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 practice.

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 psychodynamic psychotherapist. Once qualified you will be eligible for membership of SIP and registration with the BPC.

Programme Outline

Personal training therapy

You should be in twice weekly psychotherapy with a SIP approved training therapist for at least one year prior to the start of your training and continuing until you qualify. 

Supervised clinical work

The minimum requirement for qualifying is 200 hours of supervised clinical work and a minimum of five training patients. Two of the five training patients will be once or twice weekly for a minimum of one year.

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 three essays, at least four clinical reports and, a final clinical paper.

Programme information


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.


The training is likely to last, on average, four years; two years as a curricular trainee (when you attend theoretical seminars) and at least two years as post-curricular. 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 – 2 (therapy) hours
  • Supervision – one hour for each year-long training patient
  • Clinical work – one or two hours for each training patient
  • Theory and clinical seminars – 3 – 4.5 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 and, at what frequency. Naturally you would also need to factor in time for reading, writing clinical notes and papers, and travel for example.


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 Work Discussion and Classical Freudian Theory either at SIP or another BPC training institute. Equivalent learning will be considered. You should have completed a written paper for Work Discussion.
  • Personal therapy – you should have been in a minimum of twice weekly therapy with a SIP approved training therapist for at least one year prior to the start of training.
  • Qualification and professional experience in psychotherapy, counselling, or the broader mental health field. However, suitable applications from candidates who do not meet this requirement will be considered.


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 psychodynamic 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 twice weekly psychodynamic psychotherapy either short or long term. As a member of SIP you can get involved by becoming a SIP committee member.