Psychodynamic psychotherapy for child and adolescent psychiatrists (M14)

Discover the UK’s only BPC-approved psychodynamic psychotherapy training for child and adolescent psychiatrists

Tailored specifically to meet the needs of practicing psychiatrists, this is the UK’s only British Psychoanalytic Council-approved training in psychodynamic psychotherapy for child and adolescent psychiatrists.

Combining theory, observation and supervision, the course develops the theoretical knowledge and therapeutic skills needed to deliver psychodynamic assessment and treatment in a range of clinical settings.

Please note: you may see the M14 course also referred to as PCTCTP006 in communications from our application system.

About this course

This course includes the following elements:

  • lectures and seminars in child development and psychoanalytic theory
  • infant observation
  • supervised, twice-weekly clinical cases with a child and an adolescent, plus work with a parent or parents
  • twice-weekly personal therapy

Psychoanalytic theory and child development research module

In the first year of study, Psychoanalytic theory lectures alternate weekly with child development research seminars.

In the Psychoanalytic theory component, you will be introduced to core concepts via lectures, seminars and seminal texts drawn primarily from S. Freud, M. Klein and D. Winnicott.

In the child development research component, you will explore attachment theory, neurobiology, developmental psychology and anthropology.

The Psychoanalytic theory component continues as a half-module in the second year of study.  

Infant observation module

You will observe an infant or young child for one hour once a week for at least one year and attend a weekly seminar to discuss your observations.

Many students choose to undertake the infant observation module over a two-year period, as it can take up to six months to find an infant to observe and begin an observation.

Clinical supervision

You will see two twice-weekly psychotherapy cases – one with a child and one with an adolescent, for 1-2 years each – and need to have weekly supervision throughout, from an experienced child psychotherapist.

You will also have the option to engage in other psychodynamically-informed experiences, for example family or group therapy, attending a Group Relations Conference, or carrying out an organisational consultation, according to your own interests.

Clinical work will usually be undertaken in the setting where you work and supervised by a child psychotherapist from your Team or Trust, but if that isn’t possible it can take place at the Tavistock Clinic on an honorary contract, and supervision can be obtained privately with a senior child psychotherapist.

Personal therapy

You will undertake personal therapy at least twice a week starting 6 months before you take on your first training case and continuing for as long as your clinical cases continue.


You will submit and pass a 10,000 word qualifying paper, combining a description of one of your cases with relevant theory. You will then be eligible for inclusion on the register of the British Psychoanalytic Council.

Who is this course for?

This course is for you if you work in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry and are interested in expanding your practice to include psychodynamic psychotherapy approaches. 

Course details

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

  • are a psychiatrist in a salaried specialty (ST4-6) training post, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, or an associate or staff grade psychiatrist
  • have a minimum of a core qualification in psychiatry
  • have some experience of working with children, adolescents and their parents

Previous recognised experience will be accepted and will not need to be repeated. The requirements will be assessed by application form and interview.

Applicants should ensure that at least one of their references is from a psychotherapist who knows about their suitability for this course, and for this kind of psychodynamic work.

The yearly cost of the course depends on your preferred pace, as course fees as calculated per module, with an additional annual enrolment fee.

For example, if you choose to undertake the Psychoanalytic theory and child development research module and the infant observation module in your first year, these would cost £2,950. Then, in your second year, you would undertake a half-module of Psychoanalytic theory, and continue with the infant observation module, at a cost of £2,375. Additional years of study would just incur the enrolment fee of £650.


£1,150 per module, plus £650 annual enrolment fee.


£2,300 per module, plus £650 annual enrolment fee.

For your fee status, please see our fees and funding area.

If you are in a salaried speciality training post, some of your course fees may be claimed back from your deanery as an aspirational course.

For more information about customising and financing your studies, please contact our admissions team, who will arrange a call with our course lead.

Please note that course fees are subject to an annual uplift of 3% or the Consumer Price Inflation as at 1 September, whichever is the greater. At its discretion, the Trust may determine a figure between these two rates.


You will need to submit and pass a 10,000 word qualifying paper, combining a description of one of your cases with relevant theory. You will then be eligible for inclusion on the register of the British Psychoanalytic Council.


In London, seminars and lectures take place during the day on Wednesdays, or on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

In addition, the same programme of seminars and lectures can also be undertaken in Belfast on Thursdays; in Leeds on Fridays; in Birmingham on Fridays and Saturdays; and in Bristol on Fridays and Saturdays.

Your regular clinical work and supervisions can be scheduled for days and times that suit you. Students who are in salaried speciality training posts often use their special interest sessions for this purpose. Consultants and Staff Grades should also have time in their job plan for CPD and special interests.

Graduates of this unique course continue their work in child and adolescent psychiatry with an increased confidence and knowledge base.

Why study with us?

This course will expand and develop your observational and therapeutic skills, while also building an in-depth knowledge of key psychoanalytic concepts – enabling you to use a psychodynamic understanding and techniques with children, adolescents and parents.

You will be able to draw on your own experiences in individual personal therapy to improve your understanding of your patients’ internal states.


BPC logo

This course is accredited by the British Psychoanalytic Council.


“Theory seminars helped me develop a frame of reference for formulating hypotheses about childhood behaviours and the important role observation and interpretation has in the assessment and treatment of children of all ages.”
M14 Student
“Seeing a child intensively in this way has taught me about working with a child’s internal world, the impact upon their external world and the devastating effects of child maltreatment.”
M14 Student
“Infant observation has been an opportunity to gather together the theoretical aspects of the course, and, through the shared observations of the seminar, explore our own understanding of these to gain deeper insight into the emotional development of infants.”
M14 Student

Course facilitators

Register your interest

Applications are now closed. Register your interest and be the first to hear when this course reopens.

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