Further Key Elements of The Training

Personal Training Therapy

Training to become an attachment-based psychotherapist is very demanding and individual personal therapy is central to it. Each student will have completed at least a year of personal therapy before beginning the course and the Training Therapy will continue throughout the training with a Bowlby Centre approved Training Therapist until Registration. It is a vital part of the learning process and can be a great support in times of stress. The Training Therapy is the place in which you work through your own issues in order to be in a better position to work therapeutically with fellow students and clients in a constructive and non-abusive process.

Students are required to be in twice-weekly psychoanalytic psychotherapy from the start of the training and in three times a week therapy for a minimum of six months at some point before registration.  It is recommended that the frequency of sessions is increased towards the end of the training to give the experience of more intensive psychotherapeutic work prior to registration. Normally, each student will continue in twice weekly therapy until registration but if the student has not registered two years after the end of the taught part of the course they may, with the agreement of the Training Therapist and the Course Tutor, apply to the CTC to drop to once per week therapy.

Because your therapy is absolutely confidential no therapist is allowed to teach years in which they have training clients or be part of any assessment process of any student in therapy with them. Each year the Training Therapist is required simply to confirm that the student is attending twice weekly therapy with them.

Students may not change their Training Therapist without the permission of the Clinical Training Committee. Students are required to discuss a desired change with their Training Therapist and Course Tutor who will liaise with the CTC. See Appendix 6D for the procedure to be followed in this situation.


The Course Tutor plays a central and seminal role in the training. Each year group has their own Course Tutor who works with them through the Course and to Registration. The Course Tutor acts as the interface between the student and The Centre and its organisation. All Course Tutors are members of the Clinical Training Committee. They are in a position to explain the curriculum and the reasons for the Course requirements and the decisions of the Clinical Training Committee.

They are also responsible for helping students through each phase of the Course, discussing the student’s self-assessments, facilitating the development of each individual’s reflections on development and learning, and guiding the student through the exigencies of preparing their APT Folder and Registration Portfolio. Each student has one individual tutorial per term. These normally last for one hour and are held outside the times of the taught course. Students should be prepared to travel to a venue selected by the course tutor, which is normally either The Bowlby Centre or within the London area. In addition there are two group tutorials per term which usually take place in the time allocated for Professional Development Seminars.

Students may be asked or ask themselves for further personal tutorials. There is normally a fee for these extra tutorials. In addition to the above the Course Tutor plays a role in assessing a student’s progress through each stage of their training. The Course Tutor is given feedback from teachers and Supervisors. It is the Course Tutor who runs the termly year group teachers’ meetings and is responsible for chairing the Annual Review of Progress for their year. This is the meeting held at the end of each academic year.

The purpose of the meeting is to review and assess each student’s progress on the Course. The Course Tutor and the teachers of the year group do the review and assessment. It is this meeting which recommends to the Clinical Training Committee whether a student is ready to go on to the next year.

The Course Tutor is also responsible for assessing a student’s readiness, especially their emotional readiness, when a move to the another stage of the course is required, most significantly at the application stage for Psychotherapist-in-Training (PiT) status or Registration (RAPP). They take into consideration all the information they have received from the student, teachers and Supervisors as well as their own knowledge of the student. The Course Tutor must agree that the student is ready and that their portfolio meets the requirements before they can proceed to the next stage of the Course or proceed with an application for PiT or RAPP status.

Self-managed Learning and Self assessments

Integrating the wide range of learning offered by the training is challenging, and a capacity for self-managed learning is essential both during training and beyond.

Students are required to create and to regularly review with your Course Tutor a record of their learning, which builds upon your previous experience, reflects on your current learning, identifies strengths and the gaps in learning or understanding and looks forward to how some of these questions might be addressed. Equally important is an individual assessment of their development as a result of the experience of the Course especially in relation to working with the differences in others style of learning or teaching and their learning about their own learning style, prejudice and difference with the aim of thinking about how this may influence their personal development and clinical work. Learning through self-reflection, with and from peers, is an essential and very fruitful process. It is part of continuing and personal development that carries on post-registration. These self-assessments form a key part of the Application to become a Psychotherapist-in Training and later the Registration portfolio.

Reflection on development and learning. Students start to develop their own reflections on learning and development, including, during the first year, a reflection on their own life journey and personal strengths, thoughts and feelings about areas to be developed as they prepare to work as a Psychotherapist. This forms a key part of the Application to become a Psychotherapist-in Training and later the Registration portfolio.


