Foundation Course

AGIP Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training


The course aims to develop understanding of psychoanalytic thinking and practice. The Foundation course will be taught over ten Saturdays, one a month, starting in October 2020. The days will run from 10am to 6.30pm (with breaks) and will comprise four seminars as well as an experiential group.

  • The Foundation course can be taken on its own as a means of learning about psychoanalytic work and how it may enhance personal and work life.
  • The Foundation course is a prerequisite for application to the Clinical Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (in exceptional circumstances with exemptions when applicants who, in the view of the Training Committee, have completed a course equivalent to the foundation course). Progress from the foundation course to the clinical training is not automatic and candidates applying from the foundation course are considered in competition with other applicants.

Applicants wishing to take the foundation course as the start of a four year training should note that they will normally have to have been in weekly psychoanalytical psychotherapy for one year before commencing the foundation course. Applicants who do not satisfy this requirement but wish to proceed to the clinical training will be required to take a ‘gap year’ during which they must be in weekly psychoanalytic psychotherapy.


Each Saturday will have a different theme which will be explored from three perspectives:

  • How key ideas within themes unconsciously manifest themselves in everyday life (seminars 1 and 2)
  • How consciousness develops in the individual (seminar 3)
  • How these ideas may come into play in the consulting room (seminar 4)

Attention will be paid to both classical and contemporary psychoanalytical theories and their applications in the clinical setting. Students are expected to read papers or book chapters in advance of the seminars in order to maximise the value of the seminars.


The experiential group plays an important role in helping the integration of the two key components of the course: personal development and the teaching of theory.

The Experiential Group contributes to this development in different ways.

It can:

  • promote reflection on group dynamics in the here and now and help to understand other group experiences, past and present
  • enhance work undertaken in personal therapy by arranging a situation for students to learn about how peers in a group experience them
  • allow students the opportunity to reflect on professional and personal development
  • promote students’ discussion of the training programme

The group is conducted by experienced group analysts who understand psychoanalytic and group analytic theories.


The Foundation course is assessed by one written essay of 3,000 words which demonstrates the trainee’s theoretical understanding and which, where appropriate, includes clinical material. This assignment is optional for those who only want to do the Foundation course. It is obligatory for applicants to the full clinical training.


All students on the Foundation course are expected to undergo psychoanalytical psychotherapy themselves. This should minimally be once-weekly therapy, although those considering using the Foundation course as a start for the full psychotherapy training should consider more frequent therapy with a psychotherapist approved by AGIP. This therapy must be face-to-face; telephone or Skype sessions are not permitted.


Applications for the Foundation course must normally be received no later than 30th June each year; however, late applications will be considered up to the end of August if there are still places remaining. All suitable candidates will be offered an interview with a member of staff from apptraining.

While there are no formal entry requirements for the Foundation course, candidates will be expected to demonstrate an ability to undertake work at postgraduate level, to show some self-awareness and to have had experience of working with people.

Suitably qualified candidates may ask for exemption from the Foundation course – this would normally be applicable to someone who has successfully completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling. Applicants should note however that exemption is only given in exceptional circumstances and priority is given to applicants from the apptraining foundation course who wish to proceed to the clinical training.


The Open Days in 2020, where potential applicants can find out more about our courses and are able to meet staff from the Training Committee will be on Saturday, 22 February and Saturday, 28 March. Use the Contact Page to reserve a place at an Open Day.


The fees for the Foundation course commencing October 2020 are as follows:

Application and interview fee £55, which is paid at the time of application.

Course fee £1,175,  which includes a £150 deposit paid upon acceptance of the offer letter.  The remaining £1,025 may be paid all at once or in three instalments of £345 (payment by instalments includes a small administrative fee). The course fees remain payable in full and are non-refundable

Fees can be paid by cheque or bank transfer.

N.B. All these fees are under review for the course commencing October 2021.


The dates and provisional themes for the Foundation course commencing October 2020 are

10th October 2020


“When we were very young” – communicating without words

7th November 2020


Narcissism: omnipotence and the empty self.

12th December 2020


Oedipus – three’s company, two’s a crowd!

9th January 2021


Sex, love and intimacy – attempts to relate

13th February 2021


Death instinct – dicing with death – addictions and other attacks on the self

13th March 2021


Psyche-soma: hysteria in the 21st century

17th April 2021


Trauma: the psyche overwhelmed

15th May 2021


War and peace: aggression – a creative or destructive force?

12th June 2021


Self and society – a false distinction?

17th July 2021


Research: how can we know psychoanalysis works? Clinical boundaries and ethical dilemmas

There will also be a course Induction session (provisionally) on Saturday, 19th September, between 10am and 2pm (including a shared lunch).

The Foundation course and Induction day will be in the training and seminar rooms at AGIP, 1, Fairbridge Road, London N19 3EW (a short walk from Archway tube station and the Upper Holloway train station). This is the location of the AGIP clinic and its training rooms.


Each Saturday will be broken into five sessions with time for breaks and informal discussion

10.00 – 11.15


Seminar 1

11.15 – 11.30


Coffee break

11.30 – 12.30


Seminar 2

12.30 – 13.30



13.30 – 14.45


Seminar 3

14.45 – 15.00


Tea break

15.00 – 16.30


Seminar 4

16.30 – 17.00



17.00 – 18.30


Experiential group


If you wish to apply for a place on the Foundation course please see:  More on How to Apply


Frequently Asked Questions

Guy Hetherington - (Detail)

Great Cosmic Morphology

Guy Hetherington – (Detail)
© AGIP 2018