Training F.A.Q.

  • A. CPD is usually closely related to revalidation of the practitioner’s right to remain registered and legally engaged in their profession.

    What follows is our understanding of the CPD requirements for the following professions.

    • SOCIAL WORKERS IN ENGLAND
    • PRACTITIONER PSYCHOLOGISTS
    • ART THERAPISTS
    • GENERAL PRACTITIONERS
    • PSYCHIATRISTS
    • COUNSELLORS
    • DRUG AND ALCHOL PROFESSIONALS
    • NURSES AND MIDWIVES
    • PROBATION OFFICERS

    This information was taken from details provided by the relevant bodies but we cannot accept responsibility for errors and omissions: you are strongly advised to check your CPD requirements yourself.

    SOCIAL WORKERS IN ENGLAND
    PRACTITIONER PSYCHOLOGISTS
    ART THERAPISTS

    CPD for these professions (and a number of others not covered here) is monitored by the Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC).

    What type of activities will be acceptable for CPD by the HCPC?

    You can complete a wide range of activities in order to meet the necessary standards. HPC assessors will be looking for a range of activities and evidence of how the learning outcomes achieved from those activities have been utilised in your service delivery and / or clinical practice. In essence, no one activity carries a greater weighting factor than another and the primary focus for you is to ensure that you complete a range of activities.

    If I do not wish to become a member of my professional body which offers its own CPD courses and programmes, can I use the Foundation course to meet the necessary requirements for CPD?

    You do not have to be a member of a professional body in order to meet the HCPC’s Standards for CPD. In terms of the types of CPD activities, HCPC has produced a suggested list (which is not exhaustive) from which you may wish to select those which best meet your needs. You may also choose to be a member of your own professional body and meet those requirements. This is at your own discretion and does not affect or influence your HCPC registration.

    Examples of CPD activity approved by the HCPC include: discussions with colleagues, in-service training, analysing significant events, courses, further education, going to seminars, courses accredited by a professional body, reading journals/articles.

    Additionally, the General Social Care Council (GSCC) checks for evidence of CPD of 15 days over 3 years to meet the requirements for social workers and that “failure to meet these conditions may be considered misconduct”.

    The Foundation course will provide 10 days of good quality CPD in one year.

    GENERAL PRACTITIONERS

    GPs are required to gain 50 CPD credits each year together with 250 credits over the 5 year revalidation cycle from a broad range of activities. 1 credit is 1 hour of CPD activity,however, if you can demonstrate that you have applied the learning in your practice, resulting in improvement in patient care or positive changes in an area of the your work, you can claim 2 learning credits for each hour of such learning activity.Credits are self-assessed and verified at appraisal. GPs have to aim for a broad range of CPD appropriate for the work that they undertake. Over the revalidation cycle, GPs should aim for a mixture of time-based credits and provide evidence of implementation in practice with impact-generated credits.

    The Foundation course provides 6½ hours each Saturday – a total of 65 hours over the duration of the course. If you can show how taking the course has improved your service delivery then you will be able to claim double this number of hours. Given that the Foundation year focuses on relationships and how our inner world affects them, you should end the course with a much better understanding of your patients and as a minimum be able to listen more carefully to what a patient is apparently not saying but actually meaning.

    PSYCHIATRISTS

    Your CPD activities should be planned in advance through a personal development plan and should reflect and be relevant to your current and future profile of professional practice and performance. These activities should include CPD outside narrower specialty interests. Continuing professional development has to include activities both within and outside the employing institution, where there is one, and a balance of learning methods which include a component of active learning. Normally 1 credit is given for 1 hour of activity.

    CPD is identified as having the following roles: improving patient care and standards of living, updating your knowledge base, preparing you for new roles, helping you comply with regulatory requirements, enhancing your role in teaching/training and research, maintaining your clinical effectiveness, fostering innovation in service delivery, and promoting morale and confidence.

