• group of counselling psychotherapy students in a tutorial

    Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy MA

About this course

This unique four-year programme is a clinical training and leads to a clinical qualification in couple psychoanalytic psychotherapy. 

It is available as an MA in Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, University of London award offered by Birkbeck College, University of London.

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

Date: October 2024

Course length: Full training 4 years, Advanced Standing minimum of 2 years

Fees for academic year 2024-25: 

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/personal analysis and DBS checks where this is part of the course requirements.  

Location & Timing: One half day per week in person teaching at our premises in central London, close to Liverpool Street station, during standard academic term time.

Course code: CT1

Teaching and supervision is provided by senior staff. All our trainings and supervisions are delivered by highly experienced staff at Tavistock Relationships.

Meet our team

  • Overview

    This unique four-year programme is a clinical training and clinical qualification in couple psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

    This training provides a comprehensive understanding of psychoanalytic theory and techniques as they relate to the adult couple relationship and builds on and deepens the student's existing clinical experience. Clinical work with couples is provided through the Tavistock Relationships' clinical service, some of which is in co-therapy with experienced psychoanalytic couple therapists.

    This is the only couple psychoanalytic psychotherapy training that leads to professional membership of the psychoanalytic section of the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC).

    BPC logo

    Why study the Clinical Qualification in Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at Tavistock Relationships?

    • Train with experienced practitioners in the helping professions such as child, group and adult psychotherapy, counselling, psychology, psychiatry or social work
    • Couples provided by Tavistock Relationships and seen on our premises in our own consulting rooms
    • Co-therapy undertaken with senior staff
    • Individual supervision, tutorials and clinical administration included in the fee
    • A chance to be part of an institution with more than 70 years of training and research experience
    • Benefit from Tavistock Relationships' long history of researching and writing about couple relationships

    Accreditation

    The course is accredited by the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC).

  • Content

    Students are able to develop their clinical skills through weekly individual supervision provided by senior clinical staff and through weekly clinical seminars. Theoretical seminars on key psychoanalytic concepts and psychoanalytic couple concepts, including narcissistic relating, shared unconscious phantasies and beliefs and the couple state of mind, are explored.

    The course also covers research methodologies and critical couple relationship issues such as first babies, infertility, divorce, separation and sexuality.

    The course involves:

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

    • Three core professional modules in clinical technique, essentials and research

    • Infant Observation Seminars

    • Weekly supervision of clinical work, a minimum of 6 long-term cases (modified for advanced standing students), 6-10 assessments and weekly clinical seminars while undertaking  clinical work until qualification

    • Written work and support from a personal tutor throughout the course

    A requirement of the course is that all students undertake personal psychoanalytic psychotherapy of at least 3 times a week usually commencing at least 1 year before starting the course. This requirement may be modified for entrants with Advanced Standing. 

  • Who this course is for

    Suitable for people who have had several years of post-qualifying experience in a helping profession such as counselling, psychology, social work or psychiatry.

    We also have a popular two-year advanced standing programme for qualified psychoanalytic psychotherapists (child, adult or group). Please see the Advanced Standing tab for more details.

  • Assessment

    • DVD recorded session & process recording,  case studies

    • Couple theory paper, seminar review paper, infant observation summary/paper

    • A qualifying dissertation and couple assessment report.

    • Ongoing assessment by supervisors, seminar leaders, co-therapist and tutors

    Exemptions may apply for APEL’d components.

  • Advanced Standing

    Our advanced standing programme will be of interest to child, adult or group psychoanalytic psychotherapists who now wish to extend their clinical practice to the couple. Applicants for advanced standing will be expected to have met the normal requirements for 5 years of 3 x week individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy with a BPC psychoanalytic therapist or analyst, undertaken in the context of training. In the case of group analysts, the requirement may be reduced depending on the amount of group analytic and individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy previously undertaken.

    Advanced Standing course Content and Structure

    The course involves:

    • Seminars in Couple Theory

    • Infant Observation Seminars and Psychiatric Placement

    • Weekly individual supervision, a minimum of 4 long-term cases and weekly clinical seminars when undertaking clinical work

    • Co-therapy with experienced couple psychoanalytic psychotherapists

    • Personal psychoanalytic psychotherapy of at least 3 times a week (unless recently completed an analysis)

    • Support from a personal tutor throughout the course

    The course also covers research methodologies and critical couple relationship issues such as first babies, infertility, divorce, separation and sexuality.

    Assessment Includes:

    • Couple theory paper, oral presentation, infant observation summary/paper

    • A qualifying dissertation and couple assessment report

    • Ongoing assessment by supervisors, seminar leaders, co-therapist and tutors

    Exemptions may apply for APL’d components.

How to apply for this course

Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: A Discussion Series for Those Interested in Advanced Training - Monday 26 February 2024-Monday 25 March 2024

If you are considering advanced training such as our Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy MA, and want to learn more about this modality at TR from experienced couple psychoanalytic therapists, we are currently offering a series of five weekly online seminars through our continuing professional development platform TR Together. Price: £200 (£170 Trainee/NHS).

Attend one of our free open events

For further information contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wheelchair access

Our New Street site allows for flat level entry into the building. The building is DDA Compliant (no longer in effect and now forms part of the equality Act (EA)) and does meet the minimum requirements for wheelchair access. The floors used for training are accessible for both manual and electronic powered wheelchairs. A platform lift with a wheelchair protective barrier is installed for single use and a lift that will accommodate one wheelchair user without an accompanying person.

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

Lorna Robinson

Lorna Robinson is a couple psychoanalytic psychotherapist and an individual psychodynamic psychotherapist. She trained at TR and has been on the faculty staff since 2018. Formerly the Head of CPDs and conferences, she is now Head of the couple psychoanalytic training, and Head of the Foundation programme, for which she runs the selection process.

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Student testimonials

The quality of the materials and teaching is excellent and the staff are friendly and supportive.

A former student



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