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 and 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, with the therapy continuing until you qualify. SIP approved training therapists are senior psychoanalytic psychotherapists located throughout the South West but their availability does vary so you should be prepared for the possibility of the need to travel.

If you are already in therapy with a BPC registered psychoanalytic psychotherapist, they may be able and willing 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.

If you are already enrolled in SIPs pre-clinical courses, you can ask your tutor for advice.  Alternatively, you can speak to SIP’s Admissions Adviser. Please contact the Training Administrator ( ) for further information.


Supervised clinical work

The minimum requirement for supervised clinical work is:

  • One training patient seen thrice weekly for 2 years
  • One training patient seen thrice weekly for 18 months
  • 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 reviews the theories, clinical concepts, and techniques of Freud, Klein and the Independents in both their classical and contemporary forms.

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy trainees will attend a 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 the third year seminars (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:

  • A theory paper of 3,000 – 4,000 words
  • At least seven clinical reports of 2,000 – 2,500 words
  • 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 spend 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 and/or 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, and travel, for example.

*Please note: there is no intake to SIP’s clinical trainings in September 2023; the next clinical intake will be September 2024.

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

It is possible to join our clinical training at either the 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.

Those eligible may include qualified Child Psychotherapists who wish to train to work with adults, experienced psychoanalysts who wish to register with the BPC, or BPC registered psychodynamic psychotherapists who wish to train as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist

To find out more about applying to join SIPs Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy training under the Modified entry scheme, please contact our office.

Training fees

2023-24 Training Application Fee£179, payable upon submission of application (non-refundable)
2023-24 Curricular£3,931 per annum
2023-24 Post-Curricular£550 per term

In In addition to training fees you should budget for such things as training therapy, supervision, books, stationery and travel. Please also note that we review fees each year and a slight annual increase should be expected.

>> Please ensure you read over our payment terms here.

SIP's Welsh Bursary Fund

The Severnside Institute for Psychotherapy (SIP) has received a generous donation aimed at supporting the promotion of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic thinking and practice in Wales.

The objective of The Welsh Bursary initiative is to promote the application of psychoanalytic ideas and techniques for a range of educational, health and welfare services in Wales. It also offers financial support to students and trainees who would otherwise be unable to pursue their interest, study, and training in psychotherapy with SIP.

The Welsh Bursary Fund may assist with, for example, running or attending a workshop, or subsidising travel costs, supervision or academic resources for SIP students or trainees, up to a maximum sum of £3,000.

The deadline for applications for Welsh Bursary Bursary Fund support for the 2024-25 academic year (1st September 2024 – 31st August 2025) is 31st August 2024.

>> SIP's Welsh Bursary Fund application form can be completed online here.

How to apply

For those interested in joining our clinical training intake for September 2024, we strongly encourage you to make contact via email to, as far in advance as possible, to arrange an initial discussion about your readiness to submit an application – this is to help us guide you in gaining the necessary personal therapy clinical experience.

Application dates: Applications open 15th January and close 5th April, to start the following September

Application forms and guidance:

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

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.