    Psychiatrists are required to form peer groups of between 3 and 6 to help each other form a Personal Development Plan and to assess the relevance of each CPD activity within the three areas of clinical, professional and academic, and to agree the credit weight of each activity. You are required to gain 50 CPD credits each year together with 250 credits over the 5 year revalidation cycle from a broad range of activities. Educational activities that qualify for CPD points include long taught courses such as degree and diploma courses.

    The Foundation year would fulfil many of the objectives of a CPD plan.

    COUNSELLORS

    BACP requires counsellors to plan, record, review and reflect upon their CPD in a structured way. This can include formal education, seminars and courses, and reading. The scheme is outcomes based – i.e. focusing on what the counsellor has gained from the CPD. Counsellors are expected to include a mixture of learning activities in their record although they may choose to concentrate on a specific type of activity because they find that it is most appropriate for them. BACP would normally expect registrants to undertake at least 30 hours of CPD.

    The Foundation course, with 65 contact hours, more satisfies the BACP requirements. The course may be particularly attractive to counsellors who have trained in the humanistic tradition but who want to expand their knowledge of psychodynamics. The case work that humanistic counsellors are undertaking will be particularly helpful when the course group discuss psychoanalytic ideas as they occur in the consulting room (we would of course expect any discussion of client material to be properly anonimized so that we all remain within our ethical codes)

    DRUG AND ALCHOL PROFESSIONALS

    The Federation of Drug & Alcohol Professionals (FDAP) in DANOS 2012 states that “All frontline workers (including volunteers) should be subject to ongoing CPD based on their role profiles.” This would mean that, in principle, only where a worker can show that he/she could benefit from a greater understanding of psychoanalysis for his/her role, would a course be approved for CPD. There is a long history of psychoanalytic literature on drug and alcohol abuse and it should be possible to make the case that this course would be suitable CPD.

    NURSES AND MIDWIVES

    The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) requires all nurses and midwifes to “take responsibility for their own CPD” and that every 3 years they must “ declare that they have satisfied Post Registration Practice requirements [in part] by undertaking at least 35 hours of learning relevant to their practice.” in order to maintain NMC registration. NMC also states that “Where possible CPD should be undertaken within a multi-disciplinary context.”

    So to meet the required standard, you must:

    • undertake at least 35 hours of learning activity relevant to your practice over every three years
    • maintain a personal professional profile of your learning activity
    • comply with any requests to audit how you have met these requirements.

    Given the variety of nursing and midwifery practice, no specific requirements are made regarding mandatory courses, and the NMC does not accredit courses. As far as we are able to tell, there appears to be no distinction made between what we used to call mental health nurses and general nursing staff.

    The Foundation course provides 65 hours of CPD on one year. It would be a mistake to assume that the course would only be suitable for mental health nurses – all nurses have to deal with deep emotional trauma, including loss and death, bereavement and grieving relatives. On top of this the trauma someone suffers often has to be understood in the context of their family dynamics. The course will help by providing a theoretical understanding of trauma and of interpersonal dynamics.

    PROBATION OFFICERS

    Qualified probation officers are encouraged to engage in continuous professional development (CPD) and to develop themselves professionally through in-service training courses that are relevant to their jobs. Each trust provides their own staff development strategy and plan with a range of professional development opportunities to meet organisational and trust requirements. Probation officers can expect about seven days’ training a year, as well as other forms of learning and development. Courses cover areas such as:

    • sex offending;
    • offenders and learning difficulties;
    • suicide and self-harm;
    • offenders who have committed hate crimes.

    Further study at Masters level may be possible, depending on the needs of individual trusts. This would mean in the case of the Foundation course (which is Masters level) that you would have to prove that the learning would be of direct benefit to you in your role. A broad understanding of psychoanalysis provides a different perspective to human behaviour than one which emphasises conscious decision making. Although it may be that conscious decision making is the route out of offending, an understanding of the underlying unconscious dynamics can prove very helpful.

