Regulations for Training as a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist in the Northern Ireland Psychoanalytic Society

This guide sets out the regulations governing the training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy available through NIPaS. The programme of training for membership of NIPaS normally lasts four years. Qualified Members of NIPaS are registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC). The member organizations of the BPC are those with the most rigorous selection and training standards in psychoanalytic psychotherapy in the United Kingdom.

Selection for Training

Basic requirements for application for Student Membership

  1.  Candidates shall already possess a university degree, or a qualification to practise in one of the caring professions.

  2.  An applicant shall have completed a minimum of one year of four or five times a week personal analysis or therapy with a recognized training analyst or psychotherapist at the time of consideration of the application. Candidates are free to choose their own training analyst or psychotherapist from among those recognized by NIPaS as qualified to conduct a training analysis or therapy. Advice about identifying a training analyst or psychotherapist may be obtained by contacting a member of the NIPaS Training Committee.

Application for Student Membership

  1.  With the approval of the training analyst/psychotherapist, the candidate shall obtain an application form from the Honorary Secretary of NIPaS. The completed application form shall be submitted to the Honorary Secretary with a curriculum vitae. This may be done after nine months in analysis/therapy, to allow time for the Training Committee to arrange two selection interviews.

  2. The selection interviews shall be conducted by Members of NIPaS approved by the Training Committee (one of whom must be a training analyst/psychotherapist). The Training Committee shall consider the application, taking into account the recommendation of the training analyst/psychotherapist, the reports of the interviewers, the applicant’s references, and all other relevant information.

Admission as a Student Member and Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

  1. When accepted for training, the student is allocated a progress adviser, who shall discuss with the student all the stages involved in training. The student shall meet with the progress adviser at least every six months throughout the course of training.

  2. The progress adviser shall receive six-monthly reports on supervised clinical work from the student and from the student’s supervisor; these reports, together with the student’s report on theoretical education, shall form the basis of the six-monthly progress interview.

The different elements of training are as follows: 

  1. Personal analysis/psychotherapy: Candidates shall complete a minimum of five years of four or five times weekly personal analysis or psychotherapy with a recognized training analyst/psychotherapist (including one year prior to admission as a Student Member). The analysis/psychotherapy must continue until the completion of training and election to membership

  2. Clinical experience in a psychiatric setting: The student must have experience of clinical contact in a variety of settings and be acquainted with a full range of mental disturbance before starting supervised training cases. If the student has had no previous experience, this may be arranged during the initial stage of training. A minimum of 140 hours of clinical experience in a psychiatric unit must include interviewing and assessing patients under the supervision of a consultant psychiatrist.

  3. Educational requirements: Prescribed theoretical and clinical seminars must be attended over four years, totalling a minimum of 342 hours.

  4. Supervised training cases: Two training cases shall be supervised weekly. Students must apply, with the agreement of their progress adviser, to the Training Committee for approval to begin each training case, normally at least one year after admission as a Student Member. The assessment of each case as suitable must be endorsed by the proposed supervisor. The progress adviser shall assist the student in identifying a suitable supervisor. The two cases shall be one female and one male. Each case must be treated three times weekly in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. One case must be in treatment for a minimum of two years and the other for a minimum of eighteen months (not including the summer break). The two cases must be supervised by different approved supervisors. One supervisor shall be female and one male. Six-monthly reports on each case, approved and countersigned by the supervisor, shall be submitted to the progress adviser.

  5. Reading-in paper: The reading-in paper shall be a clinical presentation (with a reading time of not more than 45 minutes) of one of the training cases, normally presented to a specially convened membership panel. It must be discussed before submission with the supervisor and approved for presentation by the progress adviser.

Completion of training

  1. The progress adviser acts as co-ordinator of the elements of training, advises the Training Committee of the student’s progress, and is responsible for recommending that the student is ready to go forward for reading in.

  2. When all the other requirements of membership have been completed, the student must receive the progress adviser’s confirmation that the reading-in paper is ready for submission to the membership panel. For further details, see the Completion of Training section of the NIPaS Handbook.