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Psychotherapy Training Programme

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The Psychotherapy Training Programme

The main strands of the training programme are:


Personal training therapy

In view of the important role that personal therapy plays in your development and training as a psychotherapist, we would usually expect you to have been in personal therapy for a minimum of one year with an attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapist or a psychotherapist who works from a psychodynamic perspective prior to starting the course. Ideally, this would be the year prior to and during your application to the training course, so that you have an established therapeutic relationship in place to support you through the process of application and the demands of beginning the training. Therapy continues at least until Registration. Students must undertake a minimum of twice-weekly therapy from the beginning of the course.


During the third year of the training, trainees will start client work and will have selected a supervisor whom they will enjoy working with. They will also need to have experience of supervision with at least one other supervisor during the training period in order to formulate a way of working within professional parameters. The supervision continues once weekly until registration.

Taught Course

Our approach to learning is based on insights from developments in adult education as well as attachment theory and psychoanalysis. We believe that adults learn best in a context in which they can be creative. Students need a secure base from which to explore and take risks. The organisation aims to provide an enabling and supportive environment, in which students can feel free to develop their own style of learning and presenting work – an environment which is challenging when necessary, but free from ridicule or intimidation. Each student writes their own reflection on their development and learning which builds into part of their evidence for readiness for moving into their own clinical work.

We are conscious that students have different learning styles and aim to provide variety in order to accommodate this difference within our taught programme.

During our taught course you will engage with a wide range of interesting, carefully selected theoretical material; undertake an 18 month Infant Observation and have the opportunity to prepare for, and discuss this in seminars; learn about, discuss and share of your own and others’ experiences of development across the life-cycle in the life-cycle seminars; engage with clinical material in the clinical seminars; and learn to approach film, music, visual arts, and internet technology, as well as your fellow human beings with all their differences, from a broader perspective. Most importantly you will be engaging with others, both experienced practitioners, and those less experienced amongst your peers, who will be alongside you as you take this very significant journey towards further personal development and professional competence and expertise.

Our taught course, which takes place over two evenings a week (Monday and Tuesday evenings, with Clinical Forums once monthly, too) during term times, is unique in its breadth, scope, and depth, and provides an opportunity to engage deeply with past and contemporary thinking, and clinical experience, in the field of psychotherapy and the social sciences. In addition to the 4 year taught course, trainees usually take at least a further year to complete their portfolio for registration. The fee for any further, non-taught, year is very substantially lower than that for the taught part of the training. Your course tutor will continue to support you during the non-taught part of your progress towards registration.

Interaction with the Course Tutor

The Course Tutor is the main link between the student and The Bowlby Centre and has a key support and assessment role throughout the course. Students meet regularly with their tutor on an individual and group basis from the beginning of the training and usually continue with the same tutor until the end of their training.

Clinical forums

Our clinical forums are held monthly, on Saturday mornings and some Sundays. The forums provide the opportunity for trainees and members of our organisation to meet together on a regular basis. Trainees are required to attend the Clinical Forums at least three times a year.

“…in the clinical forum, students can hear their tutors, supervisors and peers present current work and thereby feel part of a community of psychotherapists at various stages in development. Psychotherapists outside our Centre also share their experience with us.”

(Chair of the Clinical Forum)

To apply for the clinical training Course please use this form