WPF Clinical Qualification in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
A part-time course taught over four years, accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC). At the end of the course, graduates are qualified psychotherapists able to provide therapy in person and online.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, well-qualified therapists are increasingly in demand. The esteemed WPF training in psychodynamic psychotherapy reflects the WPF mission to make high-quality therapy accessible and affordable for everyone. The course is unique because it provides all the different parts of your training at no extra cost, including client hours and supervisions. It has been carefully designed to prepare you for a long and fulfilling career as a highly skilled therapist. WPF recently added a new module in online psychotherapy to accommodate the changes brought about by the pandemic.
This course is suitable for people of all ages, backgrounds and professions, as long as they meet the entry requirements. Although the course is part-time, the hours you need to put in will gradually increase each year.
The majority of your training will be delivered through face-to-face teaching, with some online learning as well. The course provides:
A seminar programme featuring modules on psychoanalytic theory and its clinical applications, research, mental health familiarisation and psychotherapy using technology
A clinical placement in our professional therapy clinic, including in-house supervision of your clinical work both in person and online
An experiential group
A dedicated Trainee Development Tutor who will oversee your progress across all four years of the course
100 hours in a community placement (mental health or community setting)
Eligibility to register with the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) when you graduate
Fulfilment of the training requirements for individual accreditation with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
Professional membership of the Foundation for Psychotherapy and Counselling (FPC)
The opportunity to complete specialist clinical placements and practise fixed-term therapy
Access to our programme of CPD events at a discounted price
The Clinical Qualification in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is designed to:
Provide a critical understanding of psychodynamic theory and practice in the context of contemporary society
Equip trainees with the skills and competencies of psychodynamic therapy to enable them to work clinically in person and online
Demonstrate the limits and context of the psychodynamic approach so that trainees can critically assess it
Support trainees to develop a professional identity as psychodynamic psychotherapists and work independently as reflective practitioners
Empower trainees to engage in relevant theoretical debates and contribute to the subject area’s knowledge base
Equip trainees with research awareness and the ability to evaluate and critique research in the field
Offer a flexible training programme that takes into account trainees’ previous experience and accommodates individual learning needs
The course has a pluralist ethos within the psychodynamic and psychoanalytic traditions. During your training you will study a wide range of theory, from the seminal contributions of Freud, Jung, Klein, Winnicott and Bion to contemporary views of psychodynamic theory and technique. You will be encouraged to engage critically with the required reading, and to read additional material outside the essential texts.
Working as a psychotherapist in modern society requires knowledge and understanding of how wellbeing and mental illness are viewed by different types of people and communities. Your training will cover different models of diagnosis, assessment and treatment of mental health issues. You will also look at the influence of socio-economics, class, gender, disability, age, culture, religion, race and sexuality on the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.
Full course content:
Level 7 (Master’s level) modules and written assignments
Professional modules focusing on clinical practice
Client casework and supervision
Individual and group tutorials
Some compulsory Saturday workshops
A 100-hour community placement
You will be assessed and provided with constructive feedback on a regular basis throughout the course. At the end of each year, the assessment committee evaluates the progress of each trainee. The committee will then make a recommendation based on your self-assessment, supervisor’s report, seminar reports, written assignment results and attendance. You must complete and pass all compulsory modules to progress into the next year.
There are written assignments for each of the key seminars. These are normally essays of approximately 2,000 words. You will also have to complete two clinical essays – one in year 3 and one in year 4. In addition, you may be asked to give seminar presentations throughout the course.
Our clinical qualification is unique because it offers trainees the chance to work with clients in the WPF Therapy clinic. As a therapist in the clinic, you will learn how to work with issues including safeguarding and risk assessment. You will also be expected to use our online client record management system.
In all of our professional courses, we place a particular emphasis on trainees’ clinical experience. Our psychodynamic psychotherapy training will provide you with extensive experience of both in-person and online practice. By delivering weekly, open-ended psychodynamic psychotherapy sessions, you will engage with a diverse range of clients and issues. You will also have the opportunity to gain clinical experience of assessment and fixed-term therapy. The WPF Therapy clinical placement is an invaluable opportunity to develop your skills under the supervision of experienced practitioners, which will prepare you for a broad-based professional practice once you have completed your training.
All trainees must complete a minimum of 410 client contact hours in order to become a qualified psychotherapist. This needs to include both in-person and online therapy. You will be able to see clients in the WPF clinic during weekdays, in the evening or on Saturdays. When you qualify, you may get the opportunity to move your clients to a private practice. This is subject to the suitability of the clients for working in this setting and will involve a transfer-out fee.
Please note that trainees on the clinical qualification are not allowed to take other WPF trainees as therapy clients.
Weekly group supervision is provided as a compulsory module of the course. You are expected to attend supervision for 44 weeks a year, both during and outside of term time.
You will have remote access to all of our online learning resources throughout the course. All trainees are expected to use Moodle, the virtual learning environment, and Microsoft Teams for communication and sharing resources.
Code of ethics
All trainees must comply with the WPF Therapy Code of Ethics and Professional Practice. When you graduate, you will be expected to become a professional member of the Foundation for Psychotherapy and Counselling (FPC). You will also be required to provide us with information regarding your online presence. It is your personal responsibility to ensure that your online profile is accurate.
