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Complex trauma: the Tavistock model (D19)

A clinical, post-qualification training for psychotherapists, developed and delivered by our award-winning Trauma Service.

This two-year, postgraduate course has been developed to support qualified psychodynamic and psychoanalytic psychotherapists who wish to specialise in trauma work.

Combining a clinical placement with a rigorous academic programme, the training offers a unique opportunity to develop both the theoretical framework and clinical skills needed to work with traumatised individuals – drawing on the expertise of the renowned Tavistock Trauma Service, and the wider Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

We anticipate that this course will be recognised by the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) with the award of a ‘kite mark’ following their accreditation process.

The deadline for applications to this course is provisionally set for Sunday 30 June 2024. However, we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible, as spaces are limited and can be competitive.

Please note: you may see the D19 course also referred to as PCTCTP010 in communications from our application system.

About this course

This two-year course comprises a clinical placement, weekly experiential and supervision groups, and suite of academic modules:

The clinical placement

The clinical placement offers participants the opportunity to work within the award-winning Tavistock Trauma Service. Students will see two patients within the service, each for 18 months, and their work will be supervised by senior clinicians. Students will also have access to unit meetings and other CPD activities within the service.

Weekly experiential group

A weekly experiential group will provide time and space to explore the powerful countertransference experiences that are inevitable in trauma work – ensuring that students have regular opportunities to reflect on their work and to support each other throughout their training.

Weekly supervision group

Weekly supervision groups will be run by senior members of the Tavistock Trauma Service. With a maximum of three students per group, these sessions will support students in consolidating their clinical understanding and skills.

Academic modules

Spanning a wide range of modalities, populations, perspectives and ways of working, our academic modules will support students in developing a deeper understanding of trauma – drawing on expertise from within the Tavistock and Portman and beyond. It is anticipated that the lectures which make up each module will be delivered online or in-person, depending on the topic, to maximise flexibility. Students will be required to complete some compulsory modules, and then may choose additional modules which best suit their interests. We hope to also make some of these modules available as short CPD courses.

Who is this course for?

This course is for accredited psychodynamic and psychoanalytic psychotherapists and psychoanalysts who wish to gain expertise in working with traumatised adults.

Course details

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


£3,950 per year (2024/25)


£7,900 per year (2024/25)

You will be charged course fees for each year of your course. If your course is longer than one year, the fees that you will be charged after the first year will be subject to an annual inflationary increase. This will either be an increase of 3% or the Consumer Price Inflation as on 1 September of that year – whichever is the greater. At its discretion, the Trust may determine a figure between these two rates. Please refer to our Student Fees & Refund Policy for further information.

Financial support may be available to help you fund your studies at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.


To be awarded a Trust Certificate, participants should attend a minimum of 80% of all lectures, experiential and supervision groups, plus at least one team meeting per month, and complete a short, twice-yearly report for both of their patients.

Participants’ progress will be reviewed at twice-yearly progression boards, by a panel made up of the course lead and supervisors, with input from the experiential group leader and the academic module lecturers.


This course is intended to be undertaken on a part-time basis, with approximately six hours of face-to-face activity taking place in the Tavistock Centre each week. This includes the weekly experiential group and clinical sessions in the Trauma Service. Where possible, we hope to be able to offer some flexibility in terms of these timings, and in the timings of weekly supervision groups, recognizing that these will need to fit into therapists’ already busy working week.

Our intention is for this course to be delivered in a blended mode. Some elements of the training will delivered be face to face, including the clinical placement and experiential group. It is anticipated that the lectures which make up each academic module will be delivered online or in-person, depending on the topic, to maximise flexibility.

For the academic year 2024/25, the lectures and experiential group will take place in the Tavistock Centre on Tuesday afternoons at 2.00pm and 3.30pm respectively. Clinical sessions can be arranged to take place on the same day, or on another day. Supervision groups will take place online, and there will be three sessions to choose between, spread throughout the week. Trauma service team meetings take place on Mondays at 2.00pm, and course participants will be required to attend a minimum of one meeting per month – presenting a patient in a team meeting once over the course of the two years.

There is growing evidence of the need for therapists to be able to adapt their traditional psychoanalytic stance to work with traumatised patients. Many traditional trainings cannot give sufficient emphasis to trauma, considering its ubiquity in clinical work.

This course offers a sound clinical training to work as a trauma therapist within a psychoanalytic frame. It will support therapists in their current practice, while also introducing new possibilities for working in the trauma field.

Why study with us?

While many psychotherapy trainings include some discussion of trauma within their academic programme, coverage is often limited – leaving many therapists feeling that they lack the expertise or skills needed to work with traumatised individuals. As our recognition of the ubiquity of trauma (including childhood, adult, collective and cultural trauma) grows, so too does our awareness of the need for more in-depth training in this area.

This unique course offers participants the opportunity to train in an award-winning Trauma Service – developing relevant clinical experience, together with a robust theoretical framework. Drawing on the service’s distinctive, multi-modal approach, the course will consider intersectionality as an essential aspect of the training at all levels.

Course facilitators

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