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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

11, 25 October

Trump, Johnson, psychotherapy and increasingly unstable notions of masculinity

Exploring our values, and what stops us thinking about them

Del Loewenthal


1, 8 November

Capitalism and the Meaning of the UK's Mental Health Crisis

Paul Atkinson


15, 29 November

Virtue and Character in Psychoanalytic Work

Elie Jesner


6, 13 December

Homelessness and Psychosis

Andreas Constandinos 

Winter Term


28, 29th Jan

Art weekend

Dionne Dalley

17, 24, 31 January 2023

The Politics of Clinical Experience

Paul Gurney and Peter Nevins


7 February

Climate Anxiety

Miles Clapham


14, 21, 28 February

Reverie and Dream

Lucy King 


7 March 

The End of Fantasy versus the Fantasy of the End 

Alenka Zupančič


 14, 21 March

The Importance of Boredom

Jake Osborne 



25, 26 March

What are we trying to do with the people who come to see us ?

Marie-Laure Bromley-Davenport

Summer Term

April 18th, 25th, May 2nd

Getting carried away, carrying on, and carrying on as if we are not people who get carried away and carry on

Onel Brooks 


May 9th and 16th

Friendship, beauty and justice: on being fair​ 

Robbie Lockwood:


May 23rd, 30th, June 6th

Myth, Psychoanalysis and the Law of the Mother 

Amber Jacobs:


June 13th and 20th

Homosexuality; Theory, Society’s heteronormativity and understanding the queer experience in the consultation room.

Lakis Georghiou


 3 June 24th, 25th

The Musical Edge of Therapeutic Experience

Alison Davies and Elie Jesner


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