  • A. First you should read the answer to the similar question about the Foundation course. In principle there is no reason that you couldn’t also count the clinical training towards your CPD requirement however the same caveats apply – you will need to go through the normal procedures for the approval of CPD activity.

  • A. We are obliged to take several things into account when considering an application for exemption from the Foundation course. First, all trainings leading to UKCP recognition are required to be taught at Masters level – the Foundation course forms the first part of the training so for any course to gain exemption it must have been taught at Masters level. Second, we need to consider whether you have enough grounding in psychoanalytic ideas so that you have a fair chance of succeeding in your first year of the clinical training. Because of this we will only consider candidates who have taken a counselling course for which the orientation is psychodynamic and where it has been taught at Masters level.

    Finally, candidates applying for exemption should note that we given priority to students who have completed the appt foundation course when we consider candidates for the clinical training.

  • A. We welcome applications for these groups and the clinical training can add a significantly new dimension to ways that you might work. However, direct entry to the clinical course depends on how much psychoanalysis or psychodynamics you have previously studied and what level – check the question on exemption for more details. Clinical and counselling psychologists will have already studied at Masters level (and in many cases at D level) so the issue becomes one of ensuring that you have already covered the material that is taught on the Foundation course.

  • A. The decision to exempt you is taken by the Joint Training Committee. You should write to the Co-ordinator of Joint Training at AGIP giving full details of the courses you have taken together with photocopies of your certificates. Full details means: module titles and content; contact hours; details of any personal therapy you have had, with whom, and for how long; details of any clinical practice you have undertaken; full details of the supervisor(s) you have had. Please note that when considering candidates for the clinical training, we give priority to applicants from the appt foundation course.

  • A. We welcome applications from all walks of life. A quick look at the backgrounds of existing AGIP members reveals backgrounds, for example, in business, the media, the arts (including artists), what we might broadly term the helping professions (e.g. counsellors, social workers, psychologists, mental health workers), academics, public sector administrators, and religious ministry. All that we require for the Foundation course is that you have had some experience of working with people in some form of helping capacity. We have a wide definition of what this means so if you are in doubt, contact the AGIP office.

  • A. There are two answers depending on whether you are asking about the Foundation course or the clinical training.

    For the Foundation course you are required to attend for 10 Saturdays between 10am and 6.30pm. There is also an Induction session of 4 hours before the course starts. Teachers have been told that they can expect you to read up to four papers or book chapters for each weekend plus any extra time for reading beyond that which has been prescribed. There are also three tutorials which will be arranged between you and your tutor outside the formal teaching time (you could meet more than three times but you would have to pay the agreed standard rate for any extra ones). You will also have to allow time for your weekly personal therapy, including travel time. If you plan to do the final assessment essay, you will need to set aside time for reading and writing.

    For the clinical training the time demands will obviously be greater. These will include:

    • Attendance at 10 weekends per year
    • Reading in advance of the seminars
    • Preparing presentations for some seminars
    • Personal therapy at a frequency of twice a week and three times a week for a period
    • Six tutorials per year at times mutually agreed with your tutor
    • Time for reading and writing for the assignments (normally one or two per year)
    • Time taken up working with two training patients and then ‘body of work’ patients (the latter are patients seen to gain extra experience)
    • Regular separate weekly supervision for each of your training patients and your ‘body of work’ patients
    • Time spent gaining experience in a psychiatric setting
  • A. APT has decided that at this stage it will not be seeking validation from a university to call the training an MA or MSc. However, the training is at Masters level because that is the requirement of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), and the certificate that you are awarded on successful completion of the course enables you to register with the UKCP through the College of Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis (CPJA). There is no direct equivalent in other professions but perhaps an example for comparison might be the medical profession. It is the university you studied at which award the degree in medicine but then intending doctors have to seek registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) in order to practice. It is the GMC which regulates the medical profession much in the same way as UKCP regulates the psychotherapy profession.

