Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training

Applications for the four-year training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy commencing in October will be accepted in the proceeding Spring.

The Guild of Psychotherapists Training has been established for over 40 years.

As a pluralistic training, no one body of theory is regarded as holding “the truth”, thus its training programme includes all major approaches to psychoanalytic theory and practice. Trainees are introduced to the richness and diversity of psychoanalytic perspectives on unconscious life, on sources of human distress, and on the psychotherapeutic encounter.

The Guild aims to involve trainees in the continuing evaluation and reformulation of psychoanalytic thinking, emphasising a questioning approach and the importance of recognising the historical, cultural and individual contexts in which concepts have developed, taking also into account of the ethnocentric, gender biased and anti-homosexual ideology that may have influenced psychoanalytic theory.

For more detailed information about this course, please see the Guild Syllabus and Prospectus below. You can also arrange to speak with our Applications Secretary, who will be able to address any questions you may have. To do so, please contact our office.

To download an application form for this course, please click the link ‘Electronic Application Form’ below.

The course in more detail

DSCF8755b5Selection for Training

Our Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy training begins in October each year, and selection for it takes place during each preceding spring. The Guild accepts applicants from diverse backgrounds and wishes to widen the range of groups from whom applications are received. The Guild values both life and work experience as well as academic qualifications. Emphasis is placed on the applicant’s capacity for drawing on personal resources and to undertake an emotionally, intellectually and academically demanding course. Applicants will be required to have undertaken personal psychoanalytic psychotherapy at a minimum frequency of twice weekly prior to their application, and are required to maintain this throughout the training until qualification. Our organisation values the individual qualities trainees bring to psychotherapeutic work, and offers guidance to potential applicants, whose background may be a disadvantage in meeting the requirements of the course.

The Course

Seminars are held on Wednesday evenings at Nelson Square over a period of four years. Teaching is done in seminar groups, to which trainees contribute with prepared presentations, and in discussion and debate. Each evening consists of one theory seminar and one clinical discussion seminar. Additional training days are held annually to allow consideration of important topics, including assessment, clinical ethics, building a private practice, and time-limited work. The programme is reviewed annually to consider both the range of psychoanalytic theories and the contemporary developments which it reflects. Trainees are invited to provide feedback on their experience, at the end of each term, as well as at an annual syllabus meeting.

Course Requirements

The course requirements include: attendance at seminars, gaining clinical experience with a range of patients and in different situations and personal psychoanalytic psychotherapy until qualification. The clinical work includes: work with patients under training supervision, building up a practice, (as appropriate to the individual), undertaking a placement in our community based Reduced-Fee Clinic (up to two years) and undertaking a placement within an adult psychiatric setting (minimum half a day per week for six months). Trainees are also required to submit specified written work, which takes two forms: six-monthly reports on work with ‘training’ patients — which are submitted to the trainee’s personal tutor — and (currently) annual pieces of work with a theoretical or clinical focus. One essay, half way through the course, is a self-assessment which the trainee contributes to the mid-training review. A non-assessed essay on the experience of working in The Guild Clinic is also written. All these pieces of work prepare for the final clinical paper, presented when the trainee applies for qualification. Prior to the final paper, trainees receive feedback from termly assessment meetings of the Training Committee.

Code of Ethics and Grievance Procedure

Like everyone else who has a role at The Guild, trainees are subject to The Guild’s Code of Ethics and Grievance Procedures. Consideration of ethical issues forms part of both supervision and discussion with tutors, and one of our three training days addresses this central topic. Guild trainees are required to have Professional Indemnity Insurance. Trainees have a personal tutor who is their link to the Training Committee, their role being both academic and pastoral. Feedback to the trainee is given by the tutor, in supervisor’s reports, in written comments on assessed essays, and where necessary by the Training Committee.

For further details about the course and an application pack, please contact our office. If you have any further questions, you can also request a meeting with our Applications Secretary, who will be able to address these.


Training-Syllabus-2023-24 (128 KB pdf file)

Prospectus-2023-24 (87 KB pdf file)

Clinic-Leaflet (181 KB pdf file)