Training Programme Director: Dr Barbara Wood

The Maudsley Higher Training Scheme in Psychotherapy has 3 posts for higher training. Higher trainees receive substantial training in 3 modalities of psychotherapy: psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and systemic therapy.  Two of the posts specialise in psychodynamic therapy and one in CBT. The training is based at the Maudsley Psychotherapy Service (MPS) in the Maudsley Hospital although there are opportunities for training experiences in other services within the Trust.  The CBT post includes a placement at the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma (CADAT).

The Higher Trainees are trained in the Royal College of Psychiatrists Specialist Curriculum including a range of clinical experiences in the 3 main modalities, assessment and providing therapies of different durations (10 sessions to 2 years) and in different settings (individual, group, couple/family). Trainees specialising in psychodynamic therapy have their own (‘training’) therapy externally throughout the training.

There is a weekly in-house academic programme and help with arranging additional external trainings as appropriate. In addition, trainees are given two sessions per week for special interest which can be clinical, research or to do formal courses.

The range of clinical special interest sessions includes experiences of allied therapies such as CAT (cognitive analytic therapy), MBT (mentalisation based therapy), mindfulness therapy and parent-infant psychotherapy. There are also opportunities to work with particular groups of patients including young adults (18-25 year olds), parents of infants, older adults (over 60 years), patients with borderline personality disorder and patients whose self-harming behaviour is a prominent problem. Several of these clinical experiences can be linked with formal trainings.


In addition to clinical training, trainees develop skills in teaching, management, leadership and research. This can be through individual projects, courses or shadowing.

Higher trainees are involved in teaching their junior medical colleagues as well other health professionals both within and outside the MPS including on the MRCPsych course at the Institute of Psychiatry. The MPS provides substantial training to Core Trainees and Higher trainees run case based discussion groups and supervise psychodynamic and CBT therapies.

The MPS has active audit and research programmes with coordinators of both who assist or supervise such projects. The proximity and links with the Institute of Psychiatry provides a wealth of other educational and research possibilities.

Towards the end of the training, higher trainees attend formal management courses, shadow managers and take on managerial projects and leadership roles within the service. They also have supervision of liaison and consultative work outside the MPS.


Applications for higher training, for which Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists is a requirement, are made directly to the College.

General Adult
Older Adult
Child & Adolescent
Learning Disabilities


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