  • A. There are two main bodies with which psychotherapists can be registered: the UKCP and the BPC. Historically, the UKCP is older than the BPC and it was set up (with the active involvement of AGIP members) to provide an umbrella organisation to cover all forms of psychotherapy – e.g. psychoanalytic, humanistic, hypnotherapy, CBT, family and systems. After some years a number of psychoanalytic organisations decided that their best interests could not be served by being in the UKCP so they left and formed what became the BPC. AGIP made the decision to stay in the UKCP as it offered a broad, collaborative approach within the field of psychotherapy. The BPC has 12 member organisations, all psychoanalytic; the UKCP has more than 70 training and accrediting organisations. The UKCP now comprises twelve colleges and faculties, of different modalities, through which trainings become recognised, and AGIP is a member of the College of Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis (CPJA). Anyone successfully completing the AGIP clinical course may become registered with both the CPJA and the UKCP. Both BPC and UKCP registrants can call themselves psychotherapists.

  • A. No psychotherapy training can guarantee when or if you will have a full private practice or that you will find a job: our course is no different.

    It always takes time to build up a private practice and often psychotherapists combine their existing job with a part time practice or employment in the field. We recently undertook a survey of AGIP qualified psychotherapists to discover the ways they made a living. This is a summary from the replies of about half the qualified members of AGIP (duplication has been removed).

    Private practice including: individual psychotherapy; supervision; training therapist and supervisor; private counselling in GP practice; EAP Assistance Provider; psychotherapy/counselling privately at multiple sclerosis centre.

    Family therapy including: family therapy project; couples therapy.

    NHS employment including: working in IAPT; dynamic psychotherapy service (brief and longer term); supervision and teaching at the Tavistock Clinic; mental health trust; eating disorder service; psychotherapy department; perinatal service; working with consultants counselling patients; mentoring palliative care clinicians.

    Education: university external examiner; university academic; teaching; psychotherapy/counselling in further/higher education establishments; mentoring/supervision of school head teachers for the local authority.

    Working with children: therapeutic foster care agency (adolescents in care); children’s charity -professional advisor to parents who have concerns about their children’s mental/emotional health;

    working with excluded adolescents for a county council; charity which provides support for young handicapped adults; charity providing counselling and therapeutic services to schools.

    Business: self-compassion in leadership courses; supervise leadership coaches; workshops on mindful leadership; leadership, coaching and consulting with senior executives.

    Cross cultural work: director of a cross-cultural training company; member of the refugee therapy centre (teacher referral therapist); charity involved in offering psychotherapy and counselling to the immigrant community.

    Counselling services: supervisor to a counselling service; counsellor pre-training assessor; therapist.

    Non-NHS health: hospice therapist.

    Religious: pastoral work.

  • A. The Foundation course is not a clinical training as such and although there will be plenty of clinical material in the seminars, it is not a “licence to practice” as a therapist. If you are already qualified to practice then what you will learn through the Foundation course can be used in your work. We would strongly advise that if you do this, you seek suitable supervision.

  • A. Yes, weekly therapy with an approved therapist is compulsory. Psychoanalysis is the study of human behaviour from both an observational/experiential perspective as well as from theory. In fact the theory has almost always been derived by therapist’s reflections on their clinical experiences. So the Foundation course (and the clinical training, of course) sits at this intersection of experience and theory. The requirement for your personal therapy serves two purposes: firstly, to give you direct experience of the clinical settings that will be covered in the seminars; and secondly, to help you understand your own behaviour a little better, making the material and theory even more ‘live’. We are also committed to encourage all our trainees to form their own view of the theory and we can think of no better way to do this than through immersion in therapy itself alongside critical discussion.

