Supportive Therapy in the Medically Ill: Using Psychiatric Skills to Enhance Primary Care


Supportive therapy is a practical, flexible, and patient-centered psychosocial intervention that can help improve outcomes for patients struggling with a wide variety of medical illnesses. Due to its highly adaptable nature, brief supportive therapy can be practiced in busy clinical settings by consultation and liaison psychiatrists and primary care providers. In supportive therapy, the patient and provider work collaboratively to reduce distress and enhance functioning. The available evidence supports the use of supportive therapy techniques in managing the mental health consequences of medical conditions. This narrative review helps primary care providers learn and implement the basic goals and interventions of supportive therapy.

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord 2021;23(1):20nr02758
To cite: Welton RS, Crocker EM. Supportive therapy in the medically ill: using psychiatric skills to enhance primary care. Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2021;23(1):20nr02758.
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© Copyright 2021 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

aDepartment of Psychiatry, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio
bUniversity of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa

*Corresponding author: Randon S. Welton, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Northeast Ohio Medical University, 4209 State Rte 44, PO Box 95, Rootstown, OH 44272 (

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord 2021;23(1):20nr02758

Volume: 23

Quick Links: End Of Life Palliative Care , Medical , Psychotherapy

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