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Assessment Procedure to Become a Psychotherapist-in-Training

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Assessment Procedure to Become a Psychotherapist-in-Training


The first two years of the Course are a preparation for becoming a Psychotherapist-in-Training. The aim is for each student to be ready to take this step by the end of the Second Year. An important consideration is each student’s own sense of readiness. This is reviewed in tutorials, which will include a thorough exploration of ways in which the student does or does not feel ready. It is also very important that students discuss their sense of readiness with their Training Therapist.

In the third term of the second year there will be an assessment of readiness to proceed. While it is the aim to support students to be ready to become Psychotherapists-in-Training at the end of the second year we recognise that this will not always be possible. We also recognise that the difficulties that arise and the best response will vary. If a student is not ready to proceed at this point, either because of their own assessment or that of the CTC, there will be opportunity for discussion about the best way forward with your Course Tutor.

The CTC will agree each student’s readiness to move into the clinical part of the training (ratify them as a PiT) following consideration of:

  • Reports from two Assessors of the review with the student of the student’s APT folder
  • Report from three pre-clinical supervision sessions
  • Report from the Course Tutor (following meetings with teachers and with the student).
  • Confirmation from the Treasurer that the student is up to date with fees and not in financial debt to CAPP.

The CTC’s recommendation will be discussed with the students in Summer Term of the second year (Term 6) or prior to their return to year three of the course.

Criteria for becoming a Psychotherapist in Training

To become a Psychotherapist-in-Training the Bowlby Centre has to be satisfied that each student is safe to practise as an Attachment-based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist on the basis that the practice will be regularly supervised. The Supervisor will agree referrals accepted, and the student will continue to be in a learning environment.

This requires the development of personal qualities as well as theoretical study. An overall assessment will be made of each student’s readiness to start clinical work. The factors that will be taken into account in making this assessment are:

  • Acceptance and understanding in practice of the Bowlby Centre’s values of attachment and inclusion and Code of Ethics and Practice
  • A developing understanding of the principles of Attachment-based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and their application in practice
  • A capacity for self-reflection and for emotional honesty
  • A well developed emotional awareness of your response to others and impacts upon others, together with a capacity to bear conflict including evidence from your reflections on your experience in the training year
  • A capacity to be in touch with your own and others’ emotional life and a capacity to verbalise that insight including evidence from recent work with people in emotional distress
  • An awareness of the effects of your own and others prejudice in relation to, for example, disability, gender, sexuality and sexual orientation, class, and race and its implication to clinical work and relationships with colleagues
  • An understanding of psychoanalytic thought on the nature of unconscious process. An ability to relate previous experience or reading about therapeutic approaches to attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapy
  • A sense of the place that will be found in your life for working clinically as a Psychotherapist-in-Training
  • The student must be up to date with their fees when applying for PiT. NB the Course Tutor must have, at the relevant CTC, written confirmation of the student not owing money

Application to become a Psychotherapist-in-Training folder (APT folder)

1. Each student prepares a folder as their application to become a Psychotherapist-in-Training and be approved to commence Bowlby Centre clinical work under supervision.

2. The purpose of the folder and a discussion of it with two assessors is to demonstrate readiness to begin clinical work by meeting the criteria above. The folder must be agreed with the Course Tutor before it can be presented for assessment.

The APT Folder will include:

  • Self-assessments for Year 1 and Year 2 to Term 5 (Spring Term year 2). These are reflections on your Bowlby Centre training and its impact on your personal development and are prepared termly, normally for your individual tutorial, and discussed with your Course Tutor. These are not expected to be more than 1000 words in length and may include other media like photographs, poetry, paintings etc. Your self-assessments will reflect upon your own sense of emotional readiness to work clinically.
  • A reflection on your development and learning (between 5000 and 10,000 words or equivalent). This is normally in the form of an exploration of the experiences that have led you to wish to apply to become a PiT. It will usually include reflections on your past life experience, experience of learning and study, and experience of work. It is helpful if you link this to the values about yourself and others that will inform your work as a clinician. These reflections are seen as “work in progress” in your journey towards becoming a psychotherapist.
  • An example of some work you have done as part of the course which demonstrates how you are integrating the theory of the training with your own experience and development.
  • A short reflection on what you are learning from your infant observation which will help you in your future clinical work (normally not more than 1000 words).

Written work for your APT Folder needs to be typed. Any references quoted should use the standard referencing system used by the Attachment Journal.

e.g. Bowlby, J. (1988) A Secure Base; Clinical Applications of Attachment Theory (pp.33-35) London: Tavistock/Routledge

3. Preparing your reflection paper will involve:

  • Assessing your strengths and areas that you need to develop.
  • Identifying gaps and conflicts in your understanding and considering ways to address them.
  • Considering your development in relation to readiness to work as a psychotherapist.
  • Exploring the range of ways you want to use psychotherapeutic skills and different elements of the training in your personal and professional life, one-to-one, and in groups or organisations.
  • Demonstrating how you wish to represent your development in your Folder or Portfolio. This is primarily done through written work. It is important that you make a record of your seminar contributions even where, at the time, they are not delivered in the form of a paper.
  • Checking that what you want to do relates to Bowlby Centre’s criteria for becoming a Psychotherapist-in-Training.
  • Using your group of peers to talk through ideas and plans.

Pre-interview procedures – preparation of APT folder

The first stage starts at the beginning of Autumn Term of second year (Term 4.) as you begin assembling your APT folder. In conjunction with your Course Tutor continue preparing your self-assessments and begin preparing your written reflection paper and developing your Application for Psychotherapist-in-Training (APT) Folder,

In the Spring Term of the Second Year (Term 5) you continue to work towards completion of your APT Folder. Your Course Tutor will give you the date by which your APT folder has to be with your chosen Assessors. Your folder must first be approved to go forward by your Course Tutor.

The next stage continues during the first half of the Spring Term when you meet with your Course Tutor to discuss the choice of Clinical Supervisor. This person will normally be your first Training Supervisor. You may not approach any one to discuss being a Training Supervisor until you have the agreement of your Course Tutor.

Taking time out of the training

Deferrals procedure