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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Psychotherapy training and CPD


Psychotherapy is integral to the training of psychiatrists and is part of the core and higher curricula for general psychiatry. Find out more about:


Go to the Trainee section >>>


Video: Who are Medical Psychotherapists?

Video: Training Pathways

Video: Being in your own therapy

As part of training in Medical Psychotherapy, trainees have their own therapy. In this video, Psychiatrists and trainees explain the value of this.


Training requirements for CT1-3

CT1-3 Core curriculum guides


Higher specialist training ST4-6 psychotherapy to become a Consultant Psychiatrist in psychotherapy

You can obtain a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in Psychotherapy by specialising in:

Training comprises three years at ST 4-6 level in a GMC approved psychotherapy scheme quality assured by local deaneries through the schools of psychiatry. Trainees acquire an indepth knowledge of theory and practice of their major approach, and also receive training in psychodynamic, CBT or systemic, approaches. At the end of this training you will gain a CCT as specialists in psychotherapy and will be eligible to apply to be on the Specialist Register of the GMC. This will allow you to train Specialty Registrars in psychotherapy and to take the role of leading multi-modal psychological therapy teams. It is also possible to spend a year in psychotherapy which will lead to an endorsement in psychotherapy

Read more:


Psychotherapy training for ST4-6 in specialties other than psychotherapy

The curriculum indicates that trainees continue to develop their psychotherapeutic expertise as they become higher trainees, according to their interest and specialty. For example:

  • a rehabilitation or general adult trainee might seek to gain experience of cognitive therapy of psychosis
  • a trainee interested in eating disorders may gain further experience of family therapy
  • psychodynamic psychotherapy, or training on group therapy may interest a learning disability trainee.

The combinations are many and tailored programmes of experience can be devised in conjunction with Psychotherapy Tutors and Training Programme Directors.


Relevant CPD Online learning modules and podcasts

These RCPsych CPD online modules and podcasts are relevant to medical psychotherapy. All links will open in a new window.

CPD Online logo

CPD for SAS and consultant psychiatrists

Staff and Associate Specialist (SAS) doctors and consultant psychiatrists can access psychotherapy training by attachments to departments of psychotherapy organised by the psychotherapy tutors of the organisation they work in, achieving and advancing competencies in the main psychotherapy modalities, working with individuals, couples, families or groups.


CPD Events

Faculty of Medical Psychotherapy Annual Conference
Wednesday 25 - Friday 27 April 2018
Radisson Blu Cardiff, Bute Gate, Cardiff CF10 2FL
Up to 6 CPD hours per day, subject to peer group approval


tutor, programme director and advisors

Psychotherapy Tutor Role

Each core training programme should have a Psychotherapy Tutor who is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy.

The tutor works together with the Training Programme Director ( TPD) of core training and the Director of Medical Training of the Trust to make sure psychotherapy training requirements are met in the training scheme.

This includes making sure that:

  • case based discussion groups(CBDs) are available in years 1and 2 
  • CBT, psychodynamic, systemic or integrative trainings and supervision are available for trainees
  • liaising with and advising supervisors, who may be non- medical, of the training requirements
  • advising trainees when and what kind of psychotherapy cases are appropriate.

The Psychotherapy Tutor and other Consultant Psychiatrists in Psychotherapy will also conduct and advise on the workplace based assessments such as the ACE on the psychotherapy long case.

The Psychotherapy Tutor will then contribute to the review of the trainee's progress by advising the TPD whether the psychotherapy requirements have been met.

The overall aim of the Psychotherapy Tutor is to help core psychiatric trainees develop habits of self reflection and emotional curiosity, to have an understanding of the therapeutic relationship, unconscious modes of communication and learn about different models of psychotherapy enough to be able to refer or work alongside as the patient undergoes therapy.

Training Programme Director (Scheme Organiser)

Training Programme Directors (TPD) have responsibility for managing specialty training programmes including Fixed Term Specialty Training Appointments. TPDs responsibilities include:

  • making sure the programmes deliver the specialty curriculum and enable trainees to gain the relevant competences, knowledge, skills, attitudes and experience
  • taking into account the collective needs of the trainees in the programme when planning individual programmes
  • providing support for clinical and educational supervisors within the programme and  contribute to the annual assessment outcome process in the specialty.
  • careers advice.
  • helping the Postgraduate Dean manage trainees who are running into difficulties by supporting educational supervisors in their assessments and in identifying remedial placements.

TPDs work within the Trust with:

  • the Director of Medical education, the Schools of Psychiatry within the Deanery
  • delegated College/Faculty representatives (e.g. college tutors, regional advisors)
  • national College/Faculty training or Specialty Advisory Committees (SACs).

Psychotherapy advisors at schools of psychiatry

Each school of psychiatry has access to a regional representative in psychotherapy who:

  • makes sure the Deanery is aware of the requirements for psychotherapy training for core and higher psychiatry training and higher specialist training
  • offer advice on how to make sure information is available to trainees and that they attain appropriate competencies in psychotherapy pre and post MRCPsych Examinations.


Financial support for trainee medical psychotherapy


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News and events

NEWSLETTER:  Winter/Spring 2018



Date: 25 - 27 April 2018, with a neuroscience day on 28 April 2018

Venue: Radisson Blu, Cardiff

Information & Registration


OCCASIONAL PAPER -  Learning from the Cradle to the Grave: the psychotherapeutic development of doctors from beginning to end of a career in medicine and psychiatry


OCCASIONAL PAPER - Using formulation in general psychiatric care: good practice


FACULTY REPORT: Faculty of Medical Psychotherapy Position on Electronic Patient Records


FACULTY REPORT: Outcome Measures for Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Services


ARTICLE: Psychoanalytic ideas and their place in psychiatry training in the UK and live Twitter chat - The Lancet, August 2014


ARTICLE: Psychiatry, subjectivity and emotion - deepening the medical model - The Psychiatric Bulletin June 2014


NEWS: British Psychoanalytic Council

The BPC now offers accreditation to medical practitioners. Email 

BRIEFING NOTE: Talking Therapies Taskforce



Join us 

Any member of the College is eligible to join the Medical Psychotherapy Faculty. Please contact the College Membership Section.