Forensic psychodynamic psychotherapy

Course overview

This is a qualifying course in forensic psychodynamic psychotherapy delivered uniquely within the renowned NHS Portman Clinic. Accredited by the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC), it will equip you to work as an independent practitioner.

This course offers a recognised qualification as a psychodynamic psychotherapist, as well as providing you with a unique approach to working within forensic mental health and criminal justice institutions.

Over the two years, you will study:

  • theoretical seminars
  • clinical seminars
  • treatment of two once-weekly psychotherapy patients
  • individual supervision
  • attendance at clinical meetings
  • personal tutorials
Clinical applications seminars
For these seminars, you will be requested to present material from your workplace, with each student presenting in turn. Through this process you will be exposed to the work of colleagues and will be able to study a range of clinical, interpersonal and organisational issues. The clinical applications seminar also provides an opportunity for concepts developed in the theoretical seminars to be identified and elaborated upon within both a professional and clinical context.

Supervision arrangements

You will be supervised in pairs initially during the first year and in the second year you will be supervised on a one-to-one basis, receiving fortnightly supervision on each of your treatment cases. 

Supervision in the first year will provide the student with the opportunity to present their own work and to participate in thinking and discussion about a colleague’s clinical work. In the second year, students will have an opportunity to experience one-to-one supervision.

The supervision provides support for the student’s clinical work and an opportunity to reflect on both the experience of the patient and therapist. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the emerging transference and countertransference manifestations. Exploring these manifestations in the consulting room also enables the therapist and patient to gain an understanding of the impact of specific transference and countertransference issues with an offender population. A focus on these processes in the consulting room will also assist in thinking about these issues in a wider, organisational context.

Termly individual tutorials are a chance to discuss and monitor your progress on the course and to think about future training opportunities.

For the duration of the course,  you will treat two psychotherapy patients, once a week with at least one at the Portman Clinic. Patients are seen for at least one year each and the two patients may be seen concurrently.

You will be taught in a systematic and rigorous manner by clinicians who are highly experienced in the field of forensic psychodynamic psychotherapy.  You will benefit from integrated theoretical and clinical teaching which will prepare you for high standards in independent clinical practice.

The course provides the part two of a unique training for work in the NHS and the Criminal Justice System.

This course is for you if you are a professional working in mental health and the criminal justice system and who is interested in developing your understanding of the application of psychodynamic concepts to a forensic context.

The course has been designed for medical practitioners, clinical and forensic psychologists, probation officers, social workers and/or nurses. It is also designed for psychotherapists who wish to develop specific expertise in forensic psychotherapy.

This course is open to students who have completed a relevant academic course and have undertaken relevant supervised psychodynamic psychotherapy. 

This may involve the successful completion of our Foundations of psychodynamic psychotherapy course or an equivalent clinical psychotherapy course.

In order to undertake this course, we ask that you:

  • have had at least two years of weekly personal psychotherapy with a BPC accredited psychoanalytic psychotherapist



  • have two years supervised psychotherapy work with a patient

Please note that due to the nature of this course, personal suitability for the work is an important factor.

All students are required to attend twice weekly personal psychotherapy with a BPC-registered psychoanalytic psychotherapist for the duration of the course.

The annual fee for this course is £4335 for Home/EU students and £8670 for International students. 

We are happy to offer a range of ways to pay your fees, as well as some funding for specific courses.  

Please contact us if you have any questions. 

Please note that course fees will increase by 2% each year.

The previous code for this course was D59F.

Professional Qualification & Clinical Training
Course length:
2 years
Part-time – Monday mornings
Admission status:
Course lead:
Andrew Williams

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