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Our History and Founders
The British Psychoanalytic Association (BPA) developed out of the British Association of Psychotherapists (BAP), one of the longest established organisations for 3x weekly psychoanalytic psychotherapy in the UK, now part of the BPF. The BPA is both distinct from, and resides within, the BPF.

By 2000, a small group of BAP psychoanalytic psychotherapists, with a passion for psychoanalysis and with experience of practising psychoanalytically at a frequency of 4-5x weekly, decided to pursue the possibility of membership of the IPA. This group was led by the late Daniel Twomey and included Sharon Raeburn and Helen Alfille, who took forward his original initiative after his death. Thus began the ten-year process of liaising with and being assessed by the IPA, as well as negotiating with the BAP, that culminated in the BPA being granted Provisional Society status in 2006 and Full Component Society status by the IPA in January 2010.

In order to establish a Provisional Society of the IPA, there had to be at least ten members of which 6 had to be Training Analysts. By virtue of their clinical experience and expertise, thirteen Founder Members were put forward, including six Training Analysts, who were interviewed by the IPA and subsequently made Direct Members of the IPA. Once constituted as a Provisional Society, the BPA could admit additional members with the continued support of the IPA. Many experienced psychoanalytic psychotherapists from the BAP chose to gain the additional clinical experience of working at a frequency of 4-5x weekly that would make them eligible for BPA/IPA Membership, and thus able to proceed to the assessment process. The pathway via the Equivalency Criteria procedures of the IPA, the "window of opportunity" for BAP members to develop their clinical work in order to become BPA/IPA members, remained open until the BPA became a Component Society.

At the heart of the BPA there has been both a pioneering spirit and the pursuit of professional development, fuelled by profound respect for the complexities of unconscious processes and a wish to work with these processes within the context of a transference/countertransference relationship at the depth afforded by 4-5x weekly work. The theoretical orientations of members encompass Contemporary Freudian, Independent, and Kleinian viewpoints. A great strength of the society has from the start been the capacity for members to work together in the spirit of enquiry and learning from viewpoints that might differ from the individual's own. The new training in psychoanalysis reflects these different theoretical orientations, as does the Scientific Life of the society, and its publications.

© 2017 British Psychoanalytic Association