In the past the UK Council for Psychotherapy has had a pretty dreadful record for complaints-handling. Up until recently the only person they’d ever struck off in recent years was the notorious cult leader Derek Gale, booted off the register in 2009 for sexually, emotionally, physically and financially abusing his clients.
Since then there’s been ongoing, but painfully slow work to improve their procedures, not least due to the need to obtain accreditation from the Professional Standards Authority. Hopefully it’s a sign of this improvement that the UKCP has now, for the first time since the Gale case, struck off a therapist.
The dubious honour goes to a Leeds-based therapist by the name of Julia Eastwood. The reason why she’s been struck off are pretty straightforward.
It has come to UKCP’s attention that the respondent has and continues to advertise and offer services as a psychotherapist. The FTPT were provided with links of websites (listed below) which demonstrated non-compliance of the suspension order of 26 June 2013.
UKCP invited the respondent to address the evidence in relation to her continuing practise. The respondent did not refute nor address the allegations. She stated that she is no longer a member of UKCP and that UKCP are not to write to her again.
The FTPT were particularly concerned that the respondent’s website shows unequivocally that she is offering psychotherapy services despite being advised by UKCP that she should not be practising or offering psychotherapy services whilst she has a suspension order in place.
So, she hasn’t complied with her suspension, is therefore struck off. I’ve been heavily critical of the UKCP in the past, but I think it’s only fair to state that this is an entirely correct decision.
Sadly, the fact that “psychotherapist” and “counsellor” aren’t protected titles means this happens fairly regularly. I’ve come across several examples of suspended or even struck off therapists who have just carried on practicing regardless. Ms Eastwood’s website certainly continues to advertise her services.
As it happens, there’s another psychotherapist, Rob Waygood, who is currently on an interim suspension order with the UKCP, pending a hearing for gross professional misconduct…
…and as it also happens, he’s continuing to advertise his services online too.
Screenshot taken at roughly 8.30pm on 14th November 2013.