Join our Fundamentals Courses 2024 -25

Join our Fundamentals Courses 2024 -25

Applications now open

Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Thought & Practice programme, comprising our Classical Freudian Theory, Infant Observation and Work Discussion courses

Next online session via zoom - 17th July (eve). Register your interest to apply, attend an information session and for more information in general

Train with SIP

Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Thought & Practice Courses | Psychodynamic psychotherapy training | Psychoanalytic psychotherapy training |

Since 1986, Severnside Institute for Psychotherapy (SIP) has been training the next generation of psychotherapists, and offers many opportunities for training and education in psychoanalytic work.

Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Thought & Practice Courses

SIP’s Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Thought & Practice programme, comprising our Introduction to Psychoanalytic Theory & Concepts, Classical Freudian Theory, Infant Observation and Work Discussion courses, are aimed at furthering your understanding of psychoanalytic thinking and...
Find out more >> "Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Thought & Practice Courses"

Psychodynamic psychotherapy training

Our training in psychodynamic psychotherapy is accredited by the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and qualifies candidates to work with patients once or twice a week, in time-limited or longer-term psychotherapy, in both agencies and private...
Find out more >> "Psychodynamic psychotherapy training"

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy training

Our training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy is accredited by the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and qualifies candidates to work with adult patients up to three times a week. The aim of our clinical training is to...
Find out more >> "Psychoanalytic psychotherapy training"

Help accessing therapy through SIP’s Consultation & Referral Service

Please note:
We do not offer an emergency service, if matters are urgent you should contact your local NHS Emergency Mental Health helpline | We cannot accept referral requests submitted by those under the age of 18 |We cannot accept referral requests submitted on behalf of someone else


With so many different kinds of therapy and counselling available in the UK, our Consultation & Referral Service (CRS) serves as a way of helping members of the community find out more about whether psychodynamic or psychoanalytic psychotherapy, in particular, is right for them.

SIP has fully qualified, rigorously trained, and professionally registered member therapists across much of the South West. Many members are based in Bristol and Bath but we also have members based in Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Wiltshire, and Wales. Our member therapists and trainees are sometimes able to offer reduced fee sessions – this is usually with with a trainee on one of SIP’s clinical trainings in psychoanalytic psychotherapy or psychodynamic psychotherapy. All psychotherapists in training are mature individuals often with several years of prior training and experience. They are rigorously selected, continuously assessed, and regularly supervised by approved training supervisors to ensure the highest standards. Those interested in working with a trainee at a reduced fee should visit the Training Patient Scheme page for more information.

If you would like to enquire about accessing therapy through SIP’s Consultation and Referral Service, please see How does the referral process work? below.

If you’d prefer to contact a therapist directly, you may prefer to use the ‘Find a therapist’ pages of the British Psychoanalytic Council ( or the United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapists (, both of which list suitably trained and registered therapists.


What kind of therapy do SIP members offer?

SIP is a professional membership organisation for psychodynamic and psychoanalytic psychotherapists.

Psychoanalytic or psychodynamic therapies offer an intensely personal and emotional experience which can change lives, often in a profound way. We can help you find out what therapy is like, who it can help, and guide you through the process. For a more comprehensive explanation we recommend visitying the BPC’s ‘What is Psychotherapy?’ page here.

Does it work?

The BPC keeps regular summaries of research evidence of effectiveness for both the general and professional reader, please visit the BPC’s Evidence base page here for more information.

Do I need to have an initial consultation?

If you’re unsure about what psychotherapy is or whether it’s what you’re looking for, we do recommend an initial consultation. Alternatively, you can use the British Psychoanalytic Councils’ (BPC) accredited register (which includes SIP member therapists) to enquire directly with a registered therapist about their availability.

Is there a waiting list?

As we’re a small team, and due to the logistical challenges of maintaining a waiting list for open-ended therapy (where we’re not able to accurately predict when our members and associates might availability open up), SIP’s Consultation & Referral Service doesn’t maintain a waiting list.

We will usually be able to arrange the initial consultation within 2 – 3 weeks of the referral request being submitted. The time frame for a referral for ongoing sessions is harder to estimate as this will depend on factors such as how when you’re available for sessions, and whether you you have any other special requirements.

How does the referral process work?

The first step is to submit an online referral request, available here.

These details will then be passed on to a fully qualified therapist, located as local as possible to you, (also known as an Area Representative) who will contact you to  schedule an initial consultation at a mutually convenient time. This consultation serves as a way of learning more about your enquiry and establishing whether psychotherapy is the best way forward at this point in time.

The initial consultation will cost £65 (or £40 if you are unwaged or in receipt of benefits), and will be payable direct to the therapist.

If psychotherapy is deemed the best way forward, the therapist with whom you have met for the initial consultation will refer you onwards to a psychotherapist who has the appropriate availability and experience.

How much will therapy cost?

As all of our members are self-employed, the practical and payment arrangements are organised directly between yourself and the therapist you are referred to. Typically the therapist you’re referred to will wish to meet with you at least once a week, at a cost of approximately £45 – £75 per session with a fully qualified therapist.

The decision to refer to a therapist in training, if requested, is considered during the initial consultation. If working with a therapist in training is deemed appropriate, you can expect to pay approximately £25 per session.

Can you help with referrals for couples therapy?

SIP can’t help with referrals for couples therapy through our Consultation & Referral Service – we can however recommend you use the British Psychoanalytic Councils’ (BPC) accredited register which can be filtered to show a list of local, qualified couples therapists.

