British Journal of Psychotherapy

Cover image for Vol. 32 Issue 2

Edited By: Ann Scott

Online ISSN: 1752-0118

Author Guidelines


The British Journal of Psychotherapy is a journal for psychoanalytic and Jungian-analytic thinkers, with a focus on both innovatory and everyday work on the unconscious in individual, group and institutional practice. As an analytic journal, it has long occupied a unique place in the field of psychotherapy journals with an Editorial Board drawn from a wide range of psychoanalytic, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, psychodynamic, and analytical psychology training organizations. As such, its psychoanalytic frame of reference is wide-ranging and includes all schools of analytic practice. Conscious that many clinicians do not work only in the consulting room, the Journal encourages dialogue between private practice and institutionally based practice. Recognizing that structures and dynamics in each environment differ, the Journal provides a forum for an exploration of their differing potentials and constraints. Mindful of significant change in the wider contemporary context for psychotherapy, and within a changing regulatory framework, the Journal seeks to represent current debate about this context.

We invite papers on clinical and theoretical work, whether a single case-study or a general discussion using detailed clinical vignettes from several cases; on intensive and non-intensive work; and based in individual, group or institutional practice. We welcome theoretical papers, especially where there is theoretical innovation. We invite discussions of assessment; clinical confidentiality; standards, training and supervision; and the current context of audit and evaluation. We invite reflective research papers, whether qualitatively or quantitatively based, and with a clinical focus; work on the unconscious dynamics of clinical practice, individual or institutional; and work offering a psychoanalytic and Jungian-analytic perspective on professional, historical, cultural and political issues.

As an analytic journal, our primary focus is on the unconscious and on transference/countertransference processes, but the BJP has traditionally sought to make links and critical comparisons with other therapeutic methods. We encourage high-quality work-in-progress reports, submissions from clinicians at an early stage of their careers, and international submissions.

The BJP has been a member of the Committee for Publication Ethics (COPE) since 2009. Further information can be found here.


All papers published in the British Journal of Psychotherapy are eligible for Panel A: Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience in the Research Excellence Framework (REF).


All submissions to the British Journal of Psychotherapy (BJP) should be made via the online electronic editorial office and are subject to initial editor screening. The journal operates a double blind system of peer review so submitted papers should not include any details that might identify the authors. Full instructions and a help facility are available at the BJP ScholarOne Manuscripts site -

The manuscript should be typed and double-spaced. Manuscripts should be between 4000 and 8000 words in length, not including the references or the abstract (of up to 150 - 200 words). In-text references should be shown as follows: (Gay 1988) or (Gay 1988, pp. 143-7). All direct quotations should have a page reference, using minimum numbering as in the example given. The list of references should be supplied in one of the main versions of the Harvard style, as in the following examples:

Sole-authored book: Gay, P. (1988) Freud: A Life for Our Time. New York: Norton.

Co-authored book: Laplanche, J. & Pontalis, J.-B. (1973) The Language of Psycho-Analysis.  London: Hogarth.

Chapter in single author’s collection: Winnicott, D.W. (1954) Withdrawal and Regression.  In D.W. Winnicott, Through Paediatrics to Psychoanalysis. New York: Basic Books, 1975, pp. 255-61.

Chapter in edited collection: Stern, D. (1983) Implications of infancy research for psychoanalytic theory and practice.  In L. Grinspoon (ed.), Psychiatry Update. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

Journal article: Samson, A. (1988) Science, metaphor and meaning in The Interpretation of Dreams. British Journal of Psychotherapy 14: 327-36.

Online references: Stevens, A.L. (2002) What one calls 'untriggered psychosis'. Available at: (accessed 28 May 2015).

Shamay-Tsoory, S.G., Ahronberg-Kirschenbaum, D. & Bauminger-Zviely, N. (2014) There is no joy like malicious joy: Schadenfreude in young children. PLOS ONE Published Online First 2 July 2014. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100233

Referencing your own work:
The BJP operates a system of complete blinding, recognizing the subjective nature of clinical writing and the use of the first-person narrative style. To this end, references to your own work should take the following form in the text:

(Author 2011)


(Author and Colleague(s) 2011).

