Psychotherapy Course


Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy & Analytic Psychology

This section covers entry requirements, course content and structure, therapy and supervision requirements, and academic requirements for the clinical training.

Traditional trainings in psychoanalytical psychotherapy and analytical psychology focus on work in private practice, while appt recognises that at least half the members of Arbours and AGIP work in a wide range of statutory and non-statutory settings (e.g. the NHS, charities, colleges and universities), and some members use their understanding of psychoanalysis in non-clinical settings. This course is designed to provide a theoretical and clinical background for work in private practice or public and third sector organisational settings or to use psychoanalytic ideas in other work environments.

This has led to the development of what might be called the ‘Core Course’, which all trainees take. Alongside the core course modules, trainees also take a number of elective modules, which are offered either jointly, or by Arbours or by AGIP separately, and which reflect the particular interests and focus of the two organisations. We would expect an Arbours trainee to take the Arbours electives (and similarly for AGIP trainees and AGIP electives), through discussion with tutors it may be possible to take an elective offered by either organisation although this will normally happen after the three year clincial seminars are complete. This would mean attending Electives on a Sunday afternoon in the trainee’s fourth year. It must also be noted that Arbours trainees, once they have completed the clnical seminars, might be required to continue to attend the Clinical/Community Presentations once a month on Sunday until they qualify.

As the appt training is new, at the time of preparing this brochure some of the fine detail of the training is still under consideration, however enough has been agreed to give a good idea of how it will work. Given that we are planning a long way ahead, please note that some things may be subject to change.

The dates of the training commencing October 2017 are given below. The training will take place on ten weekends across the academic year, one a month, running 10:00am – 5:30pm on Saturdays and 10:00am to 5:00pm on Sundays.

7th/8th October 2017

11th/12th November 2017

9th/10th December 2017

6th/7th January 2018

3rd/4th February 2018

10th/1th March 2018

21st/22nd April 2018

19th/20th May 2018

16th/17th June 2018

14th/15th July 2018

There will be an Induction session on Saturday, 23rd September between 2.30pm and 5pm at AGIP.

Teaching on the clinical training takes place on two sites: on Saturdays the seminars are held at AGIP (in north London, near Archway tube station); and on Sundays at Arbours (also in north London at Church Lane, Hornsey).

The annual fee for the training in 2017/18 will be £1,850 (reviewed annually).

NEWSFLASH: The Lady Penelope Balogh’s Trust, a sister charity of AGIP, has agreed to award annual book bursaries of £100 (£300 over the three year clinical training) to all appt trainees on the psychotherapy training.

Open Days

There will be three open days in early 2017. One date has already passed, the final two dates are:

Sunday, 5th March at 11am

Sunday, 9th April at 11am

The programme runs for about two and a half hours and will give you a chance to meet members of the Training Committee, ask questions, and get much more detail about the course. To book contact the appt office at AGIP. (The Open Day flyer can be found here.)

Philosophy underpinning the training

  • A respect for, and a welcoming of, the difference and diversity amongst patients, students and teachers.
  • A commitment to ethical practice and equal opportunities on the course and in the clinical setting
  • To draw on the separate but complementary cultures and traditions of Arbours and AGIP and for us to form a creative synthesis of the two training programmes
  • The importance of the therapeutic relationship as part of the helping process
  • The importance of the unconscious and the role it plays in everyday life, the family, work and psychotherapy
  • The importance of contemporary as well as classical ideas in psychoanalysis (e.g. Freud, neuroscience, feminism, attachment theory, relational theory)
  • The importance of a good training experience of working with patients under experienced supervisors
  • An emphasis on trainees forming their own creative and critical synthesis of the theory so they can grow to be independent practitioners
  • A balance between theoretical and clinical seminars so that trainees are helped to understand theory in the context of their experience with people in their life and at work
  • A commitment for trainees to be self aware, reflective and reflexive
  • A commitment to form a community of learners where trainees’ previous experience is valued and used, and where trainees can co-operate in their learning. This is a collaborative process rather than a competitive one.

