The Educational Philosophy of The Bowlby Centre

The Bowby Centre aims to foster a spirit of continuing learning and development. Our approach is based on developments in adult learning as well as attachment theory and psychoanalysis. People learn from experience best in a context in which they can be creative but which does not exclude challenge. The organisation aims to provide an enabling and supportive framework in which members are free to develop their own learning. Opportunities to share learning with one another are encouraged in an environment that is challenging but free from any form of ridicule or intimidation. We operate an equal opportunities policy in our work. We are committed to respecting and valuing diversity and difference. The training aims to take into account the impact of class, culture, disability, gender, race and sexuality on both students and clients. Reference will be made to these factors throughout the training.

Our educational philosophy draws upon three main sources:

  • The importance of attachment theory as it applies to adult learning.
  • Research in the field of adult learning which essentially argues that in order for students to internalise and retain learning they must be an integral part of the planning, evaluation and implementation of their learning.
  • The recognition that in order to cover a very large and complex amount of knowledge that has been built up for over a century there is a need for a theoretical input that introduces and summarises this large field.

Attachment theory and learning

The need for an emotionally secure base is central to attachment theory and part of our educational philosophy. We need this in order to learn, explore and play. Our courses aim to offer opportunities for experiential and emotional learning and to create opportunities for good enough secure attachments.

Student centred learning

Attachment-based psychotherapy needs to be understood emotionally as well as intellectually. Students’ involvement in their learning process helps to ensure this. The course is supported by the continuing experience of personal therapy and all the styles of teaching depend on students bringing their personal experiences and learning styles to link ideas and theories with their lived experience. This is part of The Bowby Centre’s valuing of difference.

Theoretical learning

Seminars introduce students to material on a wide range of clinical and theoretical issues. Students are involved in this process both in discussion and self-managed learning. Every effort is made to utilise the extensive life and work experience of all Course members. Each student presents key aspects of this diverse learning in as part of the process of becoming Registered. 
We are fortunate in having teachers of high calibre who are appointed to take the four strands of seminars which make up each of the four years of the Course. All are practising therapists or are familiar with the psychotherapy field and support and adhere to the theoretical and educational philosophy of The Bowlby Centre.