Psychodynamic psychotherapy training

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.

Please note:

Applications to join SIP’s clinical trainings for deferred entry in September 2024 are possible and interested applicants should contact [email protected] to discuss further ahead of an application closing date of 31st March 2023.  

There is no clinical training intake in September 2023 to accommodate delivery of the curriculum to existing trainees.  

Assuming places are still available, applications for 2024 entry will re-open between January and March 2024.

Applications for pre-clinical courses in Classical Freudian Theory, Work Discussion and Infant Observation will close on May 31st 2023, for a September 2023 start.  All three pre-clinical courses (or their equivalent) are pre-requisites for applying for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy clinical training.  Classical Freudian Theory and Work Discussion (or their equivalent) are pre-requisites for applying for Psychodynamic Psychotherapy clinical training.

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. 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 possible 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 SIP’s pre-clinical courses, you can ask your tutor for advice.  Alternatively, you can speak to SIP’s Admissions Adviser. Please contact the Training Administrator ([email protected]) for further information.

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

There are three curricular years of theoretical and clinical concept seminars, covering the theories of Freud, Jung, Klein and the Independents in their classical and contemporary forms, and modules such as ‘Assessment‘, ‘Transference and Countertransference‘, ‘Ethics, Diversity and Critical Thinking’, ‘Understanding Trauma, Depression and Anxiety’. The third year curriculum for psychodynamic trainees is currently under review but is intended to include seminars specific to ‘non-intensive, short-term and time-limited working‘.

Clinical seminars

You are required to attend weekly clinical seminars throughout the training, alongside the three curricular years, and then subsequently until qualification.

Written work

Over the course of the training you will produce three essays, at least four clinical reports and, a final clinical paper.

More information

DurationAssessmentTime commitmentWhat next?Venue


The clinical training is likely to last for four, or more, years: three curricular years (when you attend theoretical seminars) and generally at least one post-curricular year (when you attend clinical seminars and continue with your clinical work under supervision). 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: 2 (therapy) hours
  • Supervision: 1 (therapy) hour for each training patient (and time for additional patients)  
  • Clinical work: 1 – 2 (therapy) hours for each training patient
  • 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 and, at what frequency. Naturally you would also need to factor in time for reading, writing clinical notes and papers, 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 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.


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 requirementsTraining FeesHow to apply

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.
  • Experience of working in a psychiatric setting: If you have not worked in a psychiatric setting you will need to find a suitable placement either during the pre-clinical stage of your training or before the end of the first year of your clinical training.

Training fees

2022-23 Training Application Fee£179
2022-23 Curricular£3,854 per annum
2022-23 Post-Curricular£443 per term

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.

How to apply

Please note: There is no intake to SIP’s clinical trainings in September 2023, in order to accommodate the delivery of the curriculum; the next clinical intake will be September 2024.

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:

Psychodynamic 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.