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 2024. 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 as in normal circumstances telephone, Zoom or Skype sessions are not permitted.


Applications for the Foundation course must be received no later than mid June each year. 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 fees for the Foundation course are under review. For 2024-25 they are as follows:

Application and interview fee £80, which is paid at the time of application.

Course fee £2,145,  which includes a £200 deposit paid upon acceptance of the offer letter.  The outstanding fees may be paid all at once or in three instalments at set dates over the year (payment by instalments includes a small administrative fee). The course fees remain payable in full and are non-refundable

Fees can be paid by bank transfer – please email for bank details:


These are the provisional themes and dates for the Foundation course commencing October 2024.

11 October 2024


“When we were very young” – communicating without words

2 November 2024


Narcissism: omnipotence and the empty self.

14 December 2024


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

11 January 2025


Sex, love and intimacy – attempts to relate

8 February 2025


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

8 March 2025


Psyche-soma: hysteria in the 21st century

5 April 2025


Trauma: the psyche overwhelmed

17 May 2025


Self and society – a false distinction?

7 June 2025


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

19 July 2025


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

There will also be a course Induction session in mid-September, between 10am and 12 noon.

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

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