Introductory Course

Introduction to psychoanalytic theories and concepts

Our longstanding foundational course, in central Bristol, for anyone interested in psychoanalytic theory.

Who's it for?Course contentCourse structureCourse FeesHow to applyWhat next

Who’s it for?

This course is ideal for:

  • anyone with a personal or professional interest in psychoanalytic ideas
  • applicants to our psychotherapy training needing a foundational course in psychoanalytic theory
  • counsellors and psychotherapists, qualified or in training, from other modalities

Course content

On this course you will explore psychoanalysis as an approach to the unconscious and its expression in human development and relationships. The first term focuses on theories of the mind and the second will explore clinical phenomena and concepts which both inform, and have arisen from, these theories.

Indicative content includes the theories of Freud, Jung, Klein, Bion, Winnicott, the British Independent School. Clinical phenomena and concepts such as the Oedipus Complex, narcissism, projective identification and, transference and countertransference. Clinical contexts such as groups and organisations; couples; children and young people; and bereavement.

Course structure

  • 20 weekly seminars and discussion group in central Bristol*
  • Wednesdays 6.30-9.00pm in the autumn and winter terms. (Click here for term dates)
  • Reading might sometimes be recommended prior to a seminar but there are no assignments to complete.

Course fees

Cost: £900 (includes £100 deposit). The £100 deposit should be paid with your application.

Please note, we set fees each year and a slight annual increase should be expected.

Please ensure you read over our payment terms here.

The Iris Tute Bursaries

This is a small fund open to anyone who would otherwise be prevented from pursuing their interest in psychotherapy. Subject to funds in any given year we aim to offer a limited number of bursaries of up to £200 for help with course fees on the introductory and pre-clinical courses. See the bursary application form here.

The fund is named The Iris Tute Bursaries in remembrance of the work and generosity of Iris Tute, a former member of SIP who wanted psychotherapy and, training in psychotherapy to be as accessible as possible. It is thanks to Iris Tute that we have our premises at Orchard Street.

How to apply

Applications open from 1st April each year.

Application closing date: 31st August each year

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


Application forms:

Introduction to Psychoanalytic Theories and Concepts Application Form
– (77KB DOCX)
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Equality Monitoring FormComplete >>

Please note:

  • If you have particular access needs please let us know as soon as possible so that we can discuss how best to meet these.
  • Courses will only run in any academic year subject to sufficient applications.
  • We follow an equal opportunities policy in our selection procedure.
  • We reserve the right to alter our existing constitution, criteria for membership, training procedures, timetables and assessments.

What next

On completion of this course you could apply to one of our pre-clinical courses as either a stand-alone course or as part of ongoing training to become a psychotherapist.