ISTDP-UK trainers are experienced clinicians who provide psychotherapy, as well as training and supervision. ISTDP-UK trainers and core training programmes are accredited by the International Association of Experiential Dynamic Therapies (

Alexandra Knowles

Alexandra Knowles is a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and IEDTA accredited ISTDP …
Alexandra Knowles is a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) through the Universities Psychotherapy and Counselling Association (UPCA). She is an Honorary member of The Forum for Independent Psychotherapists which she founded.

Prior to her ISTDP specialisation she spent more than 30 years in private practice working with individuals and couples. During that time she also worked in The Arbours Therapeutic Communities and The Crisis Centre. She was also involved with the teaching and supervising of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists and for eight of the many years she spent on The Arbours Training Committee she was their Director of Training.

Following the first ISTDP Oxford Conference in 2006, hosted by David Malan, she joined the initial group of UK therapists to be trained in ISTDP by Patricia Coughlin, Jon Frederickson, Robert Neborsky and Josette ten have-de Labije. Since then she has spoken on her ISTDP work at various national and international lectures and conferences. Currently she devotes her time to her private practice where she works with individuals and couples, mainly seeing people for ‘block therapy’. In addition, she is involved in the teaching and supervising of ISTDP. Alexandra is an accredited IEDTA teacher and supervisor.

Dr Robert Neborsky

Robert J. Neborsky, M.D., is a psychiatrist in private practice in Del Mar, California, …
Robert J. Neborsky, M.D., is a psychiatrist in private practice in Del Mar, California, and a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD School of Medicine and UCLA School of Medicine (Hon). Dr Neborsky initially trained in ISTDP with Dr Habib Davanloo in the 1980s, and in 2003 he was one of the founders of the Southern California Society for IS-TDP. He was also a founding member on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy.

Dr. Neborsky’s professional activities include training students in the techniques of his unique Attachment-Based Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (AB-ISTDP) and presenting at local, national and international symposia. He co-authored Short-Term Therapy for Long Term Change (Norton, 2001) and is a contributing author of Healing Trauma (Norton, 2003). In 2010, he edited and published The Collected Writings of Robert J Neborsky, MD along with The Collected Writings of Josette ten Have de Labije, (Itasca). In 2011, he co-authored Mastering Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy: A Roadmap to the Unconscious.

Leo Russell

Leo is a Clinical Psychologist working for Devon Partnership NHS Trust in Neuropsychology …

Dr Leo Russell (DClinPsych) is a is a chartered Clinical Psychologist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. He is an IEDTA and ISTDP-UK accredited trainer and supervisor. His clinical practice is in the NHS working as service lead for the Functional Neurological Symptoms Service at Devon Partnership Trust where he specialised in ISTDP for medically unexplained symptoms.

Having trained under Dr Neborsky, his work draws on attachment theory and affective neuroscience as a framework for understanding causes of mental health difficulties and somatic symptoms. He has published research on the application and efficacy of ISTDP for functional presentations. He has taught and presented on ISTDP at national conferences, symposiums and seminars, as well as leading a regular programme of ISTDP teaching on the Clinical Psychology Doctorates at Exeter and Plymouth University. He also delivers an ISTDP foundation training programme in his local NHS Trust as a project to increase availability of ISTDP informed practice within specialist NHS services.

James Louis

Dr James Louis is a Consultant Psychiatrist in North Essex Partnership University NHS …
Dr James Louis is a Consultant Psychiatrist in North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. He is also a qualified practitioner of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy. He completed his core training in ISTDP with Josette ten Have-de Labije and Dr Rob Neborsky.

He specialises in working with adults with a range of complex difficulties and is also endorsed by the General Medical Council in the treatment and management of mental health problems associated with physical health issues. In addition, he also provides training, consultation, and supervision to mental health professionals including trainee psychiatrists based both within and outside of the UK.

In addition to being a member of ISTDP UK and an Advanced Member of IEDTA, Dr James Louis is a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and also of the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis.

SHADOWERS (Trainers in Training)

ISTDP-UK shadowers (or “Trainers in Training”) are senior clinicians who have completed a 3-year core training in ISTDP and are undertaking further training to advance both their therapeutic and training skills.

Ofra Anker

Ofra (MA) is a UKCP registered Psychotherapist and ISTDP Practitioner. She is a UKCP Listed Supervisor. She has over 25 years experience working as a psychotherapist with individuals and couples. In addition to her practice, her work included: over 20 years teaching, training and group facilitating in a private Psychotherapy School in North London. She was a member of UKCP Board of Directors for 3 years and a UKCP/HIPC Chair of Assessment Board for almost 10 years. She is currently running a private practice in Central and North London.

Patsy McGill

Patsy McGill (MSc Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy) is registered and accredited by the
BACP. She works both in private practice and psychological services, providing assessment and
treatment to adults. She has experience as a Clinical Lead in an IAPT service, providing managerial
support and clinical supervision to therapists, as well as providing short-term psychotherapy.
Patsy was part of the Core 6 (2015) group and has further advanced training with ISTDP-UK.

Catherine Colley

Catherine Colley is a psychodynamic psychotherapist working in private practice in London.  She qualified with a Masters in Psychodynamic Therapy in 2007 and completed her ISTDP Core Training in 2017.

She was drawn to ISTDP because of it’s dynamic and pro-active approach and since working as an ITSDP therapist, Catherine has noticed that not only has her own work transformed, but her patients’ have experienced quicker and more positive, long-term outcomes.

As well as working with adults who come with a range of complex issues, Catherine also has a special interest in working with people from the Arts and Creative professions who suffer from ‘creative blocks’ and performance anxieties.

Catherine has additional experience of working within a busy London NHS Psychological Services Outpatient Department and a London University Student Counselling Service.

She is an accredited member of BACP.

Julie Beckett

I started working in this field as a counsellor, then went on to complete the psychoanalytic psychotherapy training run by The Severnside Institute Of Psychotherapy.

I worked at the Student Counselling Service at Bristol University, as well as delivering a short term model of therapy (4 sessions) at The Bridge Foundation. I then went on to establish a busy private practice.

Initially I was happy and successful working in the psychoanalytic model, seeing patients for 50 minutes, often several times a week for a number of years and using the couch as a matter of course. But then I was invited to come along to an ISTDP seminar where what I heard and saw completely transformed my thinking.

I tested the water by attending the ISTDP introductory course, and took back into my private practice some changes in technique that I had seen demonstrated on the course. These changes had an instant and positive impact on my work, so I bit the bullet and did a core training in ISTDP which I completed in 2017. I’m now in my second year of the advanced training.

The way I work now is completely different to how it was a few years ago. I feel positively excited by this dynamic model of therapy, particularly as I’ve seen some wonderful changes in the lives of my patients as a result.

Dr Javier Malda Castillo

Dr Javier Malda Castillo (DClinPsych) is a chartered Clinical Psychologist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.  He is an accredited MBT therapist by the Anna Freud Centre, a Group Analytic Practitioner and associate member of the Institute of Group Analysis (IGA) and completed psychodynamic psychotherapy (D58) training in the Tavistock Clinic.

His ISTDP journey started in Core 8 under the supervision of Dr Sharon Lewis, Dr Neborsky and Alexandra Knowles. Since then, his work integrates ISTDP, attachment theory as well as independent school psychoanalytic principles. He has a particular interest in working with adults who have experienced complex trauma as well as medically unexplained symptoms.

Dr Javier Malda Castillo

Clinical Psychologist, Chartered with the BPS, HCPC registered

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