"The members of the Philadelphia Association were thanked for their hospitality and openness and congratulated on continuing to provide a stimulating training of a very high standard that continued to attract committed trainees of a very high calibre attracted to the psychoanalytic project of the Association. The Association continues to be a valued Organisational Member of the CPJA [Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis], distinctive in their approach and thinking, and important in their critique of dominant therapeutic cultures".



The Philadelphia Association was founded in 1965 by RD Laing and others, and one of its charitable aims since the beginning has been the training of psychotherapists. Its core charitable aim is the alleviation of ‘mental distress’ and, after some debate as to the nature and purpose of such a programme, a psychotherapy training programme was developed initially under the guidance of John Heaton. The training was and is aimed both at training therapists and challenging the concepts of mental illness, their perception in psychiatry and the wider world, and how such distress should be aided. The Training encourages a critical inquiry into what psychotherapy is, rather than being an initiation into particular theories and methods.

The full Training is a four-year programme which is accredited by the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) – Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis. Students who successfully complete the Training are eligible both to become members of the Philadelphia Association and to register with the UKCP. The Training falls within the psychoanalytic psychotherapy grouping of the UKCP while retaining a critical and sceptical stance toward theory.



Introductory and Experiential Course students can begin the process of applying to train during the second term of the course. (Each student is assigned a tutor who is available to answer questions about applying.) Applicants are expected to submit a personal statement and a book review in preparation for a panel interview. They must also demonstrate some experience of helping people in distress, either professionally or as a volunteer, and have been, for a year before commencement of the Training, in twice-a-week therapy with a UKCP-registered therapist who has at least five years’ post-qualification experience. This personal therapy continues throughout the Training, and trainees are also responsible for organizing their own supervision as soon as they start seeing clients, which may be quite soon after starting the programme. Graduates of the Introductory and Experiential Courses can also apply at any later date, since successful applicants are able to join the Training at any time of the year.​​


Application fee £150

Termly fee £450 (plus the cost of personal therapy and supervision)

The training group benefits from students from diverse backgrounds and we are committed to providing inclusive services. The Philadelphia Association is committed to keeping its fees as low as possible and can assist trainees to find affordable therapy and supervision.

PA training 2020-21Timetable


13, 20, 27 Oct

Lucy King - What can't be put into words 


3, 10 Nov

Lakis Georghiou – Psychoanalysis and the contemporary family 


17, 24 Nov, 1 Dec

James Mann - Why white people can't speak about race


8, 15 Dec

Bruce Scott – Psychotherapy and the loss of God,


weekend: 14/15 Nov

Christina Moutsou and Anastasios Gaitanidis: The consulting room as the locus of the relational and intersubjective space of therapy through the five senses. 


Winter term:


12,19, 26 Jan

Onel Brookes: ‘Remembering, Repeating and Working Through’


2, 9, 16 Feb

Del Loewenthal - Non ‘evidence-based’ Psychotherapies: Some implications for practices, theories and research 


23 Feb, 2, 9 Mar

Elie Jesner - How might therapy work


16 Mar

Panel of three previous seminar leaders on how might therapy work


Weekend: 14/15 Mar

Marina Jenkyns – Riders to the Sky Drama Workshop

Jim O’Neil – Meditation Day


Summer term:


27 Apr, 4, 11 May 

Paul Gurney and Peter Nevins - Decolonising therapy


18, 25 May,

Barbara  Latham – TBC


1 Jun



8, 15 Jun

Miles  Clapham – TBC


22, 29 Jun

Jake – Irony in psychotherapy


Weekend date TBC

Marie-Laure Bromley-Davenport: Lacanian clinical hints