Events and Courses
More Events...
London Training

Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Adults

Next training will begin January 2018

The training offered by the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association (PPA) of the bpf is strongly rooted in 60-year tradition of intensive psychotherapy trainings previously provided by the British Association of Psychotherapists, the Lincoln Clinic and Centre for Psychotherapy and the London Centre for Psychotherapy.

Our programme in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy trains therapists to work in depth to help patients reach beyond the initial symptoms that may have brought them to seek treatment.  The therapist is trained to enable the patient to understand the underlying causes of their present emotional and psychological difficulties with the aim of effecting lasting change.  In the safe and contained setting of the consulting room, and under regular supervision, the training involves seeing patients three times a week, a frequency that enables detailed exploration and understanding both of difficult life events and conflicts in the patient's internal world.  Working in this way facilitates a capacity for profound and lasting change for the patient, as well as being a deeply rewarding and creative experience for therapist.

The intensity and depth of the training also enables psychoanalytic psychotherapists to work with patients at lower frequencies or less intensively, as may be appropriate, in the NHS, in voluntary settings, in private practice and in other settings.  The broader application of psychoanalytic work in such areas is addressed in the training.

We also offer a modified training for child psychotherapists, couple therapists, and those already qualified in psychodynamic therapy.  This course enables clinicians to work intensively with adult patients, and it is tailored to meet individual requirements.  For further details about this training, please see the information sheet Modified Entry.

Our training leads to membership of the bpf and registration with The British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC).

Requirements for training

  • a degree, or evidence of equivalent academic ability
  • some familiarity with psychoanalytic thinking;
  • personal suitability for undertaking clinical work at an intensive level.

The bpf welcomes applications from all sections of society. It is opposed to all forms of discrimination and actively encourages diversity in terms of age, race, gender, disability, ethnic origin, religious belief and sexual orientation.  Selection of candidates for training is made solely on the basis of qualities directly concerned with the ability to learn and to function as a Psychotherapist.

Before starting the training

The trainee must be established in individual psychotherapy, minimum three times a week, with an approved PPA training therapist.

Either before or during the training those without psychiatric experience will need to do a psychiatric placement.  Those with little clinical experience may be required to undertake a clinical placement.

There are various routes in to the training, and these are considered on an individual basis.  For example, it is possible to undertake the Infant Observation module prior to the start of the first year, the PPA Reading Group and there may be the opportunity of a pre-training group.

Early applications are encouraged, and considered on a rolling basis throughout the year.  Courses start in January and the closing date is 15 June before.

If you would like help in preparing to apply, including information about introductory courses, finding clinical placements and a training therapist, please contact the PPA Training Manager. Sophina Khan, by telephone on +44(0)20 8438 2419 or by email at sophinak@bpf-psychotherapy.org.uk and she will put you in contact with an experienced advisor.

For enquiries about our Modified Entry Scheme please also contact Sophina Khan as above.

Outline of the training

1. Personal therapy

The trainee’s personal psychotherapy is central to development as a psychotherapist and must be continued at least three times a week until qualification.

2. Theoretical and clinical seminars

Seminars are held on a weekday evening 6.30 – 10.00pm and on two Saturdays per term. The theory curriculum lasts four years and clinical seminars are continued until qualification.  Together these provide a thorough grounding in classical and contemporary psychoanalytical theory and in clinical practice.

3. Infant observation

This course allows the trainee to gain first-hand experience of the development of an infant and his/her attachments. Trainees are required to observe a mother and baby in the family setting once a week for an hour. Detailed reports are written, which are then discussed at a weekly seminar led by an experienced psychotherapist. The observations begin at birth and continue for a minimum of one year, with an option to continue for a second year. The seminars will be arranged at times and venues to suit the individual group.

4. Training patients

The trainee will treat two training patients, one of each sex, for a minimum of three times per week, usually beginning in the second year of the course. Before qualification one patient must be seen for at least two years, the other for at least eighteen months.

Every six months the trainee submits a report on each patient that describes the process of treatment, and attends a seminar once a term to discuss these reports.

There will also be opportunities to work with other patients on a once a week basis, in order to develop the capacity to work psychoanalytically at a lesser frequency.

5. Supervision

The work with each training patient is discussed in one-to-one weekly supervision with a PPA approved supervisor. The trainee usually works with a patient and a supervisor of each sex. Supervision continues until qualification.

6. Tutors

Each trainee is assigned a tutor for the duration of the training. The tutor provides a link with the Training Committee and will give continuing support, advice and appraisal.

7. Group relations conference

During the training the trainee will attend one three-day Group Relations Conference.  This enables participants to learn in the here-and-now about unconscious processes in themselves and in the group, how unconscious projections affect behaviour, and how this can impede or assist in taking up roles and exercising leadership.  Participants find a wide range of applications for their conference experience including an awareness of group phenomena in the context of work with individual patients.

8. Fees

Currently the annual fee for the training is £2,950.   The fee for the Infant Observation component (when undertaken as part of the training) is £325 per term. 

Trainee membership of the bpf is currently £141 per annum.  This includes a subscription to Pepweb and eligibility to attend all bpf scientific events.

Payment for the trainee's personal therapy and individual supervision is negotiated individually with the therapist and supervisors. 


When the trainee has completed the theory seminar program and the required work with training patients, they write a clinical paper based on the treatment of one of their training cases. The paper will reflect the integration of theory with clinical work. If the paper is assessed as satisfactory, the Training Committee will recommend the trainee to the bpf Board for qualification.

The trainee will then:

  • become a member of the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association of the bpf
  • be entitled to register with the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) as a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist
  • have access to post-graduate activities and continuing career development within the bpf, including the opportunity, in due course, of advancing to Senior Membership.
Tel: 020 8452 9823 Registered office: 37 Mapesbury Road, London NW2 4HJ
Company number 8238969 registered in England and Wales Registered charity number 1150806