Train with SIP

Our training is well respected, accredited by the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and is delivered by experienced psychotherapists, many of whom trained with us.


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 psychotherapy services and training below.

We are engaged in a major capital fundraising project to raise funds which will allow us to purchase, and adapt to make more accessible, our own premises. Purchase of our own premises will also significantly increase the amount of subsidised treatment and training we can offer, and support our outreach and clinic services. We have secured an interest free loan and are now raising the funds for a deposit.

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:

How will my donation help?

Purchase will significantly increase accessibility of psychotherapy services and training to those who need it, and secure this provision for future generations.

SIP manages its premises to generate an income stream. Purchase of a building will release between £12,500 and £15,500 p.a. which will enable SIP to double the number of subsidised sessions provided for those in financial need and provide two training bursaries of £1,500 each p.a. for clinical trainees who wouldn’t otherwise access the training and develop our Consultation and Referral Service, better to meet the need of those seeking psychotherapy. Purchase will also help keep training costs as affordable as possible for all trainees.

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

Purchase of a building will allow SIP, as freeholder, to make adaptations to the premises (which it cannot do as leaseholder) 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).

Outreach and diversity: psychotherapy services and training are generally acknowledged to be accessed less by members of the BAME community and those in disadvantaged areas; SIP’s monitoring supports this conclusion. Through its Equal Opportunities Policy, CPD opportunities and curriculum, SIP endeavours to promote inclusive practice, and through Public Lectures, Connecting Conversations and short courses aims to raise awareness of psychotherapy services amongst the general public. SIP is building better Equal Opportunity Monitoring systems a) to be sure that low cost sessions are reaching those most in need and most underrepresented and b) better 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 South West.

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.  If you would like to donate directly to the subsidised treatment and training fund, please contact our office.

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.

About SIP

The Severnside Institute for Psychotherapy (SIP) was founded in May 1985 by a group of psychoanalytic psychotherapists with the intention of promoting and developing psychoanalytic and psychodynamic psychotherapy in the South West of England.

With an active member base located throughout Bristol, Bath, and Cheltenham, and in the counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Oxfordshire, Devon, and Dorset, SIP is one of the most prominent psychotherapy organisations in the South West and beyond.

Initially registered as a limited company (Registered company number 03799698), SIP was also granted a charity status in 1999 (Registered charity number 1079390), with the aim of providing, and assisting in the provision of, psychotherapeutic and related support services to members of the public in need thereof. Whilst SIP is largely financed through membership and training fees, SIP also relies on donations from individuals to help subsidise treatment for those unable to afford it and alleviate the costs of running our Consultation and Referral services.

SIP is a member institute of the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC), a professional association which represents the profession of psychoanalytic psychotherapy and accredits SIP’s training programs, ensuring admission processes and training adheres to the most rigorous of standards in the UK.

Memorandum and Articles of Association
– (152KB PDF)
Revised March 2020
>> Download