Over the last few months I’ve been chronicling the series of mishaps and cock-ups over the John Smalley case. This was a fitness to practice investigation by the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. The hearings found him guilty of seven allegations. I can now reveal that this won’t be published until a year after the ruling.
The story so far…The UKCP took over three years to investigate complaints about Mr Smalley, a Jungian analyst with the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists. At the end of a long sequence of delays, they decided that seven allegations had been proven. This included smoking during therapy, inappropriately setting two clients up in a business relationship with each other, and making a sexual suggestion about one client to another. Despite this they decided not to sanction him. The fact that he admitted in the hearing that he destroyed his notes doesn’t seem to have prompted a sanction. The UKCP’s laughable response to this is that they didn’t sanction him for destroying his notes because there wasn’t a complaint about destroying his notes.
The final ruling was in March 2012. The outcomes of fitness to practice rulings are supposed to be published in the UKCP’s magazine, The Psychotherapist, which comes out three times a year. The Smalley ruling hasn’t been published yet. I have since been informed that it’s currently scheduled to appear in the Spring 2013 edition.
Seriously, Spring 2013? That’s a year after the final ruling! I e-mailed the UKCP to ask them why there’s such a long delay, and also to ask if there are any other fitness-to-practice outcomes that haven’t been published yet. They declined to comment.
John Smalley is no longer a UKCP member, as he resigned his registration during the hearings. However, he’s still registered with the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists, and continues to advertise his therapy services on their website. To date, the only place where you can find out that he’s had allegations proven against him is on this blog. There’s nothing on either the UKCP or IGAP websites to suggest there’s anything wrong with his practice.
For comparison purposes, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy has hearing outcomes up on its website, the most recent of which are from last month. Or, if you look at the Nursing and Midwifery Council website, they get hearing outcomes up within days.
The UKCP also has an online complaints archive. It looks pretty lonely. In fact, there’s only two decisions on it, neither of which are for John Smalley. One of them is Derek Gale. He was a notorious abuser who emotionally, sexually and financially exploited his patients, and was struck off by the Health Professions Council as well as by UKCP.
The details on the UKCP archive are also pretty scanty by the standards of regulators. For comparison, have a look at the HPC ruling for Derek Gale, which gives a long and detailed account of why you wouldn’t trust him to look after your cat, never mind a vulnerable adult. Meanwhile, the other decision on the UKCP website is for an Arbours Association therapist called Geoffrey Pick. It simply says:
Geoffrey Pick of The Association of Arbours Psychotherapists (AAP) has been found to be in breach of Article 6 of the AAP Code of Practice. Article 6 of AAP’s Code of Practice provides that ‘a member should maintain appropriate boundaries with their patients and take care not exploit their patients in any way, financially or sexually’.
In view of the above decision Mr Pick is:
1) suspended from the membership of AAP (and UKCP) for a period of one year from 16 May 2011;
2) required to enter therapy at least once a week with a therapist approved by AAP’s Ethics Committee and reports from the therapist are to be submitted to the AAP’s Ethics Committee once a quarter;
3) required to engage in further professional development as agreed between him and the AAP’s Ethics Committee liaison; and
4) required to meet a member of AAP’s Ethics Committee once a quarter.
Really not a very clear account of what he the misconduct was. Incidentally, if anyone out there is reading this and knows what he did, my e-mail address is thus_spake_z at hushmail dot com.