The first stage in becoming a psychoanalyst is to begin your own personal analysis.
Many people are already in analysis or psychoanalytic psychotherapy when they begin to think about training. To do the training you must be in analysis with a training analyst in the British Psychoanalytical Society. The analysis will consist of five fifty-minute sessions per week (Monday to Friday), and continue throughout your analytic training. You choose your training analyst, with whom you will then decide upon a schedule and fee.
In certain circumstances, if you have been in analysis with a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society who is not a Training Analyst, it may be possible for that analysis to continue and be given the status of a training analysis.
The purpose of the training analysis is two-fold: first, to give you a deep understanding of your unconscious mental life; and second, to help you work through any unconscious problems or difficulties you might have that would interfere with your ability to work effectively as a psychoanalyst. At the core of our training is the conviction that, to understand the unconscious minds of others, you must first understand your own.
You will need to be in analysis with your personal training analyst for at least one year before you can start the training. Most candidates will have been in analysis for longer than a year. When your training analyst agrees that you are ready to start the training, the Student Progress Committee can give permission for you to start the first year of lectures and seminars.