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 provide you with thorough theoretical knowledge, sound clinical skills as well as an ethical and professional approach to practice. It provides a solid foundation for a career working as a psychotherapist. We have an up to date approach to training, and rigour in assessing readiness to work with patients and to qualify as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Once qualified you will be eligible for membership of SIP and registration with the BPC.


Programme outline

Personal training therapy

You are required to be in thrice weekly psychotherapy with a SIP approved training therapist for at least 18 months prior to the start of your training and continuing until you qualify. 

Supervised clinical work

The minimum requirement for supervised clinical work is two training patients, thrice weekly for two years and 18 months respectively and, supervised clinical work with other patients once, twice or thrice weekly in a work setting.

Theoretical seminars

In the first two years psychoanalytic and psychodynamic trainees attend the same Common Theory seminars. The curriculum is currently under review but covers the theories, clinical concepts and techniques of Freud, Klein and the Independents in their classical and contemporary forms. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy trainees will attend an additional third year of theoretical seminars and, depending on the number of trainees in any given year, psychodynamic psychotherapy trainees may have the option of attending this third year (subject to an additional fee).

Clinical seminars

You are required to attend weekly clinical seminars, until qualification, where you get to present your work with training patients. There are separate clinical seminars for psychoanalytic and psychodynamic psychotherapy trainees.

Written work

Over the course of the training you will produce theory paper of 3-4,000 words; at least seven clinical reports of 2,000-2,500 words; and, a final clinical paper of 7,000-10,000 words.


Programme information

Assessment

The training committee monitors the progress of trainees through a process of regular reports and reviews in addition to the assessment of your written work.

Duration

The training lasts a minimum of four years; three years as a curricular trainee (when you attend theoretical seminars) and at least one year as post-curricular trainee. The number of years you will have as a post-curricular trainee will depend, in part, on how long it takes you to complete all elements of the training including accruing sufficient hours of supervised clinical work.

Time commitment

Training starts in September. Check here for term dates.

  • Personal therapy – 3 (therapy) hours
  • Supervision – 1 (therapy) hour for each training patient (and time for additional patients)  
  • Clinical work – 3 (therapy) hours for each training patient (and time for additional patients)
  • Theory and clinical seminars – 3 hours (term-time only) on a Thursday afternoon & evening

This weekly estimate is provided as a rough guide and depends in part on how many training patients you are seeing concurrently. Naturally you would also need to factor in time for reading, writing clinical notes papers, and travel for example.

Venue

Currently all our training is delivered in central Bristol. However, as a training institute for the South West our membership is drawn from across the region and both training therapy and supervision is available in Bristol and beyond.


Application information

Entry requirements

  • Pre-clinical training – you should have completed pre-clinical training in Classical Freudian Theory, Work Discussion and two years of Infant Observation either at SIP or another BPC training institute. Equivalent learning will be considered. You should have completed a written paper for both Work Discussion and Infant Observation.
  • Personal therapy – you should have been in thrice weekly psychoanalytic psychotherapy with a SIP approved training therapist for at least 18 months prior to the start of the training.
  • Experience of working in a psychiatric setting. If you have not worked in a psychiatric setting you will need to find a suitable placement ideally during the pre-clinical stage of your training. We have a Placement Co-ordinator for trainees currently enrolled with us.
  • Relevant professional experience and a professional or academic qualification, or equivalent.

Modified entry

Qualified Child Psychotherapists who wish to train to work with adults; experienced psychoanalysts who wish to register with the BPC; and BPC registered psychodynamic psychotherapists who wish to train as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist should contact the Training Co-ordinator. It is possible to join our clinical training at curricular or post-curricular stage depending on your prior learning and experience. You would need to meet the entry requirements above or evidence equivalence and have a minimum of 2 years clinical experience since qualification. Please contact us to discuss prior to application.

Fees

Application Fee: £165.00
Curricular: £3,570.00 per year
Post-Curricular: £410.00 per term

Please ensure you read through our payment terms.

In addition to training fees you should budget for such things as training therapy, supervision, books, stationery and travel.

How to apply

We encourage you to make contact prior to application by, for example, attending our Open Day normally in March each year.

Application closing date:

31st March to start the following September.

Please contact the office if you are considering applying after the closing date.


What next

Training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy enables you to become a member of SIP and registered with the BPC. You can work in private practice or in an agency setting offering up to thrice weekly psychoanalytic psychotherapy. As a member of SIP you can get involved by becoming a SIP committee member. Experienced BPC registered psychoanalytic psychotherapists can apply to become training therapists and supervisors as well as help train the next generation of psychotherapists.