top of page

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.



Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy
William Blake

The Philadelphia Association (PA) study programme includes an Introductory Course in Philosophy and Psychotherapy, an Experiential and a Diploma Course in Community and Psychotherapy, and a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy training. 

The PA is a member of the Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis College (CPJA) of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)

Academic qualifications are not prized over other skills and experience, sometimes people who never intended to become psychotherapists find that the study programme inspires them to follow this path after all. A creative approach is favoured to explore the socio - cultural specificity of an individual’s experience. It involves being ready to question the social norms that often contribute to unhappiness. A sharing of lived experience, an engagement with philosophy and other fields including anthropology, spirituality and the arts is fundamental to our approach. So is a belief in the value of ordinary ways of living and being together. Community and inclusive conversation have the power to alleviate what disturbs people.


The PA is committed to keeping fees as low as possible. A limited number of bursaries are available and we can help students find affordable therapy and supervision required for the psychotherapy training.


* Courses might start off remotely this year depending upon the COVID situation and restrictions, but we are looking at ways of providing the courses safely so that people can meet at the Philadelphia Association's premises in Hampstead. To enquire about the study programme or request an application form  please email or

Interviews for courses 2023/4 will start in April.





This one year course offers an opportunity to study past and current psychological theories and treatments of human suffering in conjunction with philosophy, particularly phenomenology and existentialism, as well as ideas drawn from art, literature, the politics of psychiatry, power and lived experience. 

The course takes place on Thursday evenings between 6.15 - 9.30pm and consists of a weekly seminar and an experiential group. The Introductory Course is both a stand alone certificate course and an introduction to study at the PA. Students who complete the IC can apply to the one year Diploma in Community and Psychotherapy and the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training. 





For more than fifty years the idea of community has been at the heart of the Philadelphia Association. From the experiment at Kingsley Hall to its current community houses and community events, the Philadelphia Association’s work has always involved a shared attempt to deal with the hardship of emotional distress through the practice of living together and community conversation.

Community as a therapeutic ideal remains as elusive as ever in today’s fragmented, competitive and increasingly digital world. Yet the need for it is more and more urgent. While the mental health of the nation has become an increasingly publicised concern of the government and media, economic and social developments create further inequality which contributes to the break down of supportive community cultures.


Seminars will frame topics to discuss but the heart of the course is experiential, comparative learning about group formats and dynamics – and their relationship to the politics of the wider society.

The course takes place during six weekends over the academic year and is a pathway to the Diploma in Community and Psychotherapy and the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training.





The Philadelphia Association Diploma in Community and Psychotherapy is a one year practice-oriented course, which offers students the opportunity to develop therapeutic work in community settings. The aim of this course is to develop the idea of community through therapeutic practice. Such work needs resilience and practicality as well as compassion and hope, but it also needs a rigorous and affordable framework of study which this new course offers.

The Diploma is designed to provide both continuing professional development and pathways into community engagement. It takes place during six weekends over the academic year.



(Theory & Practice)


The pandemic has exposed and intensified the existing inequalities of an already profoundly unfair society. Many people who were precarious and isolated before the coronavirus struck now feel even more marginalised. We are living through a social transformation whose outcome is uncertain: it is doubtful whether the “new normal” will actually improve the conditions of ordinary life. One thing is clear, however: more of our time is going to be spent online. Sociologists have even begun to speak of the Internet as our “home”, though for some this means the boredom and blurred boundaries of work-from-home. Psychotherapists and other practitioners who have moved their practice onto digital platforms such as Zoom may never fully return to face-to-face work, and this is just as big a shift for those who use their services as it is for the practitioners themselves.


Online communication has the power to create new forms of dialogue and debate. People who might otherwise never meet can now talk via Zoom and other platforms. Do virtual platforms offer the opportunity for meaningful connection through online conversation? This is a question to be explored in both theory and practice by this new course which includes seminars on a variety of psychotherapeutic, philosophical and social questions.


As part of the PA’s study programme, this online course has been developed to meet the demand for those interested in the PA’s work (and our continuing enquiry into the assumptions we carry about ourselves and others) who aren’t able to attend our established in-person courses in London. 

The course will comprise of three terms of seven Wednesday evenings (seminar and experiential group) plus one weekend per term. 



The Philadelphia Association offers a training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy informed by philosophy, in particular phenomenology and existentialism. Our approach asks for a commitment to thoughtfulness and putting in question what is often taken for granted. We place particular emphasis on the need to attend to the particularity of an individual’s experience, understood within his or her specific social context.

The Philadelphia Association training, which started in 1970, is regarded as an apprenticeship. The practice of psychotherapy cannot be learned through the acquisition of a body of knowledge. Rather it may be developed through close association with others who are more experienced, through supervision and tutorials and in continuing conversation with others about the nature of the work – what we do and what we think we are doing. Completion of the training leads to registration with the UKCP.

bottom of page