I’ve just been handed a pretty scary set of data-crunching. Jo D Baker is a regular commenter on this blog. He looked at this page which lists all the people struck off by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy since October 2005. He then did web searches to see if there was any evidence of them advertising their services as counsellors and psychotherapists. He collated the results into a spreadsheet which I’ve uploaded here – Copy of BACP Sinners & Outcomes 06032014.
The results were startling. Of the 53 counsellors and psychotherapists struck off in that period, 22% gave positive hits to websites that appeared to be advertising their services. Even more concerningly, three of them seem to be still registered with Britain’s other major psychotherapy organisation, the UK Council for Psychotherapy.
Here’s a few highlights from Jo’s spreadsheet.
In November 2013 Andrea Scherzer was struck off by the BACP for turning up to a therapy session drunk. Here she is on the UKCP register. The postcode on her striking-off notice and the UKCP register are identical. A search of her name also returns a result for a position lecturing in psychotherapy at Regents University London. The university page lists her as registered with both the UKCP and BACP, and doesn’t state that she is struck off by the BACP. The page states that it was last updated on the 6 November 2013. The BACP striking-off notice states that “The disciplinary panel also noted that Ms Scherzer had continued to work as a teacher in psychotherapy at [ . . . ] despite being advised in her suspension letter dated 22 November 2011, that she was not permitted to work.”
In July 2013 Helen Castang was struck off by the BACP for failing to comply with a sanction. Here’s a UKCP register entry for Helen Castang. Her striking-off notice gives her an Enfield postcode. A UKCP search doesn’t give her postcode, but lists her location as “Middlesex”.
In July 2009 Sandra Black was struck off by the BACP for a breach of confidentiality. Here she is on the UKCP register. The postcode on the BACP striking-off and on the UKCP register are identical. Oh, and here’s her business website advertising her services as a psychotherapist. Again, the postcode is identical.
There’s other people who claim membership of other organisations. In August 2011 Danielle Douglas was struck off by the BACP for failing to comply with a sanction. Her website advertises her as a counsellor and psychotherapist. She states, “I am a member of BAPCA, the AHPB and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) and work to their Code of Ethics.” – whoever that lot are. Both the striking-off order and her business website give a BN26 postcode.
Others have just carried on working without claiming membership of any organisation. In October 2010 Colin Senior was struck off by the BACP for harassing four female colleagues. Here’s his counselling website. The postcode on the striking-off order and on his business website are identical.
Scary. Truly scary.
Edited on 12/3/14 at 17:40 to add: As both the BACP and UKCP are accredited voluntary registers with the Professional Standards Authority, I asked the PSA for comment. They reply:
When deciding if a person should be admitted, kept on or removed from its register, the Professional Standards Authority requires that an AVR recognises any prior decisions to remove that person from another accredited register, or from the register of a regulatory body.
This requirement provides an important layer of protection for the public, who may avoid poor practice by choosing someone on an accredited register.
The Authority does not have the power to apply this requirement retrospectively, but it would expect an AVR to investigate and respond to any concerns about a person’s suitability for registration. The Authority has drawn this information to UKCP’s attention.