Governance

In line with the fundamental beliefs and concerns of the Society, we don’t have a Training Committee. Students and ordinary members of the Outfit take responsibility for the general organisation of the Society, for clinical and academic work and for student learning

The Governing Body of the Society is the Business Meeting. The Business Meeting is called at least four times a year and all ordinary and student members are eligible to attend and vote. Much of its day to day work is delegated to sub-groups which have a mixed ordinary/student membership.

It is the responsibility of each student, with the support of other students and ordinary members, to reflect on and work out the most appropriate way for them to work towards becoming psychotherapists. There are a number of supportive structures for this, the principal one being the student group which is the focus for clinical and academic discussion and for practical and emotional support. The supervisor’s role is also a key one. Other supportive opportunities include:

The Planning Group which consists of the student membership and two or three ordinary members, and meets at least twice a year to plan the student programme.

A system of pairings in which each student is paired with another student, and each student is paired with an ordinary member for periods of six months. This provides opportunities for information, support, mutual development, and exploration.

Various additional groups develop from time to time in response to people’s needs and wishes. These often have a mixed student and ordinary membership.

The ordinary members are always available to respond to students, either individually or as a group, to offer support, information, advice or consultation.

Admission

We look for people who are curious, imaginative, sensitive, intelligent, and enthusiastic, who seem likely to think deeply and who have that notoriously difficult to define something that suggests that they might become good at this kind of work. We are aware that this spark comes in different forms and guises, may have different cultural and gendered and age-specific forms and we try to be sensitive to this. We recognise the importance of continual learning about gender, age, race, class, sexual orientation, physical disability and religion in order that the Society can be accessible to a wide range of people.
 
Applicants need to be at a time in their life when they are able to make the serious commitments – in time, emotion, intellect and money – that may be required. No specific educational qualifications are prescribed. The successful working of the student group is an important part of people’s learning so basic compatibility between applicant and current students is a criterion that is taken into account.
 
If you are interested to find out more about our training, an informal meeting can be arranged with a current student.

Selection procedure

If you are interested in training with the Outfit, informal meetings will be arranged with a current student and with a trained member. These meetings are to discuss what is involved in becoming a student member and answer any questions you may have.
 
You will then be invited to attend a student group meeting on a Monday evening. This is one of the main supportive structure for students where clinical and academic materials are discussed. You will be sent reading material ahead of the meeting.
 
If you wish to formally apply to become a student member, the next step will be to write a cover letter, which will be widely circulated as all members of the Society are free to be involved in the application process. There is an application fee of £40 at this point in the process, payable by cheque or BACS.
 
Two individual interviews will be arranged after you have sent your cover letter - one with a trained member, one with both a trained member and a student member.
 
The Admissions group will discuss your application and make their recommendation to the next business meeting which are held four times a year.
 
Please contact Antoinette Fox, our Admissions Secretary, via our contact page.

Time commitment per week and length of training

For the Outfit to work, a whole-hearted contribution from all student members, both to their own and to others’ learning, and to running the Outfit, is required. The type and extent of contributions varies enormously according to personal preferences and talents. Each student needs to make time for seeing clients, supervision, personal therapy and reading. Most write as well – for the Newsletter, the Journal, or for group discussion.

All students attend the weekly student meeting on Monday evenings for two and a half hours, as well as the quarterly Business Meetings. Each student is paired with another student and also with an ordinary member. Pairs meet at mutual convenience and frequency for discussion and support. Most members belong to one or more sub-groups, and this involves further meetings and preparation time. The Secretary and Treasurer are student members.

The length of time you might spend as a student is flexible, according to individual needs. In order to conform with UKCP requirements, student members should be in the group for a minimum of 4 years. More important is each person’s developing understanding of what is involved in psychotherapy, and how long, as an individual, they need to stay in the group.

What is the financial cost of the training?

For students of the Outfit, the annual contribution to running costs is currently £212. Students also need to budget for their own therapy and supervision, for the purchase of books and journals, and for renting a consulting room if necessary.

The absence of high fees makes the Outfit more accessible to those with limited means. However, any education in psychotherapy necessarily involves a substantial amount of personal therapy and supervision, and the cost of this may be significant. If a student experiences financial difficulties, it is important that they seek advice rather than curtail or compromise their learning.

Find out more about our clinical and academic requirements.