Cropped photograph of Sigmund Freud

"The brain is wider than the sky." - Emily Dickinson

At a Glance

  • Online Course
  • Tuesdays 18:00 - 20:00
  • 9 weeks: October to December
  • 2 hours weekly online taught time
  • Tutors: Various leading members of the UKCP
  • Fees from £110 to £205
  • Award: Imperial College Attendance Certificate (T&Cs apply)
  • Book from 15 August
Booking link

Logo of the U.K.C.P.This course is organised in partnership with the UK Council for Psychotherapy

Since the earliest recording of human culture, there has been evidence of human mental and emotional distress and ways to explain and alleviate it. On this nine week course we will explore aspects of the history of psychotherapy in the company of some of the leading figures working in psychotherapy today.

The course will begin by looking at the pre-history of psychotherapy which stretches back as far as the ancient Greek writer Hippocrates in the third-century BCE, and we will look at other approaches rooted in ancient mystical and medical practices. Moving forward in time we will discover the work of Chalcot in the late 1800s, when psychological causes for physical symptoms started to be identified, which prompted the young Sigmund Freud to develop his psychoanalytic theory and practice, and finally we will move on to post-Freudian understandings of the mind and therapies used today.

Through this historical study we will encounter engaging facts, stories and discussion which will illuminate a practice that has often been shrouded in mystery and misunderstanding. The aim of the course is also to be interactive, so discussion on the themes raised will be welcomed and encouraged.

The programme will conclude with a consideration of what the future may hold against a backdrop of remarkable technological and medical advances, and yet seemingly ever-increasing feelings of anxiety and uncertainty.

No prior knowledge of history, medicine or psychotherapy is required to join this course. Also please note that this course is not designed to train people in the practical skills of psychotherapy.

Course Information

Course Programme

OUTLINE PROGRAMME (Subject to possible change)

  • 15 October: Introduction. In search of human nature: why history matters – Professor Brett Kahr
  • 22 October: Under the Skin: Freud and the Unconscious – Professor Brett Kahr
  • 29 October: War and Neuroses – Martin Pollecoff
  • 5 November: Psychotherapy’s connection with Art and Film – Professor Sarah Niblock
  • 12 November: Body and Soul Rethought – Dr Divine Charura
  • 19 November: Beyond the individual: working with families and groups – Dr Reenee Singh
  • 26 November: Childhood: The Impact on Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing -  Jocelyne Quennell
  • 3 December: Self-actualisation: Humanistic psychology and the transpersonal – Martin Pollecoff
  • 10 December: Psychotherapy today and in the future – Dr Vanja Orlans

Convenor:  Professor Sarah Niblock (UKCP)

Additional Reading and Credit Information

There is no compulsory reading required for this course, and there is no set course text.

No academic credits are available for this course. An attendance certificate is issued only to those who attend at least 80% of the taught sessions.

About Your Tutor

Logo of the UK Council for PsychotherapyThe tutors for this course are all members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy and experts in the field. By combining their expertise into one course this is a truely broad-ranging and enlightening series of classes that draws on the knowledge of some of the best people working in psychoterapy today.

The convenor of the programme is Professor Sarah Niblock who is the Chief Executive of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

For more information on the UK Council for Psychotherapy please visit the UKCP website.

Course Fees and Rate Categories

HoursWeeksStandard RateInternal RateAssociate Rate
18  9  £178    (Early Bird rate: £162*) £104    (Early Bird rate: £95*)
£137    (Early Bird rate: £126*) 
* The Early Bird rate is available for enrolments made before the end of  30 September for courses starting in October   |   All fee rates quoted are for the whole course.
Term dates 1

Fee Categories and Discounts

Standard Rate

  • Applicable to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.

Internal Rate

  • Applies to current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors).
  • Current Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication (CLCC) staff, current CLCC PhD students, Science Communication (Sci Comm) postgraduate students, and students enrolled on an Imperial College 'Language for Science' degree programme should email evening before completing the online enrolment form.

Associate Rate

  • Students (non-Imperial College)
  • Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
  • City & Guilds College Association members
  • Members of the Friends of Imperial College
  • Francis Crick Institute staff, researchers and students
  • Friends of the South London Botanical Institute
  • Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
  • Harrods staff
  • Historic Royal Palaces staff
  • Natural History Museum staff
  • Science Museum staff
  • Victoria and Albert Museum staff
  • Royal Geographical Society staff
  • Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
  • Santander Bank staff (Imperial College Walkway branch only)
  • Austrian Cultural Forum staff
  • Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
  • Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
  • Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
  • Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
  • Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
  • Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • Members of the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)

Late enrolment

It is possible to enrol on many CLCC Evening Class and Lunchtime Learning programmes after the course has started. For non-language courses this is subject entirely to agreement by the tutor. For language courses it is subject to agreement by the language Coordinator conducting level assessment. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.

Applicable terms & conditions

Please read the  before enrolling on any course.

Term Dates

HoursWeeksAutumn termSpring termSummer termSummer School
 18  9 19 Oct - 18 Dec 2020 (9 weeks)* n/a n/a n/a
* This is as 1-term course

Enrolment Process

Web enrolment starts 15 August

Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. Please click on the blue booking link on the relevant course page noting below instructions:

  • Our rate categories are explained on the course page and your applicable rate category must be selected on the eStore
  • First-time eStore users please create an account by entering an email address and password. These credentials should also be used for future bookings. Imperial College users please note the eStore is not a single-signon College system
  • The booking process involves entering payment details after your course choice and applicant details are collected via an in-built questionnnaire
  • The following email notifications are sent:
What is sentWhen is it sentWhat does it contain
1. Payment confirmation Is sent instantaneously following submission of your online application
  • This is a receipt for your payment and includes payment date, order number and course title
  • Confirmation of your place on your chosen course will follow later
2. Enrolment confirmation Is sent within 10 working daysPlease treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received
  • Re-confirms your course choice
  • Shows your course's term dates
  • Confirms the day and time of your course
3. Programme information Is usually sent on Friday late afternoon the week before term starts
  • Contains joining instructions for your course, incl. tutor contact details
If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756

Certificate of Attendance

Our adult education evening and daytime classes do not offer academic credits, but we do offer an attendance certificate to those learners who attend at least 80% (7) of the taught classroom sessions. Eligible learners receive their certificate by email after the end of the course.

Any Questions?

Questions regarding the content and teaching of this course should be sent to the lecture series organiser, Professor Sarah Niblock of the UKCP, at