The Training in Psychoanalysis
Main Training Page
Proposed Northern Training
Students from Abroad
Qualification and Membership of the British Psychoanalytical Society
Training in the Psychoanalysis of Children and Adolescents
How to Apply
Frequently Asked Questions
Aims of Training
The Institute training gives students a fundamental understanding of psychoanalytic theory and practice and equips them to become practitioners. Becoming a psychoanalyst requires not only the application of a broad body of knowledge in the treatment of patients but also the development of a critical and enquiring attitude toward that knowledge.
This is achieved through a tripartite education: a personal training analysis; theoretical and clinical seminars; and the psychoanalytic treatment of two patients, five times a week, under supervision.
Components of Training
Personal Training Analysis:
All students have a personal psychoanalysis with an approved training analyst of the British Psychoanalytical Society. This analysis consists of a daily fifty-minute sessions, five days a week (Monday to Friday), which continues throughout the training. Students choose their training analyst, with whom they then agree a schedule and fee. A list of training analysts is available from the Institute training administrator.
The therapeutic goals of the personal training analysis are the same as those of a therapeutic psychoanalysis, to enable the analysand to gain as full an understanding as possible of their unconscious mental functioning and its relationship with their conscious experience. The additional educational goals include freeing the student from those unconscious factors that would interfere with his or her ability to feel, think, and work as a psychoanalyst.
Theoretical and Clinical Seminars:
The curriculum provides an intensive study of the theory and clinical practice of psychoanalysis. The seminars aim to teach and facilitate the development of therapeutic skills and crucially to enable the student to adopt a critical engagement with the underlying theory of clinical practice.
After a minimum of one year of a personal training analysis the student is eligible to start the theoretical training. Theoretical and clinical seminars take place up to three times a week during term time and are usually spread over a period of not less than three years.
The first year of theoretical seminars consists of the study of Freud’s writings and psychoanalytic theories of human development. An equally important component of the first year are the seminars of Infant Observation: each student makes weekly home visits to observe a mother and baby; their observations are then discussed in a weekly seminar.
From the second year onward, seminar series are offered on a wide range of theoretical and technical issues in addition to seminars on the three main schools of thought in the British Psychoanalytical Society - Contemporary Freudian, Independent, and Kleinian. The range includes for example: Approaches to Depression, Clinical Studies of Perversion, Narcissistic and Borderline States, Dreams: theory and practice, Character and Personality Disorders, Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychoanalysis, Understanding Trauma, Assessment for analysability, Ethical issues in psychoanalytic practice, Technique.
From the second year until qualification, every student attends weekly clinical seminars in which students present clinical material from their training cases and discuss their psychoanalytic work with fellow students and a senior clinician.
The faculty of the Institute of Psychoanalysis is a diverse and experienced body drawn from the spectrum of theoretical views in the British Psychoanalytical Society. Just as important as the quality of the teaching staff is the unique experience of studying with accomplished and motivated students from around the world.
Supervised Psychoanalysis of Two Patients:
Supervised work with a first training patient is usually begun during the second year of the training. The second case may be started a year later depending on satisfactory reports of progress from their supervisor. Training patients are seen for fifty minute sessions each day, five days a week, Monday to Friday.
The first case must be continued for a minimum of two years and the second case for a minimum of one year before a student is eligible to qualify as a psychoanalyst. Students are expected to continue treating both their training cases until completion of the analysis.
Training cases are treated under the auspices of the London Clinic of Psychoanalysis. Patients may be seen at the London Clinic of Psychoanalysis or by arrangement (with the Clinic Director, their supervisor and progress advisor) in the student’s own consulting-room, or in their National Health Service place of work.
Beyond the training course itself, the Institute of Psychoanalysis offers educational opportunities that are unparalleled. Students are invited to use the Institute library, receive the Bulletin of the British Psychoanalytical Society and the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. They are encouraged to attend the scientific meetings of the Society, as well as international conferences organised by the British Psychoanalytical Society, the European Psychoanalytic Federation, and the International Psychoanalytical Association.
The course is organised predominantly in the evenings and at weekends so that students are able to continue working during the training.
Student facilities at Byron House include: student common room with a study area, a kitchen, and showers.
How to Apply
The Institute of Psychoanalysis is committed to making psychoanalytic training accessible. Admission is based on achievement and the capacity to develop the requisite psychoanalytic skills.
Applicants are eligible for consideration if they have a university degree and a suitable personality; crucially, an aptitude to think and work psychoanalytically.
There is no formula for gaining admission to the training. Typically, successful applicants present good academic and professional credentials. They also have a strong interest and curiosity about themselves and others (in which the wish to help is combined with a respect for the other’s independence), a capacity for establishing relationships on a deep emotional level and maintaining them over time, a capacity to recognise their own limitations and tolerate the tension arising from problems that are not readily solved, a capacity to bear personal problems and anxieties without dependence on denial, and a conviction as to the ubiquitous and forceful nature of the unconscious.
Applicants should write to the Education Officer of the Institute of Psychoanalysis, including a short curriculum vitæ that sets out educational background plus current and past professional experience.
Prospective applicants requiring further information or guidance before applying should contact the Education Officer who will arrange an informal telephone conversation or meeting with a training analyst.
All prospective applicants who fulfil the prerequisites - or who wish to discuss their situation - are offered a preliminary interview. Following this interview, those who meet the required criteria are invited to complete an application form and to give the names of two referees. Applicants then have two or three personal interviews. Finally, the Admissions Committee evaluates the application.
