"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 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.


13, 20, 27 October 2020

What can't be put into words 

Lucy King


3, 10 November

Psychoanalysis and the contemporary family

Lakis Georghiou  


17, 24 November, 1 December

Why white people can't speak about race

James Mann 


8, 15 December

Psychotherapy and the loss of God

Bruce Scott 

Weekend: 14/15 November

The consulting room as the locus of the relational

and intersubjective space of therapy

through the five senses. 

Christina Moutsou and Anastasios Gaitanidis:

12,19, 26 January 2021

Remembering, Repeating and Working Through

Onel Brooks:


2, 9, 16 February

Against Evidence-based Psychotherapies

Del Loewenthal 

23 Feb, 2, 9 March

How might therapy work?

Elie Jesner 


16 March

How might therapy work?

Panel Discussion

Onel Brooks, Del Loewenthal, Elie Jesner

Weekend: 14/15 March

Riders to the Sky Drama Workshop

Marina Jenkyns 

Meditation Day

Jim O’Neil 


Summer term


27 April, 4, 11 May 

Decolonising Therapy

Paul Gurney and Peter Nevins 


18, 25 May,

Barbara  Latham – TBC


1 June



8, 15 June

Miles  Clapham – TBC


22, 29 June

Irony in psychotherapy

Jake Osborne


Weekend date TBC

Lacanian Clinical Hints

Marie-Laure Bromley-Davenport