The four strands

The Course of seminars lasts four years, is part time and has four strands:

  • Theoretical Seminars
  • The Life Cycle Seminars- Infant Observation which extends into a study of Childhood , Adolescence, Adulthood and Midlife, Aging and Dying.
  • Clinical Seminars
  • Professional Development Seminars

The Clinical Training Course Outline

Theoretical Seminars

The aim of these seminars is to help students gain a strong theoretical understanding from an historical perspective as well as current theory and practice. This seminar begins in the first term and continues throughout the training.

The Life Cycle Seminars

The Infant Observation seminar starts in the second half of Term 1 of the first year. The purpose of this seminar is twofold:

  • to facilitate the development of a capacity for observation necessary for psychotherapeutic work
  • to gain an understanding of infant development with particular emphasis on the centrality of attachment to the development of a healthy sense of self

Towards the end of the first term several introductory meetings are held to discuss the practicalities of finding a baby and setting up the observation contract. Weekly observation of a new-born infant will normally begin during the Spring Term (Term 2) of Year 1 and continue until the infant is 18 months old. The student must start observing a baby by the end of the summer term or they cannot move into the second year. If the observation starts later than the start of the summer term the student may have to pay privately for tutorials after the end of the second year in order to complete the 18 month observation.

A reflection paper on the process of Infant Observation is part of the application to become a Psychotherapist in Training and students prepare a paper on the Infant Observation which must be completed 6 months after the end of the Observation and which becomes a part of their Registration Portfolio.

The Childhood to Old Age seminars are a continuation of the infant observation seminars across the life cycle. The aim is to study attachment, loss and emotional and psychosexual development across the life cycle in order to become aware of the needs and developmental pathways that have an impact on a person’s emergent sense of self. These developmental issues are then related to clinical work. At the start of the third year, the infant observation seminar is therefore followed by a study of child and adolescent development, and continues through the life cycle to include a study of young adulthood, middle age, aging, and dying, with reference to social and political contexts which affect development eg difference in physical and mental ability, race, power, sexual orientation, gender, class.

Clinical Seminars

The aim of the Clinical Seminars is to have discussions on practical themes, and the therapeutic techniques, problems and decisions that arise in clinical practice. They are also a place for learning to present clinical work to peers and for the teacher to facilitate learning from the material presented. In addition to your clinical work with training clients you may use the opportunity to apply what you are learning to your current work as well as to your life prior to starting clinical work for the course.

Professional Development Seminars

The purpose of the Professional Development Seminars is to give members of each year group the opportunity to explore and integrate the values of The Centre and to prepare for work as an Attachment–based Psychotherapist. It is an opportunity to get to know each other better and to develop your understanding of difference and diversity. During the Course there are seminars to give students an opportunity to explore the theories and issues around difference and the links and issues raised by the other elements of the training and the requirements of the course as it develops. You will be given opportunities to begin developing a variety of professional skills that will be needed in the profession which you are joining including setting up a private practice and looking after yourself as a psychotherapist. The seminars begin in Term 1 and continue weekly throughout the taught course.