  • A. There are a number of costs to take into account when determining the total cost. First, there is the non-refundable application fee of £50. Secondly, there is the tuition fee of £895. Thirdly, you will have to pay for your weekly personal psychotherapy from 1st October to the end of the course, about 40 weeks. You will have to negotiate the fee directly with your therapist but you should allow for between £40 – 55 per session. Fourthly, you will have to pay for the cost of return travel to Archway in north London on ten occasions. Fifthly, and optional, you may want to buy some books related to the course material and/or subscribe through AGIP to Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing (PEP web) where you can get access to a massive number of psychotherapy journals and many classic texts and/or subscribe through AGIP for the British Journal of Psychotherapy at the special student rate.

  • A. There are quite a number of variables in trying to work this out but the following is a guide.

    • The application fee of £125

    • The tuition fee of £1,850 each year for three years, reviewed annually

    • Your personal therapy – twice weekly therapy from the start of the course until you qualify with a substantial period at three times per week. You should allow £40 – 55 per session for therapy.

    • Supervision of your two training patients – one supervision per week for each training patient with fees similar to that for therapy. Additionally, at some point you will be expected to work with more patients for experience, what is termed a ‘body of work’ – you need to make satisfactory arrangements for their supervision which might be once a week.

    • The cost of return travel to Archway in north London on ten weekends per year.

    • The cost of travel to meet your personal tutor six times per year during the three year course. AGIP tries to allocate tutors who live fairly near where possible.

    • The cost of books you may wish to buy.

    • The subscription to the British Journal of Psychotherapy (£29) and Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing (PEP web) (£20) is covered in the academic fee.

    • Once you complete the three year clinical course you must remain in therapy and also in supervision at the rate mentioned above until you qualify through the final ‘long essay’. You must also attend three tutorials each year for which you will be charged at the agreed AGIP rate (currently about £38). Finally, there is an annual ‘training membership‘ fee of about £250 (reviewed annually).
  • A. PEP web is the shorthand title for Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing. AGIP and Arbours, along with many other psychoanalytic organisations, has negotiated special rates for trainees. PEP web allows you access to a vast array of journals, over forty in English, together with the Standard Edition of the Complete works of Freud, and, amongst others, books by Bion, Bowlby, Ferenczi, Groddeck, Harris, Joseph, Klein, Milner, Racker and Winnicott. It is a great source of information for seminars, essays and for just browsing.

  • A. AGIP and Arbours are separate organisations established in the mid-1970s under rather similar circumstances. Arbours was hugely influenced by the work of R.D.Laings, a psychiatrist who wrote several very important books (e.g. Anti-psychiatry) which went against the mainstream of psychiatric thought at the time. The focus was on trying to help patients, within a therapeutic community setting, to try to discover the meanings of their mental illness and emotional difficulties rather than have their illness diagnosed (and medicated) by an expert. Thus the difficulties were seen as symptoms of something emotional rather than a problem to be resolved. AGIP’s founders likewise felt the then constrictions on the psychotherapy profession and it established a new sort of training which drew more widely on the field of psychotherapy theory and practice. So what AGIP and Arbours have in common is a history in breaking away from what they each saw as the limits in current psychotherapeutic practice. A second important area which the two organisations have in common is that they both committed to make psychotherapy more widely available, having low-fee psychotherapy clinics from the very early days.

    So AGIP and Arbours are more than just training organisations. Arbours has residential houses where patients are treated in the ‘community’; it has a body of members who run a CPD programme; and it has a clinic. And AGIP is similar but it does not have the residential setting for patients.

    Because of the shared values, a shared psychotherapy training bringing together the strengths of each organisation, offers an exciting new development. The organisations are not merging, but have formed a small joint body, the appt, through which the shared training is organised and administered. appt therefore belongs to both Arbours and AGIP and looks after the training aspects of their activities.

