Motivating anyone—even physicians—to sustain behavioral change is difficult, Dr. Schouten said. The process of seeing a psychiatrist causes a short-term change in behavior, but over time, people tend to revert to their baseline habits. Many physicians who are referred for a psychiatric consultation resent any suggestion that they be held accountable for their actions. But the term “anger management” meets with less resistance than does “psychotherapy” because it lacks the stigma associated with a mental health problem, he noted.
“Physicians are amazingly lacking in insight into their own behavior,” Dr. Schouten said. “One of the things treatment programs struggle with is how to teach insight to these very bright, well-trained people.”