Successful applicants may begin to attend theoretical and clinical seminars after they have completed a minimum of one-year’s personal training analysis. This is dependent on the training analyst recommending to the Student Progress Committee that the analysand is ready to start the training. The Student Progress Committee however makes the decision after meeting the student. Every student is allocated a progress adviser who provides guidance on all aspects of the training.
The Admissions Committee may defer their decision until the applicant has completed a further period of psychoanalysis with a training analyst followed by re-interview. If an application is unsuccessful reapplication may be made not less than a year after the previous application. In all, three applications may be made.
Applicants who are already in five times a week analysis with a training analyst, and who think that, if provisionally accepted, they may be in a position to start training in the following September, should submit the application form before 10 January. This also applies to applicants who, having been told that they could be re-interviewed (RI), are requesting re-interviews. We cannot guarantee that applications or requests for re-interview received later than 10 January will be processed in time for training to start in September.
The main cost of the training is the cost of the personal training analysis; a fee is agreed on an individual basis between the student and their training analyst.
Supervised work takes place from the second year of the training until the student qualifies as a psychoanalyst. Supervision takes place once a week (on each training case) and the fee agreed between the student and the supervisor is usually the same as the fee per session of the personal training analysis.
The Institute of Psychoanalysis subsidises the training scheme: tuition fees for the course are nominal. The fee for the academic year currently is £450 per year.
There is an application fee of £200. There is also a fee for those applicants requesting to be re-interviewed
Substantial low or interest-free loans are available to registered students to assist with the costs of training. Further information can be obtained from the Education Officer.
Qualification & Membership of The
British Psychoanalytical Society
On satisfactory completion of the training programme and qualification, the student is put forward for election to Membership on the British Psychoanalytical Society.
Members may become Fellows of the Society by presenting a clinical paper to a panel of senior clinicians, or by attending the Institute’s two-year post-qualification course of seminars and clinical consultations. This course may be done in conjunction with the Institute’s training in the psychoanalysis of children and adolescents.
Training in the Analysis of Adolescents and Children
Qualified psychoanalysts and Institute students who are treating their second adult training case are free to apply to the Institute’s training in the psychoanalysis of children and adolescents. This training has its own theoretical and clinical seminars; the core of this training is the treatment of two children/adolescents from two of the three age ranges (2-5, 6-12, 13-17) under supervision of a senior child psychoanalyst.
The Institute of Psychoanalysis welcomes applicants from all professional and academic backgrounds. While many of our students are psychiatrists or other professionals working with patients in the field of mental health, prior clinical experience is not a requirement for an application. There are a proportion of students who come to the training without experience of contact with psychiatric patients. Where an applicant has no such experience but is otherwise suitable for the training, the Institute will assist in arranging a clinical placement; the successful applicant’s progress advisor will help the student.
The Institute of Psychoanalysis offers its training throughout the United Kingdom. There has been growth in the development of psychoanalysis in some regions outside London. At the present time there are analysts able to offer training analysis in Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, Exeter, Leeds, Oxford and Romsey/Southampton.
The training programme is based in London and is fully accessible to applicants who undertake a personal training analysis in the regions. The personal training analysis will normally take place five times a week. In very exceptional circumstances where the only possible alternative would be to have five sessions on four days, analysis four times a week, on four consecutive days, may be agreed following full discussion with the Chair of Student Progress Committee.
Students are required to attend one in five seminars and supervisions in London, whilst all other teaching events can be joined by telephone link. Where possible, there is some flexibility in the timing of evening seminars to take into consideration the travel needs of students. This is a well-established system which has proved highly successful and is continuing to develop. In addition, there is a residential weekend held every two years in Oxford and some seminar weekends in London, providing the opportunity for intensive, face-to-face participation in seminars and the chance to integrate with other students and the course teachers. The high level of personal support takes into consideration the particular circumstances of each student in order that they can make the most of their training.
On qualification, members of the Society join a lively and enterprising regional group, with annual conferences, phone or local supervision groups and possibilities for further professional development.
People from outside London who are interested in considering the training are encouraged to have an informal discussion by telephone with Mrs Kate Barrows, the Chair of Regional Training, before applying (0117 329 4230).
People with general enquiries about the training can contact the Education Officer, Mr Luke Perry, on 020 7563 5015.
Proposed Northern Training
The Institute is currently proposing a training scheme to complement the current Regional Training, which will allow a cohort of candidates to begin their training in dedicated facilities in Leeds, possibly beginning lectures and seminars in 2014. The proposal will combine seminars in Leeds offered by the Institute’s teaching staff in person with participation by the group in London seminars using the high quality audiovisual facilities in the Leeds centre, and some travel to London. Personal training analysis is expected to be available within realistic travelling distances from the candidates’ home or work locations. Detailed planning of the timetable etc will depend on the geographical location of candidates. In principle the scheme may suit applicants from Yorkshire, other areas of the North of England, and potentially from Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Potential applicants who would find a personal informal discussion of the Northern Training proposal helpful before a possible application are very welcome to contact Dr Vic Sedlak to arrange this. (Tel: 0113 267 0099; email email@example.com).
Further information can be obtained from the Institute’s Education Officer, (Tel 020 7563 5015; email: firstname.lastname@example.org) to whom formal applications should be directed in the usual way.
The Education Officer
The Institute of Psychoanalysis
112a Shirland Road