A Portfolio is a demonstration of the student’s learning and development as a psychotherapist built up over the years of the training. It is designed to demonstrate the readiness of the each individual to take the next step in their journey to Registration as an attachment-based psychoanalytic student. It contains different materials from aspects of the Course and the student’s experience of it.


Regular supervision is a requirement for all people working as clinicians as Members or Psychotherapists-in-Training.

In preparation for commencing clinical work three pre-clinical supervision sessions are held in the Spring Term of Year 2 (Term 5) with your chosen Training Supervisor (selected from the current list of Bowlby Centre approved training supervisors). This is part of the PiT assessment process.

Regular supervision normally begins from the Autumn Term after you become a Psychotherapist-in-Training when you are permitted to take on training clients, and continues indefinitely post-registration. The supervision with your first Bowlby Centre approved Training Supervisor is weekly for a minimum of 2 years. Normally, after about 18 months, a second Training Supervisor is chosen, in conjunction with the Course Tutor, approved by the CTC, and worked with for a minimum of six months. The second supervision may run consecutively or concurrently. Individual supervision with a Training Supervisor continues weekly until registration.

A total of 100 hours supervision is required for Registration. All supervision counting towards the required total 100 hours for Registration will be from the time of becoming a Psychotherapist-in-Training.

In some circumstances, after the required 2 years of weekly supervision requirement has been met, students may, after discussion and agreement with both supervisor and course tutor, write to the CTC to request agreement to a reduction in the frequency of supervision to fortnightly until registration. All changes must be discussed with supervisor and course tutor, be appropriate to the level of practice and brought to the CTC for approval.

The need for supervision is a continuing aspect of working as an Attachment-based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist. The Bowlby Centre expects that all its therapists will be in regular supervision and will be continuing their own professional development.

Choice of Supervisors

It is important that the student’s first Training Supervisor is someone familiar with The Centre, its approach and values. Normally we expect that your first Training Supervisor will have been trained at The Bowlby Centre and be a Bowlby Centre Member. It is a requirement that each student discusses their choice of Supervisor with their Course Tutor before making any approach to a potential supervisor. The student may then meet with one or more possible supervisors to choose someone who you feel is appropriate to support the beginning your Bowlby Centre work. This choice is then put forward by your Course Tutor to the CTC for ratification. There is a list of approved Training Supervisors in this Handbook from which to select a Supervisor in conjunction with your Course Tutor (See Section 2.8).

The second Supervision may run concurrently or consecutively at any time between becoming a Psychotherapist-in-Training and Registration. The student is required to discuss their choice of second Supervisor with their Course Tutor and to have that choice ratified by the CTC. The second Supervisor is normally chosen from the approved list in the Handbook. If you have someone you would like the CTC to consider as a second Supervisor who is not on the approved list, you can still propose him or her to the CTC after consulting with your Course Tutor.

Progress and review

Training Supervisors, in discussion with supervisees, are asked to write a review of their clinical work for inclusion in the Registration Portfolio as part of meeting the criteria for Registration. Supervisor and supervisee discuss progress with clinical work at six monthly intervals and a Review of Clinical Work should be completed. Copies of this are sent to the Course Tutor.

Changing Supervisor

Students may not change their Supervisor without the permission of the CTC. Students must discuss a desired change with the Supervisor and Course Tutor who will advise the CTC. See the procedure for change of Training Therapist or Supervisor

Supervision Fees

Supervision fees are paid for separately from Course fees and at a negotiated rate. A suggested supervision fee for students is set annually by the Bowlby Centre. Currently this is £40 per session.

Working with Training Clients

Psychotherapist-in-Training need to build up experience of working with a variety of clients and building up a practice. As part of The Bowlby Centre Training course, and in order to fulfil UKCP registration, students are required to see one person for two years at least twice weekly, one for eighteen months, at least weekly and five others for a minimum of six months.