Can you help me find a training therapist or supervisor?

Unfortunately, there is limited availability of approved Training Therapists and Supervisors. If you are already enrolled in SIP’s pre-clinical courses, you can ask your personal tutor for advice. Alternatively, you can speak to SIP’s Admissions Advisor. Please contact the Training Administrator ( for further information.

What if I have feedback or wish to make a complaint?

SIP psychotherapists are bound by the Code of Ethics of the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC). If you believe that a SIP psychotherapist has broken this Code of Ethics, we encourage you to first reach out to our office using the feedback form below. Alternatively, you can make a complaint directly through BPC – please visit the ‘Complaints‘ page of the BPC website for further details.

Any and all feedback regarding your experience of SIP’s Consultation & Referral Service is welcomed and appreciated. If you would like to submit informal feedback on SIP’s Consultation & Referral Service and/or the SIP therapist/trainee therapist you have been referred to, you can do so by clicking here.

Supporting access to therapy through fundraising

As a Registered Charity (1079390), we are responsible for our own fundraising; our charitable activities are predominantly financed through our membership fees and donations from members.  You can read more about our charitable activities and our contribution to the provision of therapy services and training below.

In addition to our ongoing efforts to raise funds for our Subsidised Treatment & Training Fund (which helps people access psychotherapy at a reduced fee through subsidies and/or placements with therapists in training), we are engaged in a campaign to raise the funds necessary to adapt our building at 11 Orchard Street to make it more accessible.

Twenty-first century Britain needs psychotherapy more than ever before. Thanks to major public figures in politics, sport and the royal family opening up recently about emotional difficulties, there is far more willingness to recognise and to discuss the prevalence of mental distress. There is consensus that we need accessible, responsive and effective services for everyone in need. And there is consensus that our NHS does not have the resources to cope with every need: the services are highly variable, fragmented, often absent, often hard to access without a long wait.

Inevitably, it is those who are economically deprived who are hardest hit by the shortage of effective support: full fee private psychotherapy or counselling isn’t an option, while these are the people most likely to be exposed to adversity, stress, isolation, anxiety and depression.

Socio-economic deprivation reduces accessibility to therapeutic services outside the public sector, while socio-economic deprivation adversely affects mental health and vice versa. Further, ‘poor mental health experienced by individuals is a significant cause of wider social and health problems’ (Mental Health Foundation and Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2016) Poverty and Mental Health, p.15 ff).

Further information about how we support the provision of therapy in our local communities:

How will my donation help?

Owning our building will, in time, significantly increase accessibility of psychotherapy services and training to those who need it, and secure this provision for future generations.

Once our loan is repaid (in 2043), an additional £20,000 p.a. will be available for the charitable activities outlined below.

SIP, having recently purchased our building at 11 Orchard Street, is now able to make adaptations to the premises (which we could not previously do as leaseholders) to increase accessibility for disabled people, presently underrepresented in SIP’s training and less likely to access psychotherapy services. In particular SIP will install a fully accessible ground floor toilet for patients and therapists, and kitchenette facilities for therapists (as recommended by a Disability Audit).

Psychotherapy services and training are generally acknowledged to be accessed less by members of minority communities and those in disadvantaged areas; SIP’s equality and diversity monitoring supports this conclusion. Through its Equal Opportunities Policy, CPD opportunities, and curriculum, SIP endeavours to promote inclusive practice, and through it’s Annual Lectures, Connecting Conversations and short courses, aims to raise awareness of psychoanalytic thinking and psychotherapy services amongst the general public. SIP is building better equality and diversity monitoring systems a) to be sure that low cost sessions are reaching those most in need and most underrepresented and b) to target advertising of services and training, improve the relevance of outreach projects, and focus relationship building with referrers. Security of tenure, and thus of an income stream, will underpin faster development of this work.

Purchase by SIP will secure well managed consulting room space in Bristol for the community of therapists using the premises, and consistency for their patients.

Security of tenure will ensure continuing availability of SIP’s professional training, to the benefit of the people of Bristol and the Southwest.

What other kinds of charitable activities does SIP undertake?

We have a Subsidised Treatment and Training Fund to help people access psychotherapy at a reduced fee through subsidies and/or placements with therapists in training. You can find out more about our Training Patient Scheme on our website.  

SIP has played an important role in contributing to the provision of accessible and effective services across Bristol and the South West by providing psychotherapy services for the public and running non-profit making trainings, ensuring there are new generations of practitioners, for over 30 years.  NHS professionals often refer those whose needs cannot be met within NHS provision, to SIP.

To help make therapy accessible, Severnside provides a professional consultation and referral service, and psychotherapy with qualified therapists and trainees across the region, offering reduced fee consultations and low fee psychotherapy for those in financial hardship. Severnside therapists provide a facilitating environment where people may explore their thoughts, feelings and values, including the unconscious, the conflicting and the downright painful, and so become less dominated by distressing symptoms, more insightful, and more able to experience creative, fulfilling lives.

Severnside Institute for Psychotherapy is the only psychoanalytic membership and training organisation within a radius of 80 miles or more.  Successful completion of clinical training with SIP leads to registration with the British Psychoanalytic Council (accredited by the Health Professions Council and the Professional Standards Authority).  Ensuring people can continue to train is important as the average age of the profession, as well as the costs, continue to rise.  Graduates of SIP’s clinical trainings bring their expertise to many statutory and not-for-profit contexts, as well as often offering reduced fees in case of need, in their private work.