"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)