An expectation of the Bowlby Centre training, to which we see students as having made an important commitment, is to take at least two referrals from the Blues Project, which is part of The Bowlby Centre’s Referrals Service. The Blues Project (and other designated Projects which are part of it, such as “The Secure Base for Care Leavers”) form part of The Bowlby Centre’s commitment to provide psychotherapy services to those who face financial disadvantage. Where there are specific factors which make it impossible for students to take these two referrals from the Blues Project, it is expected that other arrangements will be made by the student to provide evidence of undertaking equivalent psychotherapy work with similar client populations. One of the reasons the Referrals Service establishes two year, twice weekly, contracts with those people who come via the Blues Project, is to try and aid students to fulfil their UKCP registration requirements.

To summarise:

In order to register with the UKCP, through The Bowlby Centre, students are required to see:

  • One person for two years at least twice a week,
  • One person for eighteen months at least weekly and
  • Five other people, for at least six months, at least weekly.

As part of the Bowlby Centre Training, in line with our values as an organisation we expect students to see

  • Two people from the Blues Project
  • Where this is impossible, two people who would be eligible for The Blues Project i.e. people who are on benefits, or have a low income of less than £12,000 per annum.

It may be that the Blues Project referrals are people who leave their psychotherapy before two years have been completed, and that they do not meet that particular aspect of the UKCP requirement, but they do meet other aspects of the requirements. The hope and efforts of The Centre is that people will access psychotherapy twice a week for two years, if that is what they need. This will, in addition, have a benefit to the student in meeting that aspect of the UKCP requirements.

If a student outside the Greater London area, who has not been referred clients from the Blues Project due to the geographical difficulties, wishes at a later point to access the Referrals Service a letter from the course tutor would be needed. This would confirm that the minimum requirement of working with two clients who would be eligible for The Blues Project, one for two years twice weekly and the other at least weekly for eighteen months, has or is being met. In addition a letter from the organisation that made the referral to the student confirming that the fee charged was no more than £6 50 per session also needs to be provided.

Students need to develop sources of referrals. Both Training Supervisors and Course Tutors are available to discuss ideas for seeking referrals.

Bowlby Centre Referrals

Unless there are specific factors which make it impossible PiT’s will be expected to take at least 2 referrals from the Blues Project or designated projects. The Blues Project  and designated projects offer people therapy at very low cost with students under supervision (PiTs) in a contract in which they agree to a twice-weekly two year course of therapy. The Bowlby Centre will refer other clients where possible and appropriate. The Training Supervisor must approve all referrals from whatever source until Registration.

People who are seeking therapy with a Bowlby Centre therapist are seen initially by the Bowlby Centre Referrals Coordinator for an assessment interview. Once a person has been for an assessment interview, a decision is made whether this person is suitable for therapy with a Psychotherapist-in-Training. The selection of a therapist is complex and depends on a number of factors, e.g. how experienced the therapist needs to be, finance, travelling, time of day, how many vacancies, the preference of a client for a male or female therapist, and so on. TBC always presents positively the availability of therapists who may be black, lesbian, gay, disabled, and from other minority groups.

Once a Psychotherapist-in-Training has been selected by the Referrals Group with the Referrals Coordinator, the Supervisor and the PiT are sent a copy of the referral to discuss the suitability of the referral together. They will take into account among other things current workload and experience. If agreed, the PiT then discusses with the Supervisor the practical details of making contact, the first interview and so on. The client’s preferred arrangements for contact will have been recorded at the assessment interview.

When the first meeting with the client has taken place and a decision has been made to start working with them, the Psychotherapist-in-Training needs to advise the Referrals Coordinator. There are occasional times when a referral is not suitable although clients are encouraged to stay with the therapist for a minimum of three months to try and work things through. Where this is not possible and the client approaches the Bowlby Centre for further help, the Referrals Coordinator will discuss the alternatives with the client and the Training Supervisor and the trainee.

Clinical Forum

The purpose of the Clinical Forum is to provide a regular time and space in which the Bowlby Centre comes together to share and discuss matters of clinical interest. It is the main opportunity for students across the year groups to meet and exchange ideas among themselves and with Bowlby Centre Members. The Clinical Forum usually takes place on the second Saturday of each month in term time from 11am to 1pm. If for religious reasons a person is unable to attend on a Saturday a recording of The Forum will be made available in the Bowlby Centre office by arrangement on the following Sunday. For reasons of confidentiality this will be destroyed after this and no copies may be taken. The Clinical Forum is an essential part of the training. We hope that everyone will attend as often as practical and it is required that students attend at least 3 Forums per year when on the taught part of the course. Attendance is recorded and you should ensure that you sign the register each time you attend.