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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.



Deadline for training application is May 2024 for October 2024 intake.


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.




3, 10  & 17 October

The importance of boredom

Jake Osborne

24 & 31 October & 7 November 

Against and for phenomenology, existentialism and psychoanalysis:: some implications for practice

Del Loewenthal

14 & 21 November

What is it helpful for a therapist to know and what should we not think we know ?

Barbara Latham


28 November

Clinical Workshop 

Marie Laure Davenport

5 December

Seven stages of emotional development in therapy, Carl Rogers, A process conception of psychotherapy

On Becoming A Person.

Elie Jesner



4 November 

Silence in Therapy and in Life - An experiential encounter 

Elie Jesner

The Building Blocks of Practicing as a Therapist 

Nick Mercer



16 & 23 January 2024

Wittgenstein, Fate and History 

Miles Clapham


30 January, 6 & 13 February

The “F” word and “The Rat Man” "group. 

Pamela Stewart

20 February

Clinical Workshop

Marie Laure Davenport  

27 February & 5 March

What Happens in Groups? 

Alison Davies

12 & 19 March 

The Psychoanalytic Concept of Transference 

Jeremy Cutler


23 & 24 March 


Onel Brooks


30 April, 7 May, 14 May 

Biography, theory and psychotherapy/ Wittgenstein and psychotherapy and Winnicott 

Onel Brooks

21 May

Clinical Workshop

Marie Laure Davenport

28 May, 4 & 11 June 

Mortality, as thought about in the phenomenological-existential tradition. 

Paul Gurney


18 June

Learning how to read again (and again), or teaching how to curse: counter-

colonial conversations (can reading poetry help us to listen? Does writing help us to read?

Ans what of responding in kind with kindness?) 

Robbie Lockwood


25 June & 2 July

Adam Philips 'On giving up'

James Mann



22 June

The clinical diary of Sandor Ferenczi

Writing about the experience of being with another

Emma Stroker


23 June 


Fliss Cadbury

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