The prerequisites for the training are normally as follows:

  • You will have successfully completed the appt foundation course (or been exempted from it by the Training Committee if you have completed an equivalent course).
  • You will have been in personal psychoanalytical psychotherapy for at least one year before starting the training.
  • You will normally hold a formal qualification such as a degree or a professional qualification, though applications from unqualified candidates will be considered
  • You will have to demonstrate that you have the personal and professional qualities to become a reliable psychotherapist.
  • You will have the ability to cope with the academic content of the course, including writing essays and presenting pre-assigned papers for discussion. The course is at post-graduate level.
  • You will have experience of working with people in a helping capacity.

Trainees will be selected on the basis of a written application, references and two individual interviews (normally with one member of Arbours and one member of AGIP).

At some point trainees may be required to have police clearance (the DBS) as they might be working with vulnerable adults.

During the whole training, until qualification, trainees must remain in personal psychotherapy. appt holds that substantial personal psychoanalytical psychotherapy is fundamental in the training of a psychotherapist, and trainees must be with either an Arbours or AGIP approved therapist (depending on which organisation you are registered with at appt). This therapy must be a minimum of twice per week with trainees being required to attend at a higher frequency for a period during the training.

The appt has adopted a novel and exciting approach to the course structure. Rather than there being the traditional first year, second year and so on, seminars are taught through a system of cycles as follows:


Cycle 1 (2016)

Cycle 2 (2017)

Cycle 3 (2018)


Module 1

Internal worlds

(4 weekends)

Module 4

Human Relationships

(4 weekends)

Module 7

Self and other

(4 weekends)





Module 2


(3 weekends)

Module 5

The making of the mind

(3 weekends)

Module 8

Shaping personality

(3 weekends)




Module 3

Working with particular presentations 1

(2 weekends)

Module 6

Working with particular presentations 2

(2 weekends)

Module 9

Ending and life stages

(2 weekends)



(Note: weekend 1 will include induction, introductions, clinical seminars etc).

The appt believes in the strength of this approach, it places the trainees at the heart of the training – their resources and experience can be brought to bear across the year groups. This is something particularly appropriate to learning groups of mature students, and is overlooked in traditionally structured trainings.

Further details of the seminars and modules can be found here.

The course is psychoanalytically based and pluralist in approach. Within the modules the classical theories of Freud, Jung and Klein will be encountered alongside contemporary approaches including object relations, attachment theory, relational approaches and neuroscience. A wide breadth of theories is taught, and trainees are encouraged and helped to form their own personal synthesis from the material covered. This is supported in every module right from the start of the course through papers and through discussion of clinical practice. A further advantage of the system of Cycles is that in the clinical seminar groups, new trainees will be joining trainees who are already in practice and who will have important learning experiences to share.

It is very common in psychoanalytical psychotherapy training for there to be some group work. In each weekend, on Saturday, there will be a ‘slow open experiential group’, which is run as an analytic group. The membership of the group will comprise all the trainees of the training alongside students on the foundation course. The initial plan is for just one such group, but in the event of there being large numbers, a second (parallel) group will be formed and the cohort divided between the groups.

Each trainee will have a personal tutor from their ‘home’ organisation. The tutor’s responsibility is to provide a link between the trainee and the training committee and to offer six tutorials each year (these are outside the weekend seminar series, and times are by mutual agreement). The tutorials will provide a personal forum for the trainee to discuss any professional or personal issues. Until trainees qualify, they are required to submit a 500 word self assessment each July and discuss it with their tutor. The cost of these tutorials is included in the course fees. Once trainees have completed the three year seminar Cycle, they are required to see their tutors three times a year until qualification. The cost of these tutorials is fixed by appt, and trainees are required to pay for them.

There is a range of written work required from each trainee and this requirement varies a little between Arbours and AGIP. Broadly speaking, trainees are required to write one essay a year plus occasional papers summarizing their clinical work with patients. There is, in addition, the final paper, which can sometimes be called the Long Essay or the Qualifying Paper. It is 10,000 words and is based on the trainee’s personal response to their experience of clinical work and their knowledge and understanding of psychoanalytic models. The end of year assignments tend to be: an essay on aspects of Freud’s theory; an essay comparing the theories of Freud, Jung and Klein through their application to a chosen fairy tale (often called the Fairy Tale essay); and an essay analysing a key concept of theory. The training committee also monitor trainees’ participation in seminars.

