March 15, 2015
A number of key bodies in mental health recently signed up to a memorandum of understanding on so-called conversion or reparative therapies, which aim to turn gay people straight. The Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK Council for Psychotherapy, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and the Department of Health all (rightly, in my view) condemned such “therapy” as unethical and harmful. They do nothing to “convert” people who don’t need converting, and only serve to deepen human misery and potentially drive people to suicide.
I fully support this memorandum, but it needs to go further. It should be expanded to also condemn therapies aimed at converting transgender people back to their birth gender.
March 9, 2015
I’m sure some of my regular blog readers are rolling their eyes and skimming past whenever I go off-topic to talk about the Eurovision. It’s something that outside of May tends to be feel (in the UK anyway) like a bit of a niche interest. Which is odd given that it’s the biggest musical event in the world. Personally I enjoy following it because of the way an ostensibly-silly show has a habit of highlighting all kinds of interesting topics.
Last year’s contest highlighted the issue of gender identity, with bearded drag act Conchita Wurst taking the prize. This year, 3 of the acts have physical or intellectual disabilities. This leaves me wondering whether 2015 will do for disability what 2014 did for gender.
March 8, 2015
I just had a chance to catch up on 4OD today with the Channel 4 documentary Being Bipolar. I wasn’t watching it when it was first screened on Channel 4 earlier this week, but it’s sparked off quite a few reactions on social media, most of them negative. Charlotte Walker and Laurie Hastie have both written negative reviews of the show on the Mind blog. Meanwhile Henrietta Ross has given a more mixed review at Madness Matters. Given these responses, I decided to see for myself and watch the show.
February 15, 2015
As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been going a bit off-topic recently on this blog, talking about my guilty-pleasure Eurovision hobby. As it happens, there’s a development which neatly juxtaposes this with my professional interest in health and social care.
In a fortnight’s time, Finland will pick their Eurovision entry. In the running is a punk band called Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (which means Pertti Kurikan’s Name Day). They all either have Down’s Syndrome or are on the autistic spectrum.
February 11, 2015
It’s time for you all to roll your eyes again as I present a follow-up to my previous post about the Eurovision Song Contest. I have no doubt that in recent weeks my Twitter followers have been scrambling for the mute button as I livetweeted various national selections around Europe.
Time to reflect a little on what’s been learned so far. Continue reading
February 10, 2015
In sad but unsurprising news, a report by the UK Council for Psychotherapy and the British Psychoanalytic Council shows that psychotherapy, and in particular long-term psychotherapy, is getting more and more difficult to access on the NHS. They surveyed 2000 psychotherapists.
January 31, 2015
Over the past couple of months some of you may have had a shock. Tuning into my Twitter account expecting some highbrow insights on psychotherapy, or politics, or mental health….and instead discovering I was livetweeting the Albanian or Maltese selections for the Eurovision Song Contest.
What can I say? Everybody needs a guilty pleasure.
January 29, 2015
In June 2014 I was alarmed to hear that the Health and Care Professions Council had declined to strike off a clinical psychologist who had committed serious sexual misconduct with someone who had recently been in therapy with him. Despite John McCarron not even turning up to the hearing, he was issued with a one-year suspension instead.
The Professional Standards Authority subsequently appealed the decision to the High Court. Today I’m pleased to hear that the High Court has upheld the appeal (see page 6) and ordered that McCarron be struck off. Continue reading
January 25, 2015
Back in November I blogged about my increasing reluctance to hold my nose and vote Labour in May. A couple of weeks I made my decision and signed up for the Green Party, becoming one of the Green Surge that we’re all talking so much about. Then this morning I saw the party leader, Natalie Bennett, fielding questions from Andrew Neil on BBC Sunday Politics.
How did she hold up against Neil’s probing? Frankly, risibly.
January 14, 2015
A number of key bodies in mental health and psychotherapy have brought out a joint statement condemning so-called “conversion therapies” or “reparative therapies” which aim to turn gay people straight. The memorandum of understanding is signed by, among others, the Department of Health, the UK Council for Psychotherapy, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Continue reading