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Our History and Founders
Established as a Component Society of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA) in 2010, the British Psychoanalytic Association widened the scope of training in British psychoanalysis to a four times weekly training. Endowed with the privilege and responsibility of training psychoanalysts to an international level, the training has developed, inspired by the foundational theories of Freud, Winnicott and Klein.

By 2000, a small group of BAP psychoanalytic psychotherapists, with a passion for psychoanalysis and with experience of practising psychoanalytically at a frequency of 4-5x weekly, decided to pursue the possibility of membership of the IPA. This group was led by the late Daniel Twomey and included Sharon Raeburn and Helen Alfille, who took forward his original initiative after his death. Thus began the ten-year process of liaising with and being assessed by the IPA that culminated in the BPA being granted Provisional Society status in 2006 and Full Component Society status by the IPA in January 2010.

The Process: In order to establish a Provisional Society of the IPA, the first step, there had to be at least ten members, of which 6 had to be Training Analysts. By virtue of their clinical expertise and experience of 4/5 times a week analysis, thirteen Founder Members were put forward, including six Training Analysts, who were interviewed individually by the IPA Visiting Committee and subsequently made Direct Members of the IPA. Once constituted as a Provisional Society, the BPA could admit additional members as they gained experience of working at a frequency of 4-5x weekly, and passed a rigorous assessment process, with the continued support of the IPA. This pathway via the IPA Equivalency Criteria, named the "window of opportunity", remained open until the BPA became a Component Society.

At the heart of the BPA there has been both a pioneering spirit and the pursuit of professional development, fuelled by profound respect for the complexities of unconscious processes and a wish to work with these processes within the context of a transference/countertransference relationship at the depth afforded by 4-5x weekly work. The theoretical orientations of members encompass Contemporary Freudian, Independent, and Kleinian viewpoints. A great strength of the society has from the start been the capacity for members to work together in the spirit of enquiry and learning from viewpoints that might differ from the individual's own. The new training in psychoanalysis reflects these different theoretical orientations, as does the Scientific Life of the society, and its publications.

© 2018 British Psychoanalytic Association

Registered as a charitable Community Benefit Society under the title Psychoanalytic Association (UK) Limited. Registration number 7785.