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 R. D. 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 Psychotherapy training is a minimum of four years, thought of as analogous to an apprenticeship, the length being open until the trainee feels ready to practice independently. It 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.




Students on the Study Programme 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 Course in Philosophy and Psychotherapy, the online course:in Introduction to Community, Philosophy and Psychotherapy (Theory & Practice) and the Courses in Community and Psychotherapy can 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.


Term 1


12, 19, 26  October 

The Assumptions of Psychoanalysis

Lucy King


2, 9, 16 November

Ethics, ontology, capitalism and psychotherapy:  Explorations, through case examples and with the help of Levinas and Marx, of issues arising when we consider as therapists our responsibility  for our clients’/ patients‘ responsibilities

Del Loewenthal 


23, 30, 7 December

Sexual Abuse of Children

Lakis Georghiou


14 December

The Monster Within and the Monster Without: Driving Psychoanalysis to the Future

Patricia Gherovici


Weekend 20/21 November 2021 


Alison Davies



Term 2

25 January, 1, 8 February 2022

Doing anthropology in the consulting room: co-constructing narratives of cultural complexity

Christina Moutsou


15, 22 February, 1 March

Wittgenstein and Psychotherapy

Paul Gurney


8 March


Miles Clapham


15, 22, 29  March 

In The Teeth of Technicity: Heidegger, Individual Minds, Socio-political Context and Technological Thinking in Psychotherapy

Onel Brooks 


Weekend  27/28 February

Giving an Account of Oneself

James Mann



Term 3

3, 10  May

The PA Houses

Jake Osborne & Andrea Heath


17, 24 May

In Praise of Difficulty 

Barbara Latham



31 May, 7, 14 June    

Hatred and Aggression in Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice

Elie Jesner


21, 28 June, 5 July

The Psychosis Project


Weekend 25/26 June 

Family Constellations

Paul and Carol Zeal