• couple in therapy room with therapist

    Couple & Individual Psychodynamic Counselling & Psychotherapy MA/PG Dip

About this course

The Psychodynamic Couple and Individual Counselling and Psychotherapy course is a unique three-year clinical psychotherapy training that qualifies practitioners to work with both couples and individuals. The clinical accreditation is provided by the BAPC, with trainees who complete the course able to apply for full registration with this professional body.

It is offered as a PGDip or MA in Psychodynamic Couple and Individual Counselling and Psychotherapy, by Birkbeck College, University of London with teaching, clinical experience and supervision by Tavistock Relationships.

Get in touch with us

Send us an email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you'd like to know more about this course or have any questions. Our team is happy to help.

Key information

Starting: October 2024

Venue: Blended learning experience.  In-person teaching at TR's central london centre (EC2M) with some online tutorials and supervision. 

Fees for academic year 24-25:

Home students: £8,130 per year

International students: £12,000 per year 

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their course. Tuition fees for students continuing on their course in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the Birkbeck's College Fees Policy.

Additional Fees

Trainees will also be required to pay for the cost of personal therapy and DBS checks where this is part of the course requirements.  

Course length: 

PGDip: Part-Time 3 Years

MA: Part-Time 4 Years 

Qualification: Professional qualification and clinical training BACP accredited.

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Qualification after successful completion of the course

  • You will become a professional couple and individual counsellor and psychotherapist equipped to work in either the statutory or voluntary sector and as a private practitioner in the field of relationship counselling and psychotherapy.
  • You will be eligible to apply for accreditation with BACP once the required additional client hours have been completed
  • Entry with Advanced Standing into the Clinical Qualification in Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (CT1A) and registration with the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC)
  • Entry into the Diploma in Psychosexual Therapy and registration with the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT).

How to apply:  Apply for this course via Birkbeck

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For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or you can sign up for one of our Open Events and Taster Days.

  • Overview

    Tavistock Relationships specialises in couple relationships and is the leading couple therapy centre in London but many individuals also choose to come to Tavistock Relationships for therapy because at the core of many of the issues or dilemmas seen in the consulting room is often a relationship difficulty of some sort.

    Another unique feature of TR’s psychodynamic psychotherapy training is that clinicians receive specific psychosexual training which enables them to work sensitively, knowledgeably and skillfully with this area of the couple’s intimate relationship. Individuals encountering psychosexual and intimacy difficulties may be seen in TR’s clinical service and clinicians are trained in how to help those who may not yet have been able to have a sexual relationship or who have developed particular difficulties in sustaining one.

  • Content

    Four core academic modules in skills, psychoanalytic thought, couple theory 1 & 2

    • Three core professional modules in clinical technique, essentials and research
    • Self-reflective practice groups
    • Weekly group supervision and 300 hours of clinical case work undertaken at Tavistock Relationships
    • Weekly clinical seminars when undertaking clinical work
    • Written work
    • Support from a personal tutor throughout the course

    A requirement of the course is that all students have personal psychoanalytic psychotherapy of at least once a week for the duration of the course.

  • Aims

    • To offer a pluralistic, rich and wide-ranging programme of study in the therapeutic approach to people in couple relationships. 

    • To encourage a study of unconscious processes. 

    • To understand and analyse the process of the therapeutic relationship and the purpose and practice of intervention. 

    • To encourage students to reflect at all times on their own life experiences and to use this creatively in understanding the work. 

    • To encourage a thoughtful and critical approach to the programme. 

    • To encourage practice-based research. 

  • Entry requirements

    For direct entry into our clinical qualification training, you will need to meet all of the following criteria:

    • Relevant voluntary or paid work experience – this being work in emotional and mental health and wellbeing – for a minimum of 6 months
    • Completed our Foundation Certificate in Couple Counselling and Psychotherapy or an equivalent level (Foundation/BACP Stage 2) psychodynamic or psychoanalytic counselling skills training
    • Good first degree or equivalent professional qualification

    Please note: it is a requirement of our clinical trainings that you are in personal therapy with a BPC registered psychoanalyst or psychoanalytic psychotherapist (NOT a psychodynamic psychotherapist) within 2 months of starting the course. This is in addition to the required minimum 12 months of psychotherapy cited above. Students’ training therapists need to be approved by us, so you are advised to check first before entering into a new therapy at the same time as applying for a place on the training. For those established in current, ongoing therapy, we will discuss this with you at interview should you be shortlisted.

    In terms of personal qualities, we are looking for applicants with the following:

    • Self-awareness, maturity and stability
    • Ability to make use of and reflect upon life experience
    • Capacity to cope with both the emotional and intellectual demands of the course
    • Appropriate level of interest and motivation for learning about counselling and relationships
    • Non-judgemental, empathetic, and capacity to be a good listener.

    We are mindful of the emotional demands involved in training to become a therapist and always seek to provide a supportive learning environment. It is also important that applicants are sufficiently emotionally and mentally robust to undertake our trainings. Personal readiness is a significant requirement that will be explored as part of the application assessment process.

  • Assessment

    • DVD recorded session & process recording, case studies, training log and journal
    • Couple theory paper, seminar review paper, oral presentation
    • Ongoing assessment by supervisors, seminar leaders, self-reflective group conductors, and tutors

    Exemptions may apply for APEL’d components.

  • Advanced standing

    If you are an experienced individual psychotherapist or a couple therapist, you may be eligible for entry with advanced standing. This could enable you to complete the taught part of the programme in a minimum of two years (PGDip).

    Advanced Standing Course content and structure

    • Self-reflective practice groups
    • Weekly group supervision and 300 hours of clinical case work
    • Weekly clinical seminars when undertaking clinical work
    • Personal psychoanalytic psychotherapy of at least once a week for the duration of the course
    • Support from a personal tutor throughout the course

    Assessment includes:

    • Couple theory paper, case study, oral presentation
    • A qualifying dissertation and couple assessment report
    • Ongoing assessment by supervisors, seminar leaders, self-reflective group conductors, and tutors

Enquire about this course

Note: Please make sure to select the correct course from the 'Range of Courses' dropdown menu in the form below.

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Course leader

Elle Sidel

Elle Sidel is a couple psychoanalytic psychotherapist, couple and individual psychodynamic therapist and faculty staff member at Tavistock Relationships. She is Programme Lead for the Couple and Individual Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy training (PG Dip/MA) and Head of Alumni/ Tavistock Relationships Association of Psychotherapists and Counsellors (TRAPC).

Read about our Clinical Training Team

Student testimonials

I have been allocated clients quickly, and my work well-supervised.

A former student

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