Course Requirements

These are in line with the ACP guidelines (see What You Need to Know pages). We hope students will start quite slowly, building up clinical work, being supervised almost session by session in the first stages so that they can take on a new way of working. By the end of the second year, we expect them to be doing about 15 hours face-to-face clinical work a week, although this will vary between students.

(a) Intensive Psychoanalytic Cases

Three training cases are seen at least three times weekly, two for at least one yare and one for at least two years. One case will be a child under five years, one within the latency age range and one an adolescent. Individual weekly supervision of each training case is required, each with a different supervision chosen by the training school.

(b) Non-Intensive Cases

Trainees are required to treat a range of once and twice weekly therapy cases of children of different ages and sexes, covering a wide spectrum of emotional difficulties. Supervision of these cases is provided through clinical seminars and service supervision. It is expected that trainees would have experience of a minimum of six such cases, each extending for a minimum of a year and worked to an agreed ending.

(c) Other Clinical Experience

Trainees will also require experience in the following areas of work: work with a parent or parental couple, for a minimum of one year. They may have experience of psychotherapy with a family or group therapy with children or adolescents, experience of brief work, assessments with children, young people and families.


We try to treat each individual as an individual, gearing the training to their speed of learning, need for digestive time and talents. Some students may spend longer waiting for a training case than others but in our experience they all get there in the end. Some students come in more sophisticated than others go out - the only person who you need to compete with is yourself. It is your growth that is crucial and your survival and hopefully your capacity to enjoy some of it on the way.

Personal Analysis

Trainees are required to undertake their own psychoanalysis for a recommended minimum of three weekly analytic sessions by a psychoanalyst or psychoanalytic psychotherapist recommended by the training school and approved by the Association of Child Psychotherapists' Students' Analysts' and Therapists' Sub Committee. Trainees are expected to have at least six months' experience of personal psychotherapy before embarking on the intensive treatment of an analytic case as part of the clinical course if their analyst feels they are ready. It is a requirement of the training that trainees should remain in psychotherapy throughout the period of training and that the organising tutor is informed of any alterations in the personal psychotherapy arrangements.

Personal analysis is separate from other aspects of the training experience. There is, however, formal contact between the analysis and the training:- At the point where consideration is being given to a trainee undertaking a first training case, the analyst is informed and invited to let the Course Organising Tutor know whether, from the perspective of the trainee's analysis, there may be reasons to delay.


When all the course requirements have been completed (hopefully within the four years) the student elects to write a qualifying paper on a particular patient. This may be a historic account of the progress of the therapy or an exploration of a particular clinical or technical problem which the work exemplified. Theory will be used as it was relevant in illuminating the thinking around the case. The Organising Tutor will then present the paper to the case supervisor who will verify that it is a true representation of work done to a member of the training group and to our external assessor. If they all agree that it is passable, the student will be put forward with a log of all their work to the ACP for qualification. If accepted, they will be invited to join the Association as a full member.


The clinical training is hectic. You need emotional and physical stamina and those few who are mad in the right way to go on, find the course a roller coaster. At the end of it they often feel that they have more unanswered questions than when they started and a determination to explore further. This is lifelong learning on every level.