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Association for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in the NHS


That Don’t Make It Junk

I know that I’m forgiven, But I don’t know how I know; I don’t trust my inner feelings, Inner feelings come and go

Leonard Cohen

The Association for Child Psychotherapy (ACP) & Association for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Education

Trust (APP) have agreed to set up two new annual Prizes for:


  1. 1. The best research proposals for an evidence-based psychoanalytic case study (2 prizes @ £250)

  2. 2. An evidence-based psychoanalytic case study carried out to a research plan, and written up for publication in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and/or The Journal of Child Psychotherapy (£1,500)

Competition 1: Case Study Research Proposals

Submissions for research proposals should contain a research plan that meets criteria below. Entries that do not meet the criteria will be returned with advice about how to re-submit, if so wished.


Competition 2: Evidence-Based (Empirical) Psychoanalytic Case Studies

To be eligible for the 2nd stage prize (£1,500) the proposal must either have been approved at 1st stage (it does not have to be a winner) or ensure it meets essential criteria below. If the former the case study must be completed and accepted for publication within 4 years of initial entry at 1st stage.

Who can enter & how?

Both competitions are open to all ACP & APP members, as this is a Joint Prize. However, we want to

encourage others to enter. Therefore, anyone who is not an ACP or APP member can pay an entry fee of £40, which entitles them to APP membership for 1 year, with access to both Journals. USA, European or International practitioners can enter via entry fee. Groups entries are via membership / entry fee. Trainees can enter. (All existing ACP/APP members do not need to pay any entry fee). Entries should be submitted to the Prize Chair ( [at any time]. Award

of prize winners will be announced at the Annual Phil Richardson Memorial Research Lecture.


The Aim of the New Prizes

The aim is to stimulate practitioner-led research that contributes to building a database of empirical cases testifying about effectiveness of psychoanalytic interventions for application in the NHS. We hope to balance rigour and practicality to set up a progressive and feasible research programme. 

Criteria for an Evidence Based Psychoanalytic Case Study (detailed guidance forthcoming)

A wide range of established and innovative designs will be acceptable providing they seek to address the recognised weaknesses of traditional, non-empirical psychoanalytic case reports. Studies can include individual therapy with adults, children or adolescents; couples, group or family therapy.


Essential requirements are:

  •  A ‘working causal model’ or theory of change that draws centrally on psychoanalytic ideas An explicit strategy for tracing how the actual process of change links to outcomes, for example, use of a time series method of outcomes measurements to track symptom change and ‘recovery’ (e.g. based on a shared understanding / formulation and agreed goal)


Desirable requirements could include any or all of the following:

  • An explicit strategy for how evidence will be tested to show a) predicted psychoanalytic components caused the changes b) alternative explanations have been credibly ruled out

  • Audio-taping sessions (clinical and supervision) to provide verifiable data open to evaluation and further analysis from both sceptical as well as positively predisposed perspectives

  • Obtaining the client’s explanation for what changed (both during therapy and after)

  • Recording the therapist’s and supervisor’s predictive, observational and reflective comments

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