If you wish to make mention of your own work as part of a debate (e.g. 'In previous work, I argued') the form should be: 'In previous work I argued (Author 2011) that.....'. No citations to your work (or to co-authored work) should appear in the references at the end of the article, but you will be able to upload a separate blinded reference file when you submit your article online.

References should be double-spaced, and placed in alphabetical order at the end of the manuscript after any Notes, Acknowledgements, etc.  Only works cited in the text should appear in the references; please do not include a general bibliography.

BJP abstracts are freely available online and we encourage authors to make their abstract as informative as possible.
Please provide an abstract of 150-200 words. This can be written in ‘The author ‘ or ‘I/we’ form as the author prefers. Please indicate the argument of the paper (not just the topics that the paper covers), including the conclusions the paper comes to and/or questions that the paper raises. Any clinical material used in the paper should be referenced briefly, if possible giving a brief ‘peg’, for example, ‘Clinical material from work with a female patient suffering from x’ rather than just ‘Clinical material is included.’

Up to eight individual words or phrases may be given, but five is usually sufficient. Please avoid lengthy phrases.
The Abstract and Keywords should be placed before the beginning of the text; if you have included an epigraph, the epigraph should also follow the abstract and keywords.

Please visit our website for further details on how to optimize your abstract and key words for Search engines: Wiley Author Services

If you require more information on submitting your manuscript for publication, please email Hannah Wakley, Editorial Office Administrator ( or phone +44 (0) 116 252 9504. Messages will be responded to as soon as possible.

Author bio:
Please provide an author bio of up to 150 words on your title page.

Please provide qualifications, institutional affiliations and/or private practice status; key clinical and/or research interests; key publications. Note that we do not use the first-name form in bios, so please use ‘He’ or ‘she’ within the bio. Please give address for correspondence at the end. This should include an email address; a postal address is optional.

Where a paper is co-authored, each author has up to 150 words. For preference, we ask that one of you is identified as the corresponding author. However, if each of you would like to include an email address, we do accept that.

Book Reviews:
If you wish to submit a book for review, please first contact Judith Warren, Book Reviews Editor, at
Please do not send books without contacting the Book Reviews Editor for an address.


Authors for whom English is a second language may choose to have their manuscript professionally edited before submission to improve the English. A list of independent suppliers of editing services can be found at

All services are paid for and arranged by the author, and use of one of these services does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication. Manuscripts which are not of a good enough standard of English for peer review will be returned to the author.


Authors will be aware that there is a conflict between the privacy of patients on one hand, and the need when writing up cases for publication to provide lucid and transparent clinical material, on the other. No perfect solution to this dilemma exists, although there are a number of methods which authors tend to use: disguising material, consent from patients (preferably written), composite material from a number of comparable cases, or the report of colleagues' or supervisee’s clinical cases, are various methods in use for protecting confidentiality.  None of these is entirely satisfactory and you will have to choose which one, or more, you need when using material from your patients, groups or institution.  Which method(s) you use will also depend on the kind of evidence or illustration that your paper needs in order to clarify your points.  All authors are requested to consider the best alternative in the particular circumstances, but above all, you should consider the clinical situation of the particular patient(s), and choose carefully which method(s) you use to preserve confidentiality in each of the cases reported.  It is important not to overdo the details, which both risks recognising the patient, and can risk making the paper long-winded.  At the same time, enough detail must be given for readers to assess for themselves the claim you are making in your paper.

Papers are accepted for submission and for review on the grounds that authors have considered these delicate matters carefully.  We would request that when patient’s consent is asked and given that you indicate this to the Editor.


If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement

If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below: CTA Terms and Conditions

For authors choosing OnlineOpen

If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

Creative Commons Attribution License OAA
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit:


Author Services enables authors to track their article – once it has been accepted – through the production process to publication online and in print. Authors can check the status of their articles online and choose to receive automated e-mails at key stages of production. The author will receive an e-mail with a unique link that enables them to register and have their article automatically added to the system. Visit Author Services for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.