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Theory, Practice and Research of Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy


  • Credit value: 60 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: David Hewison
  • Assessment: a 10,000-word dissertation (100%)

Module description

This module supports you to complete the academic Master's dissertation which is simultaneously the clinical qualifying paper enabling you to become professionally registered as a Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist. It is an extended reflection on your clinical work with couples.

Indicative module syllabus

  • The integration of psychoanalytic theories into your own clinical work with couples
  • Detailed presentation of your clinical work to a group, for critical analysis of its conscious and unconscious meanings, with particular reference to the creation and justification of a clinical hypothesis at an advanced level
  • A clinical research topic arising out of your clinical experience as a trainee Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist
  • A critical examination of qualitative and quantitative research methods and their use in a psychoanalytical clinical setting

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate an advanced knowledge and understanding of a particular aspect of theory and practice in the Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy field
  • demonstrate understanding of the methods of research relevant to psychoanalytic psychotherapy with couples and its presentation at Master's level
  • think creatively and communicate clearly about clinical research practice and theory
  • sustain an advanced intellectual inquiry into a complex professional field
  • give a full, evidence-based account of at least one couple’s interaction over a substantial period of time, how this unfolded and changed during the course of therapy and how the therapists understood and interpreted the material
  • reflect on practice in an advanced way and be able to conceptualise practice issues in clinical research terms
  • analyse and present in written form your experience and thinking, including reports of detailed observations of interactions in relationships, as appropriate
  • describe to others the relationship between clinical research and practice and identify how written texts might be put forward for publication.