Previously I commented on the case of Ray Holland, a psychotherapist who was struck off by the UK Council for Psychotherapy for serious sexual misconduct with an “evidently vulnerable client”. Mr Holland denies the allegations despite the striking-off, and has returned to psychotherapy practice. This week I noticed that he had put up a new business website, changing his name to Ray Bott-Holland.
Today, I received two e-mails from Holland (or Bott-Holland, or whatever he’ll be calling himself next week) threatening to sue me if I don’t remove all his details from my blog.
The first e-mail from him was as follows.
Subject: breach of confidentiality and my civil rights
Dear Mr Dore,
I have not provided you with any permission and yet you continue to publish information about me – and now under my new family name. You have taken it upon yourself to effectively persecute and hound me which is causing me and my family considerable distress. The title ‘psychotherapist’ or any of its common derivatives is not a protected title (i.e. regulated by United Kingdom government and law) and I have every right to practice as a psychotherapist unhindered and certainly not be be hounded by members of the public as I advertise and carry out my professional practice.
I will provide you with 24 hours from the sending of this email to remove all information about me (including internet ‘tags’ and ‘links’ to my name and website:http://www.raybottholland.co.uk) on your blog, located at: https://notsobigsociety.wordpress.comI look forward to hearing from you -at the earliest- when you have completed this.Yours sincerely,Ray Bott-Holland
Dear Mr Dore,Further to my email below. Having taken good legal advice at a very high level of expertise, if you do not remove all the information I have clearly requested below [and in the time period stipulated] and indeed desist from making any further comments about me and my professional life as a ‘psychotherapist’ in various contexts on the internet (www), I will take legal action against you. I strongly emphasise the fact that I have not provided you with permission to publish and further pursue me in the relentless manner that you have. You have no authority to comment on and undermine my professional psychotherapeutic work. Note, I resigned my membership of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and ‘psychotherapist’ is not a protected professional title.Yours sincerely,Ray Bott-Holland
(1)It is a defence to an action for defamation for the defendant to show that—(a)the statement complained of was, or formed part of, a statement on a matter of public interest; and
(b)the defendant reasonably believed that publishing the statement complained of was in the public interest.