A key component of the training is work with training patients. After completing the first module of the core course, trainees may apply to the training committee for permission to begin work with training patients. The trainee’s tutor and experiential group leader will be asked for their agreement. The personal therapist is also asked whether the trainee is ready to start work with patients: the therapist can either respond with a simple yes or no, or decline to respond. The final decision is made by the training committee. In accordance with CPJA requirements, AGIP trainees are required as a minimum to work under supervision with two training patients; the first for at least two years for at least two sessions a week, and the second for at least 18 months at two sessions a week. For Arbours trainees these time periods are slightly shorter (as a recognition of the experience gained working the a community house for 12 months), being 18 months for the first training patient and 12 months for the second training patient. For each patient the trainee has a different supervisor – this adds depth to the work with the individual patients and also provides a breadth of theoretical approach. In addition to this basic requirement, trainees are expected to build up a varied caseload of patients which must also be adequately supervised. Training patients can sometimes be referred to trainees through the clinics at Arbours or AGIP although neither can guarantee to find suitable patients. Trainees can also find other sources of referral, and these would need to be approved.

As will be clear from above, supervision is an essential element of this training. Trainees’ work must be supervised throughout the course until qualification. Supervisors must have been approved by the training committee. Ideally, trainees will be in individual supervision with one supervisor and in group supervision with the other.

appt is committed to all trainees being familiar with a wide range of psychological distress: to ensure this, all trainees must have some form of psychiatric experience during their training. For Arbours-allied trainees, this can be provided through work in the Arbours community, whereas AGIP-allied trainees are expected to find a six-month placement in a day hospital, psychiatric hospital, community mental-health centre or therapeutic community (which could be with Arbours). AGIP trainees with prior experience should speak with their tutor to see if they might qualify for exemption from this requirement: Arbours trainees cannot be exempt – they must undertake work in the Arbours community.

Summary of time commitments:

  • Core course and experiential group: ten weekends a year comprising seminars and an experiential group each weekend for three years.
  • Elective seminars: these are offered from your first cycle onwards. Details can be found here.
  • Personal psychotherapy: twice a week plus an extended period of more intensive work, until you qualify.
  • Supervision: weekly supervision with separate supervisors for each training patient and work as a whole.
  • Seminar preparation: each weekend will be intensive and you will be expected to read a number of papers and/or book chapters in preparation for each weekend. You should allow for up to ten hours directed reading for each weekend.
  • Private study: allow for further reading and study time each week, as well as for essay writing.
  • Tutorials: there will be six tutorials a year during the taught course and three a year thereafter until qualification.
  • Community/psychiatric placement: Arbours trainees are required to be in a community placemetn of one day a week for a minimum of twelve months. AGIP trainees must undertake a psychiatric placement of half a day a week for a minimum of six months.

You complete the course and qualify when the training committee is satisfied that you have successfully fulfilled these requirements:

  1. Regular attendance throughout the course and satisfactory completion of the written assignments
  2. Completion of the requisite number of elective modules
  3. The final paper of 10,000 words on an approved topic written in consultation with your tutor. This final paper is assessed by two readers, one of whom might be external to appt.
  4. Regular attendance at tutorials.
  5. A minimum of two years supervised clinical work as a psychoanalytical psychotherapist. This would include the work with your two training patients and your other case load. The Training Committee will take into consideration the supervisors’ six monthly and final reports and the trainee’s attendance and participation in seminars during the course.

If the training committee approves the application for membership it is then submitted to either Arbours or AGIP Council, which makes the final decision and awards categories of membership of either Arbours or AGIP. Once membership is awarded, the Final Paper is presented in an open seminar as part of the recognition and celebration of the new member’s achievements.

If any requirements are not met, the training committee may instruct the trainee to undertake further tuition, supervision or psychotherapy. The trainee will be responsible for any extra costs. Trainees’ progress is continually monitored and reviewed and in the event of unsatisfactory progress, Arbours and AGIP reserve the right to require trainees to withdraw from the training course.



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Guy Hetherington

Self-Portrait 26: The Enumerator