"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 Course students can begin the process of applying to train during the second term of the Introductory 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 organising their own supervision as soon as they start seeing clients, which may be quite soon after starting the programme). Graduates of the Introductory Course can also apply at any later date, since successful applicants are able to join the Training at any time of the year. Like the Introductory Course, Training seminars and work presentation and reflection take place in Hampstead on Tuesday evenings.


Application fee £150

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

Training Programme 2019-2020

The programme changes from year to year in response to the interests of the seminar leaders and trainees.




8, 15, 22 October 

Lucy King: ‘The Phantom’ ; intergenerational trauma

29 October

Anastasios Gaitanidis: Ferenczi's influence on contemporary psychoanalysis

5 November 

Anastasios Gaitanidis: The Sublime

12, 19, 26 November 

Christina Moutsou: The Relational movement in psychoanalysis 


3, 10 December

Pamela Stewart: Infant emotional growth and development


​12/13 October

Miranda Glossop and Jeremy Akerman: Weekend on Waiting




21, 28 January, 4 February

Lakis Georghiou: Setting up in practice


11, 18 February 

Elie Jesner: Shame, Guilt and the Dangers of Conscience


25 February, 4 March 

Onel Brooks: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Daoism and psychotherapy


10, 17, 24 March 

James Mann: the Oedipal, The Law and theories of embodiment 


1/2 Febuary 

Onel Brooks: Weekend on Dance22 February 

Consortium Trainee Presentation Day




28 April, 5 May

Jake Osborne: Authenticity in Heidegger and Freud


12, 19, 26  May

Del Loewenthal: Another kind of ethics: Lacan, Butler and Zizek’s Antigone 


2, 9, 16 June 

Paul Gurney: How religious thought can be of service to psychotherapy


23, 30 June 

Miles Clapham: Psychotherapy and Racism


​21/22 June

Kevin Ball and Shila Rashid: Weekend on working with couples