The Psychoanalytic Section of the ICP


Administrative Office: 73, Quinn’s Road, Shankill, Co. Dublin

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Accreditation Code for Psychoanalytic Training Institutes

Criteria and Procedures for the accreditation of Training institutes



In 2000, the Irish Council for Psychotherapy became the national awarding body in Ireland for the awarding of the European Certificate of Psychotherapy (ECP). To be awarded this status, the organisation signed up to the Strasbourg Declaration and adopted the training standard of the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP) as the agreed training standard of the ICP. Many meetings took place within ICP with their membership regarding the training standard. DigbyTantum, Registrar of EAP, came to help form a dialogue with the membership to discuss this process.

In 2003, the European Training Standards Committee produced the TAC document, establishing the procedure for accepting training institutes who had adopted the training standards, and it provided a template and means for us to accredit trainings.

In 2007, ICP formed a Training Standards sub-committee to ensure that the European Certificate of Psychotherapy (ECP) of the European Association for Psychotherapy, adopted by the ICP in 2000 as the training standard, had been implemented across the range of modalities and Sections of the ICP and that all trainings were compliant with the 4-year ECP standard of post-graduate training and entry requirements. This sub-committee assisted ICP Sections and their Member Organisations to ensure compliance with the agreed training standards through dialogue meetings at the level of ICP.

A training committee was set up by the Psychoanalytic Section of the ICP to draw up this accreditation and training document in response to an increasing perception of the need to define more the process of application to be recognised as a training institute under the Psychoanalytic Section of the ICP.

General Criteria

Each organisation within the Section has to

  • be an independent legal entity with its statutes, regulations or other written constitutions, which are compatible with the statutes of the Psychoanalytic Section.
  • adhere to the Ethical Guidelines, Disciplinary and Complaints Procedures of the Psychoanalytic Section and Ethical Guidelines of the ICP/EAP which are binding on the practitioners.
  • have training standards, consistent with the Psychoanalytic Section of the ICP/ EAP and methods of applyingthem.


  • In the following “organisation” means an organisational member of the Psychoanalytic Section.
  • The Psychoanalytic Section of the ICP Ltd. is a member organisation of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP).
  • In the following, the term “Training Course” means a continuous course provided by an institute, college or organisation  which is recognised as a suitable training organisation by the Section and the ICP
  • The accreditation of a training Institute means that the Institute is giving a full training in accordance with the criteria and principles of the Psychoanalytic Section of the ICP Ltd.

What “recognition” means

The term “recognition” shall, in the context of, “recognition of training courses by the Psychoanalytic Section” mean that the training course meets the standards currently set by the Psychoanalytic Section of ICP for training courses. 

The Recognition Process

The recognition process has a number of stages.  All parties to the application process shall exercise appropriate responsibility and the applicant organisation, by the signing of the declaration at the end of the application document, commits itself to a full and honest presentation of the course. The Psychoanalytic Section of the ICP reserves the right to ensure the veracity of the information received.

The accreditation is given for a period of seven years only and can be withdrawn at any time if there is evidence that the Institute has ceased to fulfill the requirements of accreditation.

According to the specificities of each organisation and each training institute slight variations might occur and these willbe studied by the Accreditation Sub-committee in order to allow enough flexibility. If some conditions are missing with acceptable justifications, the committee will take them into account.



To be accredited as an Irish Accredited Psychoanalytic Training Institute (IAPTI) the training institute must:

Have a selection procedure and entry requirements for the course

  1. Ensure that all trainees have fulfilled after completion of training the following criteria:
  2. The graduate trainee must have a total training of at least 3.200 hours.
  3. This comprises of a general training of at least three years of university (Bachelor degree) or equivalent, mainly in a branch of Human Sciences.
  4. And that the graduate trainee has completed a specific training in psychoanalytic psychotherapies of at least 1400 hours spread over a period of at least 4 years given by the Training Institute applying for IAPTI status.

This specific psychoanalytic training will enable the graduate trainee to come to  understand the unconscious dynamics of the client, train in necessary intervention skills and integrate the theory and the practice through the training analysis. 

This specific psychoanalytic training will consist of Theory/Methodology, Training Analysis and Clinical practice and Supervision.

