Training in Psychodynamic Organisational Therapy (POT)


Authored on :
20/02/2024by :

Containing Groups

What is a Psychodynamic Organisational Therapist?

APPCIOS’s psychodynamic organisational therapists work in a variety of professional roles, within a wide spectrum of organisations that provide services for vulnerable client groups of all ages.  They apply psychoanalytic thinking to their working context, to facilitate the creation and maintenance of a therapeutic environment.  They do not offer individual psychotherapy in private practice, although they may offer formal and informal counselling within an organisational setting.

This work requires a specialist skill set that differs from that of individual psychoanalytic psychotherapists working within the consulting room, and we have evolved an appropriate programme of training over many years.  On qualification, our members are eligible for BPC registration as psychodynamic organisational therapists, but are not registered by the BPC to offer counselling or psychotherapy in private practice.   They may of course continue to do so under alternative regulation.  

The Modality:

Psychodynamic organisational therapy focuses on the overlap between the unconscious dynamics of organisations and of individuals.  This is an application of psychoanalytic thinking that differs from that practiced by psychoanalytic clinicians trained to work with individual patients within the consulting room, although it shares the same theoretical base. 

Psychodynamic organisational therapy offers an understanding of how the internal worlds of the many individuals who staff an organisation, and the internal worlds of their clients, intersect and impact upon one another; and of the complexity of the consequent dynamics.   This is provided through the facilitation of experiential reflective groups, as well as through role consultation, informal counselling and therapeutic supervision.

Duration of Training

  • Candidates have usually acquired experiential learning over several years before applying for formal qualification.
  • As the qualification is portfolio based, there is no specified time requirement in terms of duration, but it is usually expected that the collection of evidence will take a minimum of two years.


Trainees must demonstrate competency across five main areas of knowledge and experience.  

  • Academic ability and knowledge of psychoanalytic theory
  • Experience of work discussion and supervision 
  • Experiential learning about the psychodynamic functioning of groups and organisations
  • Personal development and self-reflective work
  • Experience of supervised formal or informal counselling in a workplace setting

Each candidate is assigned a mentor to assist them in the planning and preparation of their portfolio. 


Psychodynamic organisational therapists offer a range of competencies that differ from those of psychoanalytic psychotherapists trained to work one-to-one in the consulting room.  These include therapeutic supervision, the facilitation of organisation-based psychoanalytic process groups, and  role consultation.  

Depending on individual specialisms and previous experience, trainees will choose from a range of options to achieve the competencies appropriate for their work.

Options include some or all of the following modules.

  1. A minimum of two years’ therapeutic supervision from an APPCIOS-recognised therapeutic supervisor, either individually or within a small group. 
  2. Participation in an organisation-based psychoanalytic process group.
  3. A minimum of two years’ supervised practice – this must be with a BPC/ACP/APPCIOS approved supervisor
  4. A minimum of one year’s reflective practice/work discussion - where students present and discuss their work in a group.
  5. A minimum of one year’s infant observation
  6. An organisational observation, undertaken under the supervision of an APPCIOS-approved clinician. 
  7. An APPCIOS-approved course in the psychoanalytic understanding of race.
  8. A minimum of two years’ psychoanalytic theory including organisational theory.

Modules 4, 5 and 6 usually include ongoing experiential groups where participants explore together the impact of the material and its resonance on each of them at a personal level.   Further experiential group exploration within psychoanalytic process groups may also be required.

Our steering committee oversees the progress of all our Senior Associate Members, and receives input from webinar leaders, supervisors and mentors;  where there are concerns about student’s capacity for insight, qualification will always be deferred, and is sometimes conditional on accessing individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy.  


Trainees are asked to complete a training log and to submit an evidential portfolio.  They are assessed by an independent Assessors Panel, and by interview, and are expected to meet the standard outlined in APPCIOS’s Curriculum for Emotional Development.

For our full training requirements, see our Psychodynamic Organisational Therapy training handbook.