Project Description

The ISTDP London core training is an IEDTA certified programme that trains clinicians in ISTDP theory and psychotherapy skills. This programme has been designed in consultation with Dr Robert Neborsky, MD, who has developed the attachment-based ISTDP model and there is an emphasis on Attachment Based-ISTDP techniques.

Areas covered in the syllabus include:

  • Metapsychology of ISTDP
  • Key therapeutic interventions
  • The diagnostic spectrum and assessment process
  • Working effectively with unconscious anxiety & maladaptive defence processes
  • The punitive superego
  • The Central Dynamic Sequence

Lectures and clinical presentations are used to teach key concepts and techniques.

Supervision of participants’ own clinical work is a key element of the programme and trainees are required to present video of their work in progress.


To be eligible, participants must be qualified mental health professionals registered with a professional body (eg: psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists or counsellors). Trainees registered in an accredited training programme may also be considered for enrolment. The programme is suitable for clinicians working in NHS as well as private settings.

A small group format is designed to create a safe and stimulating environment for trainees. Full duration of the core training programme is 3 years, but commitment to one year’s training at a time is required. Acceptance into the following year will be by mutual agreement.

Training Team

The lead trainer is Dr Sharon Lewis, a chartered clinical psychologist registered with the British Psychological Society and the Health Professions Council in the UK. Dr Lewis has over 20 years experience in the field and currently works in private practice. She is the founder of ISTDP London and a certified IEDTA supervisor and trainer with extensive experience in offering core training and advanced programmes in ISTDP internationally. Dr Lewis has worked closely with Dr Robert Neborsky, MD and her approach is based on the Attachment-Based ISTDP model.

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.

Lina Kaoud trained and qualified as a psychodynamic psychotherapist at the Tavistock Centre. She completed Core and Advanced Training in ISTDP with Dr Sharon Lewis and Dr Robert Neborsky, as well as courses with leading figures in the ISTDP field.
Lina Kaoud is a psychodynamic psychotherapist member of the Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists and BACP and is accredited by the British Psychoanalytical Council and the IEDTA.

Lina has more than 16 years of experience working as a therapist both in private practice in London and within several distinguished public bodies including the Counselling and Psychotherapy Department at Kings College Hospital, the Adult Complex Needs Service and Trauma Unit at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and various charities including Veterans Aid and the Islington Bereavement Services. She has a particular interest in helping clients that have experienced attachment trauma as well those whose difficulties stem from unresolved Oedipal conflicts.

If you would like to discuss the programme further, please contact Dr Lewis at:

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2025 Training Dates 

7 February 2025
8 February 2025
14 March 2025
12 April 2025
16 May 2025
14 June 2025
11 July 2025
13 September 2025
10 October 2025
15 November 2025

2026 Training Dates 

To be confirmed