ISTDP Training2019-02-06T08:54:28+00:00

ISTDP Training

To find out more about any of the courses listed please email: [email protected] or use the contact form to get in touch.

Date: 10 & 11 May, 2019, 10am to 4.30pm

Venue: London, NW3

Trainer: Dr Sharon Lewis


This two-day course introduces an overview of the theory and metapsychology of ISTDP as well as the core principles of this approach in a small group setting.

Lectures, role-play and videotaped clinical sessions will be used to demonstrate effective attachment-based interventions to:

– develop an effective focus for change

– deepen core emotional experiencing

– Identify pathways of unconscious anxiety

– work with maladaptive defence patterns that prevent successful therapeutic outcomes

The clinical presentation will demonstrate the Central Dynamic Sequence: “Unlocking the Unconscious”

This course has been running in London for the past six years and has been very positively received, with many participants going on to train further in ISTDP or integrating techniques into their existing practices. Previous participants come from a range of mental health and allied fields and include GPs, psychiatrists, counsellors, psychotherapists as well as counselling, clinical and sports psychologists.

Please note:

The course is suitable for registered and qualified mental health professionals.  Applicants without current registration with a professional body are not eligible to attend.  If you are unsure, please email [email protected] to enquire.

Participant feedback

highly informative and engaging – role plays were excellent learning tool. Really inspiring, personally and professionally.
(Counsellor, 1-5 years in practice)

Excellent content, delivery and location. (Psychotherapist, 11-20 years in practice)

Really inspiring, personally and professionally(Counsellor, 1-5 years in practice)

Very gentle, accessible and clear introduction to the model whilst conveying its fundamental principles.
(Psychologist, 1-5 years in practice)

Excellent course. Gave me a good flavour of ISTDP and I will definitely pursue with further training at some point.  (Psychiatrist, 11+ years in practice)

Very stimulating and informative. Groundbreaking techniques to help deal with defences and break through to unconscious affect & will definitely be putting it into practise.
(Counselling Psychologist, 1-5 years in practice)

Very helpful and professionally run course. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and experience in the clinical work.(Psychotherapist, 20+ years in practice)

Commencing July 2019, London

This course is designed for practitioners who want to integrate effective ISTDP techniques into their existing therapy practice.

Training consists of six two-day blocks of training over the year (ie 12 days in total).  Topics covered in these blocks include:

  • Key therapeutic interventions in ISTDP
  • The diagnostic spectrum and assessment process
  • Working effectively with unconscious anxiety & maladaptive defence processes
  • The punitive superego
  • The Central Dynamic Sequence

In addition to lectures, clinical video presentations are used to teach key concepts and techniques. Supervision of participants’ own clinical work is a key element of the programme and trainees are required to present video tapes of their work in progress.

This programme is suitable for clinicians working in NHS as well as private settings. To be eligible for the foundation skills programme, participants must be qualified mental health professionals registered with a professional body (eg: psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists or counsellors)

After completion of this foundation course, participants have the option to enrol in a further two years training to be eligible for the IEDTA accredited core training certificate.

Course dates 2019-2020

Sat 6 and Sun 7 July 2019

Fri 20 and Sat 21 September 2019

Fri 22 and Sat 23 November 2019

Fri 24 and Sat 25 January 2020

Fri 20 and Sat 21 March 2020

Fri 22 and Sat 23 May 2020

Each training day will run from 9.30am to 5pm

Venue: London, NW3

This in-depth 3-year training course takes place in London and is accredited by the IEDTA.

The course provides an in-depth focus on the set of powerful techniques that are designed to alleviate psychological distress. Together, these techniques comprise the Central Dynamic Sequence.

A small training group (maximum eight participants) meets six times per year for the duration of the training. Each training block consists of two days.

At each block, lecture material will be presented to elaborate on a core concept or set of techniques. Video recordings of clinical work will be shown.

Supervision is the key focus of the training blocks. Each participant is expected to present a video recording of their clinical work. Role play will be used to develop mastery of ISTDP interventions.

The syllabus covers:
• The metapsychology of ISTDP and links to attachment theory and neuroscience
• The emotional processes that underlie many emotional and somatic difficulties
• The spectrum of psychodiagnosis
• Identifyication of different degrees of psychopathology and ability to target interventions appropriately
• Assessment of anxiety pathways and skills for effective anxiety regulation
• Identification and challenge of maladaptive defence patterns
• Facilitating therapeutic experience of core emotions
• Special interest interest topics including: ‘medically unexplained’ or functional neurological symptoms and depression

This course takes places over twelve days per year, and comprises 36 days in total. Those who have completed the 1-year foundation skills programme are only required to complete two years of further core training in order to receive IEDTA accreditation.

Training is suitable for clinicians working in NHS as well as private settings. To be eligible for core training, participants must be qualified mental health professionals registered with a professional body (eg: psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists or counsellors)

This course consists of a combination of lectures and supervision of trainees’ cases. It is suitable for clinicians who have completed a core training in ISTDP and who are keen to further develop their therapeutic skills to an advanced level.

This course has space for four participants and lectures can be tailored to specific areas of interest.  Topics which are a frequent focus include: working with projection and addressing syntonic character defences and treatment resistance, as well as techniques for treating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and somatic symptom disorders.

Dr Lewis is co-founder and director of ISTDP-UK, where she has extensive experience in training clinicians in advanced psychotherapy skills. She is an accredited trainer and supervisor with the International Experiential Dynamic Association (IEDTA).  ISTDP London training programmes have been designed in consultation with Dr Robert Neborsky, MD, who has developed the attachment-based ISTDP model.

Training programmes can also be delivered in house and tailored accordingly. I have worked with numerous organisations, including the Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, the British Psychological Society, the University of Hertfordshire (DClin Programme) and various NHS trusts.