Elizabeth Corley, Psy.D., is a 2020 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Roger L. Peterson, PhD, ABPP, Committee Chair
  • F. Alexander Blount, EdD, Committee Member
  • Karen Meteyer, PhD, Committee Member


benzodiazepines, prescription, primary care, dilemmas, training, supervision

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Numerous concerns have emerged regarding the dangers of extended benzodiazepine use and abuse, as well as continued prescribing by medical professionals despite related contraindications. Primary care physicians (PCPs) may find decisions around benzodiazepine prescription and related patient encounters to be especially challenging. Little is known on the efficacy of routine medical training and supervision/consultation models in preparing emerging PCPs for managing the dilemmas that may ensue with regards to prescribing benzodiazepines. The present study sought to begin addressing this gap by conducting an initial qualitative inquiry into the training and supervision experiences and needs of a group of current family medicine residents. A 30-minute semi-structured focus group interview (consisting of four participants) was conducted via video. Two main themes, Variability in Resources and Supports and Patient–Provider Interactions, were identified through thematic analysis. Participants highlighted concerns that inconsistencies in resources and supervisory approaches to benzodiazepines might adversely impact their therapeutic relationship with patients, and an initial hypothesis regarding this possible association was presented for further research. Participants identified increased empathy from supervisors around this concern as a primary area of need for future support. Limitations of the study, implications for practice, and future directions for research were discussed. The present study found that a better understanding of the early training and supervision experiences of emerging primary care providers around benzodiazepines will be critical in supporting the next generation of providers, improving patient care, and shaping future prescribing practices related to this difficult class of medications.


Elizabeth Corley

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-7162-019X