July 2, 2015

British Psychoanalytic Council to review its complaints procedures

Thanks to Client1588 in the comments threads for pointing out to me an interesting page that appeared on the website of the British Psychoanalytic Council. The page suggests that they’re revising their complaints procedures, and this is due to BPC registrants taking legal action in response to the way complaints were handled.

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June 13, 2015

On Therapy as Social Control

I was reading an interesting article in the Medical Humanities journal, about use of psychological therapies to “help” unemployed people find work. The article, rightly in my view, points out that such therapies are on very dubious ethical ground.

There’s a view out there, which I think is utterly erroneous, that therapy and psychiatry can act as a remedy for all sorts of social ills. Give everyone enough CBT and fluoxetine, so the idea goes, and poverty, social inequality, abuse, bad housing etc will simply cease to be a problem. Does it work? Of course it doesn’t.

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June 2, 2015

Radio 4 on Satanic Ritual Abuse

Thanks to Jo D Baker for pointing out this excellent two-part Radio 4 series on so-called satanic ritual abuse. Presenter David Aaronovitch describes how various professionals have made lurid claims about supposed rings of Satanists abusing and murdering children. Some of these claims were utterly bizarre: babies being conceived for sacrifice, ritual altars, organised conspiracies dedicated to Satan. If that sounds implausible, there’s a simple reason for that: the claims were cobblers.

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May 31, 2015

Website changes

As some of you may have noticed, some things have changed around here. Hopefully this will improve the focus and layout of the site. Continue reading

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May 24, 2015

Eurovision Grand Final – Review

And so the contest reached its conclusion last night. After months of me sarcastically livetweeting the national selections (I do wonder how many unfollows I got as a result of that), then flying out to watch the semifinals in Vienna, and then watching the finals on back home on TV, it’s all over.

So, how was it?

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May 22, 2015

Eurovision Semi-Final 2 – Review

This second review of the contest comes from my home back in Wales, having negotiated a flight, the circle of Hades that is the M25, and the Bank Holiday traffic to get back from Bratislava. I watched the Jury Show of the second semi-final on Wednesday live in Vienna. Last night I discovered that, disgracefully, Slovakian TV doesn’t screen the Eurovision, so I had to watch the event via an online livestream. There was some amusement at watching the “spontaneous” interviews between artists and Conchita Wurst being repeated verbatim from the previous night.

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May 20, 2015

Eurovision Semi-Final 1 – Review

I’m currently sitting in a very pleasant hotel room in Bratislava, Slovakia, having got in at 2am last night from watching the first semi-final of the Eurovision live in Vienna. I’ve also been catching up some of the highlights on YouTube, because from past experience some acts comes across differently on TV to watching them in the flesh. Time for me to post some thoughts on last night’s show.

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May 19, 2015

When does sexual attraction turn into sexual misconduct?

Given that I’ve blogged about serious sexual misconduct cases in counselling and psychotherapy, @sameihuda on Twitter drew my attention to this article in BPS Research Digest. It deals with the tricky topic of when therapists develop a sense of sexual attraction to their clients.

The article refers only to when therapists have sexual feelings, not when this turns into actual sexual acts (fortunately, none of the therapists surveyed in the research cited had done this). I’ll give some thoughts on when this could happen.

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May 2, 2015

How not to do trauma therapy 2: Mere negligence, or a therapy cult?

I’ve had some eye-opening responses to my blog post about a trauma therapy session that went horribly wrong. Two therapists had allegations proven against them by the UKCP and BACP after a post-abuse survivor was left “crying daily and not sleeping” due to being physically held at a workshop.

Some comments were left on the blog post. While the hearing outcomes reeked of clinical negligence, these replies gave a whiff of something rather more sinister.

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April 29, 2015

Are some accredited counsellors more accredited than others?

There’s been a lively debate on the comments thread to a blog post I did back in September 2014. I’d written about Chrysalis Courses, a counselling training provider which had been struck off by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Chrysalis continues to be registered with the National Counselling Society, which has become an Accredited Register with the Professional Standards Authority. Some of those leaving comments seem to be former students, unhappy with the quality of training they received. Others have raised criticisms what they perceively to be an excessively-close relationship between Chrysalis and the National Counselling Society.

Both the National Counselling Society and British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy have routes to become accredited counsellors. But what does the word “accredited” actually mean, and does it necessarily mean the same thing between different registers? Continue reading

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