International Society for Sports Psychiatry

ISSP Curriculum

Sports psychiatry is the sub-specialty within psychiatry largely focusing on diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric illness in athletes.  While utilization of psychological approaches to enhance performance may also be part of the work of the sports psychiatrist, it tends to be less so as compared to addressing actual mental illness in this population.  The work of sports psychiatry may also involve the use of exercise as a therapeutic or preventative intervention for mental illness. The field is relatively new, such that most medical schools and residency/fellowship programs do not have curricular offerings dedicated to the topic.  Moreover, with the population of sports psychiatrists relatively small, and with a relatively small research base, when health care providers do deliver psychiatric care to athletes, they may do so without a full understanding of the diagnostic and therapeutic issues unique to this population. Thus, this curriculum aims to enhance the knowledge base of physicians and physicians-to-be in the science of sports psychiatry, and to increase the skill with which these clinicians provide psychiatric health care to athlete populations.  The curriculum is didactic/reading/reflection only (i.e., there is no requirement for a clinic population of athlete-patients, nor any requirement for an experienced on-site sports psychiatry expert, though that is an option for you if you have those resources available at your site), with the hope that it will be useable by as many interested learners as possible regardless of resources available at a given institution.

Please feel free to use this curriculum at free will, and disseminate/forward to any relevant groups as you see fit.

ISSP portable didactic sports psychiatry curriculum available here.


     International Society for Sports Psychiatry is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.

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