The 1,400 hours can for example, be divided into

  • 250 hours of personal psychoanalysis. It is desirable that the trainee attend twice weekly for a period during the analysis
  • 500 – 800 hours of theory or methodology, including psychopathology, in accordance with the usual standards of the modality.
  • 400 – 600 hours of clinical practicewith clients/patients under regular supervision. Even if this practice is not directly organized by the institute, it remains under its responsibility.
  • 150 hours of supervision of an effective clinical practice of the trainee.



2.1. Theoretical studies

Theory should be drawn from modalities of psychotherapy that are psychoanalytic in nature.

Theory modules should include:

    • theories and research underpinning psychoanalysis;
    • the schools/history of psychoanalysis;
    • relevant theories of change and development;
    • theories of psychopathology;
    • psychosocial issues in relation to psychoanalysis;
    • transference and counter transference;
    • Unconscious processes
    • psychological defences and resistance;
    • Ethics

The theoretical training consists of at least 500 hours.


2.2. Training analysis

The goal of the training analysis for the trainee candidate is the working through of inner conflicts and the experience of the psychoanalytic process, focused on transference and resistance..

The duration of the training analysis is at least 250 sessions.

The institute can accept that training analysis may be done outside the institute providing it is done by a reputable training analyst referring to the standards and ethical principles of the Psychoanalytic Section of the ICP Ltd.


2.3. Practice and Supervision

The Applicant has to practice with clients for at least 400 hours. The cases have to be supervised by at least two different supervisors.

The total quantity of supervision shall not be less than 150 sessions

The analyst and the supervisor must be different persons.

Practice does normally not take place in the first two years of the training.

Note: Exceptions of early practice must be justified by the training institution that the student has prior knowledge of practice or that the institute offers special condition for such practices.



The training should ensure that the Applicant have relevant professional experience with severe emotional disorders and mental illnesses within a multidisciplinary mental health or equivalent setting.


    1. What arrangements do trainees make to see clients? (e.g. Do they see clients privately? Does the Training Programme provide placements?)
    2. What is the maximum number of clients that trainees can work with at one point in time? Does this vary over the training?
    3. Do you have a minimum/maximum number of clients that trainees have to see before qualifying?
    4. Does supervision take place within groups? If yes:
      1. How long and frequent is the group?
      2. How many trainees participate in the group?
    5. Is individual supervision mandatory for trainees? If yes:
      1. How long and frequent is this supervision?
      2. When does it take place on the training?
    6. What procedures do you have in place for on-going assessment of the trainee’s level of personal readiness or development?


    1. Assessment of trainees shall take place at least annually during training and also on completion of the course A successful outcome each year is a pre-requisite for entry into the next year.
    2. Assessment of trainee competence shall involve an independent external examiner who is a professional in the field and whose role is outlined in the procedures.
    3. By the end of the course trainees will need to satisfy the assessors that they have successfully completed a course which has fulfilled the requirements of the minimum curriculum.

Possess a minimum personal and professional maturity

Demonstrate a commitment to work according to the ethical standards of The Psychoanalytic Section of the ICP Ltd.


    1. At the initial stage the written request for the accreditation of training  is received through the Secretary of the Psychoanalytic Section of the ICP.
    2. Application details and questionnaire are available from the Secretary of the Psychoanalytic Section.
    3. This document willbe sent with a letterfrom the Chair of the AccreditationSubcommittee, via the Secretary of the Psychoanalytic Section, detailing the application procedure in brief, to include a reference to the collaborative nature of the processproposed.
    4. The training institute completes the application and questionnaire and returns these to the Secretary of the Psychoanalytic Section.  
    5. Then information about each training will be gathered through the written questionnaire.
    6. The Accreditation Sub-committee reviews the application. The Accreditation Sub-committee responds in writing to the applicant training to make arrangements to visit and discussthe application. The visit will include any questions about training, organizational details of the training institute and individual files.
    7. All trainings must be affiliated to an organisational member of the Psychoanalytic Section of ICP


November 2012

Barbara FitzGerald, Aoife Twohig,Christine Mulvey, Ross Skelton, Eileen Kavanagh

Ratified at the Psychoanalytic Board meeting 19th November 2012 following consultation with trainings and sections since 2007