Philosophy and objectives

We aim to enable trainees to become competent and responsible psychoanalytic psychotherapists, through acquiring thorough theoretical knowledge, sound clinical skills, and an ethical and professional approach to practice.

The course reflects the pluralist psychoanalytic base of the Severnside Institute for Psychotherapy. Accordingly, the course covers the theories, clinical concepts, and techniques of Freud, Jung, Klein, the Independent / Relational traditions in their classical and contemporary forms.

The Severnside Institute for Psychotherapy aims to have an up to date approach to training. We aim for flexible, broad access for applicants, and rigour in assessing readiness to work with patients and to qualify as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist.

To download an Information Sheet follow the link here: PA Training Information flyer 2019

Fees and Applications

The closing date for applications is 31st March for courses starting the following September.

Information on our fees and application forms for all of our courses can be found here.

Approval body

SIP’s Psychoanalytic Clinical Training is approved by The British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC).

Structure of the training

Successful completion of the Psychoanalytic Clinical Training leads to membership of the SIP and inclusion on the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) register of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists.

The training is divided into a Pre-Clinical and a Psychoanalytic Clinical Training.

The pre-clinical courses

The Pre-Clinical phase comprises three courses:

  • Infant Observation (2 Years)
  • Work Discussion (1 Year)
  • Classical Freudian Theory (1 Year)

During 2018-2019, clinical seminars will be held on a Monday evening and theory seminars on a Thursday evening. From September 2019 onwards all seminars will be held on a Thursday evening.

These courses are also open to those who do not wish to apply to the Psychoanalytic Clinical Training. Further details can be found under Pre-Clinical Courses.

Please note that you must be in therapy for at least 18 months before starting the Psychoanalytic Clinical Training. Therefore, you are likely to want to start your therapy whilst undertaking the Pre-Clinical Courses. Therapy must be with an SIP Approved Training Therapist.

The psychoanalytic clinical training

In this phase of training:

  • You attend theory and clinical seminars over a period of three years. Seminars are held in central Bristol on Thursday evenings. Each year, there are three terms of 10 weeks.
  • You treat two patients.
  • You have three times a week personal therapy with an SIP Approved Training Therapist.

After the seminars are finished, you submit a theory paper.

Each training patient is to be in therapy at least three times a week, one for a minimum of two years, and one for a minimum of eighteen months. For each patient, you have weekly supervision with an approved Training Supervisor. You write reports on each patient every six months, and discuss your reports with your supervisors.

On completion of the required supervised work with patients, you apply to write and present a clinical paper concerning one of your training cases. Once you have permission to write your paper, all supervision and your own therapy continue until the paper is accepted. If the paper is acceptable, you graduate and can become a qualified member of SIP and BPC.

Entry requirements / moving from the pre-clinical courses to the psychoanalytic clinical training

When you have completed the Pre-Clinical Courses (or their equivalent), you can then apply to the Psychoanalytic Clinical Training, for which the minimal requirements are:

  • Successful completion of all three Pre-Clinical Courses, taken over a minimum of two years, and including written papers for the Infant Observation and Work Discussion courses.
    You can also apply to the Psychoanalytic Clinical Training if you have completed equivalent courses in another BPC organisation. Please contact the SIP administrator to enquire.
  • Three times a week personal psychotherapy with an SIP Approved Training Therapist for at least 18 months before starting the Clinical part of the training, with therapy continuing throughout that training.
  • Experience of working in a psychiatric setting. If you have not worked in a psychiatric setting, SIP will advise you on finding a suitable placement.
  • Relevant professional experience.
  • A professional or academic qualification, or equivalent.

Modified Entry for PA training for qualified Psychodynamic Psychotherapists

SIP offers a Modified Entry (ME) which aims to acknowledge the previous training and experience of qualified Psychodynamic Psychotherapists who wish to train as Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists.

Please note the minimum personal therapy requirement is normally thrice weekly for one year with a SIP approved Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist prior to joining the psychoanalytic training.

For more information about Modified Entry or to discuss the personal therapy requirements do contact the Training Co-ordinator.


The Training Committee has overall responsibility for the on-going assessment of all trainees until graduation. You are assessed on a continuous basis on both your clinical and written work. You will need to meet the specific requirements of the Pre-Clinical Courses and the Psychoanalytic Clinical Training, and show suitability to become a professional psychoanalytic psychotherapist.

Although the taught syllabus of the Psychoanalytic Clinical Training covers three years, training is only completed when you have achieved all the training requirements and are deemed by the Training Committee to be ready to practice as an independent, competent and ethical psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Most people take more than the three years to complete the clinical work, write their final clinical paper, and achieve the required theoretical and professional skills to qualify.

The Training Committee, in the light of reviews and assessments, may require a trainee to defer progress, repeat any component of the training, or leave the course.


You will be allocated a personal tutor to help with queries or difficulties regarding the training. The personal tutor will also liaise with seminar leaders, supervisors and the Training Committee to provide a co-ordinated assessment of your progress.

You meet your personal and year tutor each term.


Our clinical courses start in September.

Clinical seminars are held on a Monday evening for this year only. Theory seminars are held on a Thursday evening. From September 2019 all seminars will be held on a Thursday evening.

You will individually negotiate times to see your patients, attend supervision, and see your own therapist.


Seminars are run at 11 Orchard Street, Bristol.