Project Description

The syllabus will cover:

• Metapsychology of ISTDP
• The diagnostic spectrum and assessment process
• Key therapeutic interventions in AB-ISTDP: Working with unconscious anxiety, maladaptive defence processes & emotional experiencing
• The punitive superego
• The Central Dynamic Sequence

Key concepts and techniques will be taught through a combination of lectures and clinical presentations. 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. The small group format is designed to create a safe and stimulating environment.

A comprehensive reading list will be provided.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course participants will understand:
• The theoretical framework of ISTDP
• The impact of attachment experiences and attachment trauma on neurological, affective, cognitive, and behavioural development and symptom formation.
• How specific psychotherapy techniques facilitate a secure working alliance and increase patient motivation and engagement
• How to challenge maladaptive defences
• How to assess anxiety pathways and apply targeted anxiety regulation strategies
• How emotional processes are somatic events and how to deepen emotional experiencing in session

On completion of the first year, participants will have the option of going on to complete further modules which will then confer accreditation in ISTDP by the International Experiential Dynamic Therapy Association (

Programme details

This 10-day programme, run over one year, focuses on psychotherapy techniques for treatment of adults and adolescents  using Attachment-Based Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (AB-ISTDP).

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.


This course is suitable for clinicians working in NHS as well as private settings. Applicants need to be qualified mental health professionals, registered with a professional body (eg: BPC, HCPC or UKCP) or  in an accredited training programme.

This course is currently full. If you would like to be added to the waiting list or to discuss the programme further, please contact Dr Lewis at:

Course Full

2023 (Course full)
10am to 5pm

17 March 2023
18 March 2023 (Zoom)
26 May 2023
16 June 2023
17 June 2023
14 July 2023
16 September 2023
20 October 2023
18 November 2023
12 January 2024

2024 (Course full)

Friday 22 March 2024 (BPS, London)
Saturday 23 March 2024 (Zoom)
Friday 24 May 2022 (BPS, London)
Saturday 22 June 2022 (Zoom)
Friday 12 July 2024 (Zoom)
Saturday 14 September 2024 (Zoom)
Friday 11 October 2024 (BPS, London)
Saturday 9 November 2024 (Zoom)
Friday 6 December 2024 (BPS, London)
Friday 17 January 2025 (BPS, London)