WPF Therapy reserves the right to extend or terminate an individual’s training at any time.
The Clinical Qualification in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is a part-time course taught over four years. It is a combination of academic study and clinical practice and involves attendance at seminars, experiential groups and clinical supervision.
The academic component of the course takes place over 30 weeks divided into three 10-week terms. The clinical component takes place over 44 weeks and clinical supervision runs throughout the year.
For those applying to start the course in October 2023, the available training route is CQ-MT.
CQ-MT (daytime mode)
The CQ-MT course involves a full day of teaching once a week for four years.
Years 1 and 2: Tuesdays between 9am – 6pm
Years 3 and 4: Mondays between 9am – 6pm
As you progress through the training, the time commitment required will gradually increase. You will need to allocate time for your clinical caseload, as well as studying and completing written work. By year 4, you are likely to be seeing four to five clients per week. (Please note, it is not advisable to see clients on your training day.).
We review the structure of the training programme every year. As a result, there may be some changes during your time on the course. We always do our best to keep these to a minimum so that trainees can plan ahead.
When you apply for the Clinical Qualification in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, you will need to:
Have had a minimum of six months of therapy, ideally psychodynamic or psychoanalytic psychotherapy
Demonstrate the maturity and self-awareness needed to take on the emotional and academic challenges of the course
Have a degree or equivalent – if you don’t, we might ask you to submit a piece of written work for us to assess
Be personally suitable to train as a therapist and work with clients at the WPF clinic
Have already completed, or be about to complete, a one-year course in counselling skills that is equivalent to the WPF Foundation Certificate in Counselling Skills (Level 4)
Be fluent in written and spoken English*
Have a minimum of 40 hours’ experience of using counselling skills (this can be in a professional or voluntary capacity, for example a regular befriending role)
Be able to show appropriate evidence of prior learning and experience if you are applying to start the course in years two or three
Have the technological competence and equipment needed to work online, as well as an appropriate private space
*We accept any of the following English qualifications:
GCSE grade C
British Council IELTS at 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any band (see ielts.org)
Cambridge Proficiency Certificate grade C
Cambridge Advanced Certificate grade C (with no less than ‘weak’ in any band)
Entry requirements for Accreditation for Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) applicants
To apply to join the course at a later point in the training programme, you will need to:
Be providing psychodynamic counselling in a counselling centre or the equivalent
Have been receiving approved therapy for a minimum of two years and still be in this therapy currently
Have a two-year Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling or an equivalent psychodynamic qualification
Have the same number of client hours as trainees at the end of year 1 (40 hours) or year 2 (120 hours) and be able to demonstrate the qualities of a reflective practitioner
Be able to provide a reference from your course tutor and/or workplace
Submit a written piece of work to demonstrate that your academic ability is of a suitable level (this is usually a clinical essay that includes an account of your clinical work and theoretical understanding)
Please see our APEL policy for full details. You will need to state on your application form that you would like to be considered for APEL entry.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks
As part of your application, you will need to fill out a form listing any unspent criminal convictions you have. Having a criminal record will not automatically disqualify you from the course. If you are offered a place, you will need to complete a formal DBS check as soon as you accept. This is a mandatory requirement for anyone seeing clients in our therapy clinic.
Currently not taking new applications
The admissions process consists of:
An application form, including a personal statement
A current CV
An individual interview
A group interview
Interviews for the course are held from January with a new intake of students starting every October. The group interviews take place on Zoom with a maximum of six applicants in each. We aim to let applicants know the outcome of the admissions process within six weeks of receiving their full application.
Please note that an offer of a place on the Clinical Qualification in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy applies solely to the intake you have applied for. Applicants are not able to defer entry.
The individual interview usually takes place online with a WPF interviewer. The main focus will be on your level of self-awareness and your readiness to embark on clinical training. We will also be looking for a flexible and empathetic approach to a diverse range of people and assessing your suitability to work with clients in our therapy clinic.
The group interview provides:
An opportunity to discuss your present experience in a helping or counselling role, and your psychodynamic understanding of that experience
A chance to demonstrate your capacity to use counselling skills with empathy and sensitivity
A taste of what group supervision is like
An opportunity for you to learn more about the course and ask any questions you have about training with WPF
A report will be completed after each stage of the admissions process and reviewed by the selection committee.
We expect all trainees to disclose any personal circumstances that may affect their ability to complete the training and/or clinical work with WPF clients.
Before you apply, you must have had a minimum of six months of therapy, ideally psychodynamic or psychoanalytic psychotherapy. You do not have to be in therapy when you submit your application. However, if you are offered a place, you will need to be having therapy with a WPF-approved training therapist at least once a week by the time the course starts.
A list of WPF training therapists and our Guidelines for Therapy are available from the training department.
Therapy advisers are experienced training therapists who act as consultants to support trainees in finding a suitable therapist. We allocate a dedicated therapy adviser to each of our trainees and would recommend that you arrange a meeting with your adviser if you are not already receiving appropriate therapy when you apply for the course.