynamic and cognitive therapy assessment and treatment of children and adults with ADHD, followed by a joint panel discussion.  In the afternoon, three talks and a speakers’ question-and-answer panel were devoted to Autism Spectrum Disorders; this included the parents of a young man with ASD.  The audience was as large as at our previous CME conferences, and the attendees’ evaluations were extremely positive.  Presentations from the conference will become enduring materials for CME on the MPS website.

We also take pride in our Committee’s impact nationally on bolstering psychotherapy by psychiatrists.  Dr. Margaret Tuttle, committee co-chair, and Dr. Margo Goldman, committee member, both serve on the APA Psychotherapy Caucus Steering Committee.  With the Caucus’s support, and a third Steering Committee member (Seamus Bhatt-Mackin, MD from North Carolina), they have launched the “Local Big Tents” initiative to facilitate psychotherapy activities in as many local District Branches as possible.  (PsychNews August 2020

As you can see, the Psychotherapy Committee has tremendous potential to enrich members’ and prospective members’ professional lives by enabling psychiatrists to utilize skills for which we are uniquely trained and integrate psychotherapy with other treatment modalities.  If you are interested in participating in our Committee’s activities by joining the committee, giving an informal talk, attending informal small group discussions of psychotherapy topics, or using our list of training resources, please don’t hesitate to contact us via Debbie Brennan at [email protected].

Our next committee meeting will take place on September 23, 2021 at 7:00 pm via Zoom.  All interested MPS members are welcome to sign up by emailing Debbie Brennan at [email protected].

Committee Report: November 2020

The MPS Psychotherapy Committee continues to be quite active. On Saturday, Nov. 14, we will present our next Psychotherapy CME Conference (virtually, via Zoom): Psychosocial Treatment of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. The morning will be two talks and a joint case presentation devoted to the assessment and treatment of ADHD with psychodynamic and cognitive therapy. In the afternoon, three talks and a speakers’ question-and-answer panel are devoted to autism spectrum disorders. In addition to presenting multiple psychosocial treatment approaches, we will also feature the parents of a young man with a neurodevelopmental disorder.

Committee member Margo Goldman, MD, has been named to the 12-member Steering Committee of the APA Psychotherapy Caucus. She joins Margaret Tuttle, MD, who has been a Steering Committee member since 2015. Dr Goldman has spearheaded a national initiative, through the APA Psychotherapy Caucus, to promote the formation of Psychotherapy Committees at District Branches throughout the APA. See Psych News at: Massachusetts is one of only two District Branches nationally to have a Psychotherapy Committee, so the MPS is a national leader in its commitment to psychiatrists practicing psychotherapy. Sharing our experience can help encourage nascent psychotherapy committees to come to fruition.

We continue to maintain and update the list of Psychotherapy Training resources, available on the MPS website.

On June 4, there was a leadership change in our committee. Robert Goisman, MD, Founding Co-Chair of the committee, stepped down as co-chair since 2014. Succeeding him is Stephen "Chip" McDermott, MD, who has been an active member of our committee for a number of years and will be one of the speakers at our November conference. We thank Dr. Goisman for his service and look forward to Dr. McDermott's leadership alongside Dr. Tuttle, who has been a Co-Chair since 2016.


The MPS Psychotherapy Committee has been in existence since about 2012. Its first chairs were Cathy Schen, M.D. and Robert M. Goisman, M.D.  In 2016 Dr. Schen stepped down and Margaret C. Tuttle, M.D. joined Dr. Goisman as committee co-chairs.  Dr. Goisman will be stepping down as co-chair in June of 2020 and will be replaced by Dr. Stephen McDermott who will work with Dr. Tuttle to lead the committee forward.  Its purpose is to encourage psychiatrists to practice psychotherapy as well as pharmacotherapy, forensic psychiatry, and other forms of psychiatric practice. 

To this end we have been sponsoring Continuing Medical Education programs on various aspects of the practice of psychotherapy at a frequency of about every 12-18 months.  Our most recent conference was “Psychosocial Treatment of Anxiety Disorders” in April of 2019.  Our next conference, “Psychosocial Approaches to Persons with Neurodevelopmental Disorders,” will take place on November 14, 2020 at the Massachusetts Medical Society headquarters in Waltham, MA.

From time to time we also engage in other activities designed to facilitate the practice of psychotherapy by psychiatrists.  Dr. Tuttle serves as a liaison between our committee and the American Psychiatric Association Psychotherapy Caucus, which is chaired by MPS member Dr. David Mintz and which is a group with aims similar to our committee on the national level.   The MPS Psychotherapy Committee has compiled a directory of institutions sponsoring courses on various types of psychotherapy (psychodynamic, CBT, DBT, etc.) which can be found on the MPS website under the Resources tab. 

Our committee is diverse and eclectic, and we are proud to include members with varying theoretical orientations and types of practice.  We strongly believe that we have much to learn from each other, that we have more in common than we have differences, and that we can help each other and our profession much more by working together than we can by theoretical arguments and disagreements.  We are always open to including new members to the committee and hope that this is of interest to the Society as a whole. 

List of Psychotherapy Training Resources


Charge:  Educate MPS members on the provision of a variety of psychotherapy and psychosocial treatment modalities in the practice of general psychiatry.

Role(s):  Primary: Education (major CME); Secondary: Advocacy

Mission Statement:  The MPS Psychotherapy Committee is a group of MPS member psychiatrists with a special interest in psychotherapy and psychosocial treatment. Our mission is to support and promote the role of psychotherapy provision in psychiatric practice. We advocate that psychotherapy continue as a major treatment modality used by psychiatrists including all types of psychotherapy, especially dynamic and cognitive-behavioral modalities be practiced by psychiatrists in psychiatric practice.

Committee work that supports our mission includes:  
1. Holding an annual MPS Psychotherapy conference,
2. Collecting information from and communicating in- formation to MPS Membership and organizations committed to psychotherapy, such as the APA Psychotherapy Caucus,
3. Supporting and educating psychiatry residents interested in psychotherapy by increasing resident recruitment to the committee,
4. Functioning as a work/study group on psychotherapy related issues,
5. Exploring avenues for political action and advocacy, both within and outside of our profession.



Article XVI –Committees

There shall be the following standing Committees of the MPS: Executive, Nominating, Membership, Constitution and Bylaws, Fellowship, Ethics and Continuing Medical Education.

The President may establish or eliminate other committees or other organizational entities as may be necessary to implement the objectives of the MPS.

All Chairs of MPS committees or other entities are to be appointed yearly by the President [except where otherwise specified in the Constitution and Bylaws and shall be limited to three consecutive terms] unless this term limit is overridden by a two-thirds vote of the MPS Executive Committee.

No member of the MPS or organizational unit thereof shall speak in the name of, or encumber the funds of, the MPS unless such power is specifically granted by the MPS President or by a formal action of the Council of the MPS.

Article XVII –Attendance

Attendance at meetings of the Council, committees or other organizational entities: shall be open to all members of the MPS except for the meetings of the Ethics Committee. All organizational entities of the MPS may go into Executive Session.