  • A. As explained, appt is a body which only looks after the training course – success on the course will mean you become either a member of Arbours or AGIP (or possibly both, if you wish). In this respect all the students on the appt training courses are aiming for membership of either AGIP or Arbours – it is not possible to be a member of appt as it has no members! So for professional (and legal) reasons we require trainees to enrol with one of the ‘mother’ organisations. It will be possible to change enrolment between AGIP and Arbours if, though discussion with your tutor, you believe that you professional interests are best met in the other organisation. Although the requirements on the Foundation course are identical between the two organisations, this is not completely true of the clinical training course. It is at this point where the different histories and interests of AGIP and Arbours becomes evident so, for example, Arbours trainees will be required to spend time working in a community house whereas AGIP trainees will gain psychiatric experience at a place where they set it up (e.g. a mental health hospital ward). These differences feed back into the training seminars in interesting and creative ways.

  • A. We regard it is a good thing that you are already in psychotherapy. However, we do have requirements for what are called ‘training analysts’ and these are common requirements across all courses within the College of Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis (CPJA). Broadly we are looking for psychotherapists that have qualified with one of the CPJA members or with a member body of the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and have been practicing for at least five years post qualification. The final decision about whether a therapist is approved or not lies with the Training Committee. Where possible, the Joint Training Committee will try not to require a potential trainee to have to shift psychotherapists, but this will not always be possible. If you fall into this category then you are strongly advised to check it out with the Joint Training Committee.

  • A. The decision to give permission for trainees to work with training patients lies with the Training Committee. In order to make its decision it will have to be sure that the trainee is ready to work with patients in psychotherapy. It is likely to take a while for the Joint Training Committee to have a good enough picture of you in order to make an informed decision. A number of people are consulted in the process of making the decision: your personal tutor, your psychotherapist and the conductor of the experiential group on the course. Of course your previous experience will be taken into account but there are no hard and fast rules.

  • A. The simple answer is no, CBT is not a significant part of our courses. Many people, including us, have serious misgivings about IAPT approach to therapy but we do understand that at present the NHS gives it priority. During the clinical training you will be introduced to a range of clinical presentations and alternative psychoanalytic approaches so that we are equipping you to work in a wide range of settings.

  • A. The approval of training supervisors lies with the Joint Training Committee and the committee looks much wider than just the membership of Arbours and AGIP. It has a set of criteria which are applied equally to all potential training supervisors so that if you live outside London (or indeed inside London), if your chosen supervisor meets the criteria, then it will be fine. There are, incidentally, many AGIP and Arbours members living and working outside London.

  • A. As the teaching takes place over ten Saturdays (the Foundation course) or ten weekends (the clinical training), it makes it possible for people living some distance from London, whether in the UK or overseas, to attend the course. It will mean negotiating with your personal tutor to ensure that tutorials either take place either just before or after the weekends, or for tutorials to take place by Skype. The qualification at the end of the clinical training is, of course, recognised in the UK – you may have to check to ensure that you could practice in your own country with this qualification.

  • Course fees can be paid by cheque or bank transfer. The fees become payable on the first day of the course, although in practice you are asked to pay them in advance. It is possible to pay course fees by three equal instalments (by 1st October, by 1st January and by the 1st April). A small administrative charge is added to the fees if you pay by instalments. You should note that the course fees remain payable in full and are non-refundable if you leave the course for whatever reason.

  • You are correct, the courses do have different age entry requirements. You must normally be 23 to apply for the foundation course and 28 for the clinical training. If you satisfactorily complete the foundation course but are not at that point 28, only in very unusual circumstances will you be considered for the clinical training. You could expect to have to take time between the courses gaining valuable experience (and perhaps more personal psychotherapy).

  • The Open Days give you a chance to gather more information about the courses. They comprise presentations by members of the Joint Training Committee, a tour round the AGIP premises, a question and answer session, and a chance to meet members of the Joint Training Committee. Although we hope you find the information sessions important and useful, we also hope that you get some idea of the sorts of people involved in the training and whom you might meet if you take one of the courses.

Guy Hetherington

Self-portrait: 24: The Reviled