Cropped photograph of Sigmund Freud

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

At a Glance

  • Live online course
  • 2 hours a week
  • Tuesdays 18:00 - 20:00
  • 10 weeks: October to December
  • Tutors: Various leading members of the UKCP
  • Fees from £110 to £205
  • 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 ten 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.

Online Access to Course

This is a taught live online course which means you will be taught alongside other students on the course by a tutor at a specific time on a specific day of the week. To take part in the course you will need a suitably equipped and internet-enabled device. Please find full details and instructions below under 'Course Delivery'.

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

Course programme

  • Session 1 (13 October): How to Fix a Hole in the Head: A History of Psychotherapy from Trephination to the Talking Cure – Professor Brett Kahr
  • Session 2 (20 October): Sigmund Freud: Archaeologist of the Mind – Professor Brett Kahr
  • Session 3 (27 October): War and Neuroses – Martin Pollecoff
  • Session 4 (3 November): Psychotherapy’s connection with Art and Film – Professor Sarah Niblock
  • Session 5 (10 November): Body and Soul Rethought – Dr Divine Charura
  • Session 6 (17 November): Beyond the individual: working with families and groups – Dr Reenee Singh
  • Session 7 (24 November): Self-actualisation: Humanistic psychology and the transpersonal – Martin Pollecoff
  • Session 8 (1 December): Infant-Parent Psychotherapy: A hopeful response to Adverse Childhood Experiences in vulnerable children and their parents - Dr Yvonne Osafo
  • Session 9 (8 December): The Future of Psychotherapy – Catherine Knibbs
  • Session 10 (15 December): Intersectional Privilege and Otherness: Stones on the path towards individuation – Dr Dwight Turner

Convenor: Professor Sarah Niblock (CEO, UKCP)

Facilitator: Jovana Perzic (Head of Academic Enterprise & Innovation, UKCP)

Additional Reading

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

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 course convenor is Professor Sarah Niblock who is the Chief Executive of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). The lecture series will be facilitated by Jovana Perzic, Head of Academic Enterprise and Innovation.

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

Course Delivery

All our online courses are taught live which means you will be taught alongside other students on the course by a tutor at a specific time. To take part in the course you must be able to attend the online session at the time stated for the course description.

All times stated are British Standard Time.

To take part you will need a computer, or laptop, or tablet computer, connected to the Internet. The device you use will also need to have a camera, microphone and speakers. Most devices now have these built in, but if not you might have to buy them from a computer shop and to connect them to your device.

Zoom

This course will use Zoom as its online delivery method. Zoom is very easy to use and you do not need to set up a Zoom account to use it. Near the date of your first online session you will be sent an email with a web address (or URL) that will allow you to access the course. This is called the Course Link. All you need do is click on the Course Link in the email and you will be asked to enter your name. This is the name that will be seen by your tutor and other students in the class.

Once you have entered your name you might be asked to enter a password to enter the class. The password will be included in the email sent to you. Once you enter the password you will either be taken directly into the class, or asked to wait in a virtual waiting room until the tutor is ready to let you into the class.

We have also produced a Handy Guide to Zoom [pdf] which gives you basic information on how to use it.

All courses lasting two hours have a 10 minute break in the middle.  For one hour courses there is no break.

Course Fees and Rate Categories

HoursWeeksStandard RateInternal RateAssociate Rate
 20  10  £205    (Early Bird Rate: £185*)
£120    (Early Bird Rate: £110*) £160    (Early Bird Rate: £145*) 
* The Early Bird rate is available for enrolments made before the end of 30 September for courses starting in October


Rate 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 eveningclass@imperial.ac.uk 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
  • 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
  • South London Botanical Institute Members
  • 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
 20  10 12 Oct - 18 Dec 2020 (10 weeks)* n/a n/a n/a
* This is a 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

Any Questions?

  • Questions regarding the content and teaching of this course should be sent to the lecture series facilitator, Ms Jovana Perzic at jovana.perzic@ukcp.org.uk
  • Questions about your enrolment and payment should be sent to the Programme Administrator, eveningclass@imperial.ac.uk

If you have enjoyed this course, why not look at other arts and humanities evening class courses at Imperial College. This includes courses on the history of western art from ancient Greece to the nineteenth century, Understanding Modern and Design, the history of film and cinema and Greek and Roman mythology in art. We also run practical courses in art and photography and creative writing classes, and a growing programme of science based evening classes.