Though a lot has been published on the prevalence of psychosocial disorders in primary care, less is known about the actual treatment, given by primary care providers. This article describes treatment given to complaints which are considered by the physician as being psychosocial by nature. Treatment has been assessed by means of observation. A database of approximately 1500 videotaped consultations, sampled from thirty general practitioners has been used for this purpose. The possibilities and limitations of (generalist) psychosocial treatment in primary care are discussed.