Mental disorders affect a great number of people worldwide. Four out of the 10 leading causes of disability in the world are mental disorders. Because of the scarcity of specialists around the world and especially in developing countries, it is important for primary care physicians to provide services to patients with mental disorders. The most widely researched and used psychological approach in primary care is cognitive behavioral therapy. Due to its brief nature and the practical skills it teaches, it is convenient for use in primary care settings. The following paper reviews the literature on psychotherapy in primary care and provides some practical tips for primary care physicians to use when they are faced with patients having mental disorders.
Keywords: cognitive behavioral therapy; mental illness; primary care; psychological disorders; psychotherapy.