Psychoanalytic psychotherapy training

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.

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. SIP approved training therapists are located throughout the south west but, their availability does vary and so, you should be prepared for the possible need to travel.

If you are already in therapy with a BPC registered psychotherapist they may be able to apply to become a SIP approved training therapist. However, you should be prepared for the possibility of needing to change therapist and should, therefore, allow sufficient time to end with your existing therapist and begin with a new one. A Training Therapist Adviser is available to help guide you through the process of finding a training therapist or seeking approval for an existing therapist.


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.

More information

DurationAssessmentTime commitmentWhat next?Venue

Duration of training

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.


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.

Time commitment

Training starts in September (Click 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 - 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. Naturally you would also need to factor in time for reading, writing clinical notes papers, and travel for example.

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, either short or long term. As a member of SIP you can get involved by becoming a SIP committee member and work towards becoming an approved training therapist.

Training Venue

All of our courses and trainings are 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 and fee information

Entry requirementsModified entry schemeTraining FeesHow to apply

Psychoanalytic 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.
  • Relevant professional experience and a professional or academic qualification, or equivalent.

Modified entry scheme

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.

Training fees

  • Training Application Fee: 2020-21: £165; 2021-22: £170
  • Curricular: 2020-21: £3,570 per annum; 2021-22: £3,670 per annum
  • Post-Curricular: 2020-21: £410 per term; 2021-22: £422 per term

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

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

Please ensure you read over our payment terms here.

How to apply

Applications open from 1st January each year. 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 us if you are considering applying after the closing date.

Application forms and guidance:

Psychoanalytic Training Application Form
- (82KB DOCX)
Download >>
Psychoanalytic Training Notes for Part 3: The Clinical Portfolio
- (135KB PDF)
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Checklist for Clinical Portfolio Download>>
Psychoanalytic Training Application Guide
- (172KB PDF)
Download >>
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.