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Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Training

Train to work with clients once per week.

Part-time professional course. Study in London or in a hybrid mode with some course components online.

This clinical training leads to qualification as an adult psychodynamic psychotherapist, ready to work with clients once per week.

This course includes a multi-theoretical exploration of psychotherapeutic concepts, including: psychoanalytic, Kleinian, Jungian and Independent schools of thought. There are 2 clinical phases in this course:

  1. A voluntary placement in the Foundation Course followed by a psychotherapy placement (ie. the NHS or other organisational setting) in Year 2 (both supported by our Clinical Placement Tutor)
  2. Working with two training patients in Years 3 and 4 sourced by our Director of Clinical Services.

Applications for October 2024 entry are open.

This course is undergoing the accreditation process with the BPC.

Applications for year 1 of the bpf Psychodynamic Psychotherapy training (Foundation Course) starting in October 2024 are now open.

Our Foundation Course is now the first year of this 4-year bpf psychodynamic psychotherapy training. After completing the Foundation Course you can apply to join year 2 of the bpf psychodynamic psychotherapy training, which takes a further 3 years to complete and leads to qualification as a psychodynamic psychotherapist.

If you have completed a similar foundation course elsewhere you can still be considered for entry to year 2 of the programme, however the external training will need to cover the same core components of our Foundation Course.

Foundation Course: Trainees will attend theory study days on a Saturday once a month and fortnightly clinical seminars. This can either be in-person or online.  The clinical seminars are taught and are skills-based.  Trainees will be in a voluntary placement or equivalent (see entry criteria) and/or have relevant professional experience (e.g. nursing, social work, teaching). Trainees do not need to be in supervision groups during the foundation year as they will not be seeing patients. Trainee clinical presentations for the clinical seminars evolve over time and are in essence work discussion groups.

Year 2: Trainees will be in a psychotherapy placement (NHS, or other organisational setting).  Clinical work with patients in placements must be face to face but can be done locally to you. They will attend theory seminars, clinical seminars and experiential groups in person at The BPF once a week during term time on a Monday afternoon. They will also attend supervision groups outside the teaching days, either in person or online. Supervision group are no more than three trainees. Clinical supervision is included in the BPF annual fee (details of annual fees are provided on application).

Year 3: Trainees will need to have a psychiatric placement. It’s a BPC requirement for the title of psychodynamic psychotherapist rather than counsellor. They can apply to take on their training patients (from Angela Marsh in Clinical Services). They need to see two once-weekly patients for a year. This is the BPC minimum requirement. We will offer them up to four training patients through our clinical services though. They can hold four patients at any one time. If one finishes they can request another, i.e. it is not 4 patients overall. This is to give trainees more experience and also act as a buffer if any training patients drop out. Trainees will take these patients into private practice but can also see their training patients in a placement if they prefer. In short, trainees can do a mixture of private practice and placement work if they so choose. If they need to take on a second supervisor for individual supervision, we will ask them to do that.

They will have theory lectures and clinical seminars in person at The BPF on Friday mornings and also attend supervision groups outside the teaching days, either in person or online. Supervision group are no more than three trainees.

Year 4: Same as year 3, except that teaching seminars take place in person at The BPF on a Friday afternoon.

Experiential groups: Only year 2 will have experiential groups. These occur on a Monday afternoon from after the teaching seminars have finishes. 

Trainees are expected to be in personal therapy for the entirety of their training, ideally at least six months before they enrol.  Training therapists should be psychanalytic psychotherapists or Jungian analysts, 5 years post qualified, BPC registrants.  Therapy must be face to face and, moreover, finding a local therapist may be more difficult in rural settings.  Patient work and placements must be face to face but can be done locally to you.

This training takes 4 years to complete, and the course fees for 2024/25 are as follows: 

Foundation Course (Year 1) – £5150

Clinical Training (Years 2-4) – £6850 per year (including supervision)

To work with clients, all trainees must hold a bpf trainee membership. 

Trainee membership costs:

£101.65 p/a during Foundation Course .

£144.45 p/a during years 2, 3 & 4 until qualification.

The Clinical Qualification in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is a professional qualification that leads to qualification as a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist. This course is not an academic qualification.

Students pay for this training with self-funding, a private student loan, or employer sponsorship.

Please see our Financial Guidance page for more information.

Entry Requirements for Year 1/Foundation Year

  • Relevant professional or voluntary experience (e.g. nursing, social work, teaching, befriending, crisis-line work)
  • Undergraduate degree or other evidence of academic ability
  • Counselling or counselling-related experience in professional or voluntary capacity
  • Emotional resilience and capacity for self-reflection

Direct Entry into Year 2

The lead-in to Year 2 of the Psychodynamic Psychotherapy training is from The bpf Foundation Course. Those who have completed our MSc Psychodynamics of Human Development can also apply to join year 2 of this training.

A Diploma or Certificate from another psychodynamic or psychoanalytic training will not necessarily guarantee direct entry into Year 2 of the PD Training (known as The Clinical Qualification in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy).  What we need to know are the answers to the following questions:

  • Was the training psychodynamic/psychanalytic/Jungian analytic in nature?
  • Was there a taught component for clinical seminars?
  • Was there an observational component and/or work discussion group seminars?
  • Did you attend a placement and/or see patients under supervision?
  • Was this a psychotherapy placement (NHS, or other organisational setting)?
  • Did you accrue clinical hours?
  • Do you have clinical supervisors’ reports?

See our Psychotherapy Training Pathways diagram to view the potential pathways to qualification as a psychotherapist or analyst.

Visit our Foundation Course page to apply for Year 1 of this training.

If you have completed a Foundation Course at another organisation, you may be considered for entry into Year 2 of the course. Please email: [email protected] to discuss your eligibility.

It has been wonderful to have studied at the bpf, it has changed so many perspectives in my life and I truly cherish this rich experience.

Catia, bpf Student

Simply, it exceeded all my expectations, and sufficiently impressed and enthused me to consider a future career in psychotherapy. On a personal level it has changed me; something that has been accelerated by beginning my own personal analysis. I find myself thinking about non-verbal communications much more as a consequence of having attended the course.

bpf Student

The ‘course has allowed to dip my toe into the analytic world and provided a broad overview of the analytic landscape. It has enhanced my understanding of psychoanalytic ideas and I’ve particularly benefited from speaking to experienced clinicians. The discussion groups in particular have been useful to clarify my own ideas and get a different perspective from others. Overall, it has helped me to determine if I would like to pursue work in this field.

bpf Student

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