bpf psychotherapy today (london-based)

introduction to psychoanalytic and jungian ideas in a challenging world

  • October 2018 - July 2019 (see all dates under 'structure'))
  • deadline for applications: tbc
  • Birkbeck University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX

Join the bpf’s flagship introductory course - now in its third year. Psychotherapy Today has been specifically designed for those who are either considering a psychotherapy training and/or are curious about psychoanalytic and jungian thinking and how these ideas can be applied to the world in which we live. It aims to kindle curiosity, encourage critical thinking, make connections, and investigate differences in a creative and inclusive group setting, enabling students to develop their own associations and ideas.

who is it for

While the course might be of particular interest to those who are looking to take their first step onto professional training at the bpf, the course is open to all sections of society and encourages applications from a diverse range of people. It doesn’t matter if you already work in the caring professions or if you come from a completely different background. Just bring your curiosity, openness and an interest in exploring new ways of looking at the challenging world we live in.

You may already be working in related professions, such as a GP, nursery nurse or social worker, or you may come from a completely different background. Life experience is strongly valued. Just bring your curiosity, openness and thinking apparatus!

course content

The aim of the course is to think about how psychotherapy can be a useful tool for reflecting on and understanding a broad range of issues. The course consists of seminars exploring a range of contemporary issues through the understanding that Psychoanalytic and Jungian theory can offer. You will explore questions ranging from ‘What is a mind?’ To ‘How do we become who we are?’


The syllabus outlined here is for the year 2017/18 and is subject to review for the year 2018/19. However, the term breakdowns below give you an indication of the type of topics that will be explored.

term one
Day One
  • Introduction
  • What is a mind?
  • A Historical and Philosophical overview of Freud and Jung
  • The Unconscious at Play - Art, dreams, myths and representations of the ‘unseen’

Day Two
  • Mapping the landscape
  • Developing Jungian and Psychoanalytic models of the mind

Day Three
  • Infant Development
  • How do we become who we are?
  • How infant observation can inform our seeing
Day Four
  • Trauma and Neuroscience
  • How trauma impacts our ways of being in the world
term two
Day Five
  • Body in mind, mind in body?

Day Six
  • Diving deeper: Elaborating Jungian and Psychoanalytic thought

Day Seven
  • Defences: What they are and why we need them
term three
Day Eight
  • Group dynamics
  • How do we affect each other?
  • How we ‘other’ other people

Day Nine
  • Sex and sexuality
  • Fetish and fantasy

Day Ten
  • Narcissistic and borderline states of mind in the consulting room and beyond

Day Eleven
  • Ideas in practice
  • Applied work
  • What is it really like being a psychotherapist?

For more information on syllabus and course content please contact: Wayne Full, Psychotherapy Today Course Coordinator via email psychotherapytoday@bpf-psychotherapy.org.uk


On each Saturday 10.00am to 4.30pm, two seminars are delivered on a specific theme; one seminar offers a psychoanalytic, the other a jungian perspective. The aim of the course is to consider how these ways of thinking can be useful tools for reflecting on and understanding a broad range of issues. Each seminar is followed by a facilitated group discussion, in which you can explore and discuss key ideas. All seminar leaders and discussion facilitators are bpf psychoanalytic psychotherapists, jungian analysts, child and adolescent psychotherapists or psychoanalysts working in private practice, the voluntary sector and the NHS.

The seminars will take place on the following days:
6th October 2018, 3rd November, 1st December,  5th January 2019,  2nd February, 2nd March, 6th April, 11th May, 8th June, 13th July 2019

In addition to the Saturday study days, you will be allocated a mentor, also a bpf member. Via phone, Skype or in person, the mentor can play a key role in supporting you during the year of the course. The mentor’s main tasks are to:

  • Support you in your studies;
  • Address any concerns or issues you may have;
  • Discuss any planned progression to further training and opportunities you are interested in exploring.

Many students who have chosen to take up the offer of a Mentor have reported  finding the experience highly valuable and enjoyable.

You will also be provided with suggested reading and watching lists and can immerse yourself as deeply as you wish. There is also an optional reflective essay at the end of the course if you wish to consolidate your learning.

entry requirements

Although not a requirement we highly recommend that students are in therapy to help support you on the course. Learning of this nature can stir up unexpected feelings and it is really helpful to have a place to work these through. If you would like more information on accessing therapy with a bpf member please follow this link: http://www.britishpsychotherapyfoundation.org.uk/therapy


who is teaching?

Seminar leaders will be invited members of the bpf and drawn from the diversity of our organisation. Therefore you will be taught by tutors sourced from across the disciplines of Psychoanalytic, Jungian and Child training sections. This provides an insight to the kinds of learning experiences you might have, and who you might learn from, if you went on to train with us.

can I drop in to seminars?

It’s important that the group learns as a whole and we offer a safe and inclusive learning environment. This is underpinned by a sense of continuity throughout the year. Therefore the course is not provided in a drop-in format.

what other learning opportunities are out there?

bpf also offers infant observation groups, work study seminars and advice on personal training analysts if you wish to develop your learning further. These may be taken in conjunction with the Psychotherapy Today course, particularly if you are looking to apply for training. On the course you will be assigned a personal mentor, who will be able to advise you on pathways to training.


£1, 250. Fees can be paid in instalments, please discuss with Sandra Pereira (see contact us).

On offer of a place, you will be invited to register and pay via debit card through a secured payment page.

Please note that the bpf will not be held responsible for travel/hotel expenses made or incurred in the unlikely event of this course either being cancelled or postponed. See our cancellation and refund policies for more information.

how to apply

To apply for this course, please download and complete the application form supplied and email it to Sandra Pereira at SandraP@bpf-psychotherapy.org.uk

Alternatively, please print it and return it to Sandra Pereira at 37 Mapesbury Road | London | NW2 4HJ.

download application form


Currently there are no resources available for this course.

access information

Please check at www.bbk.ac.uk

contact us

If you have any questions please contact Sandra Pereira, MSc, Postgraduate & Public Events Officer, British Psychotherapy Foundation, 37 Mapesbury Road, London NW2 4HJ Tel 020 8452 9823 Fax 020 8452 0310 E-mail: sandrap@bpf-psychotherapy.org.uk

The bpf welcomes applications from all sections of society. The bpf values diversity and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.