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, please email or



Click here for further details.



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 Monday 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.




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.