Recently the main psychotherapy organisations, particularly the UK Council for Psychotherapy, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and the British Psychoanalytic Council, seem to be moving towards speaking with one voice. A good example of this is the recent Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy in the UK. The various bodies came together to denounce attempts to change people’s sexual orientation as unethical and harmful. I understand that moves are also underway to take a similar position on therapies to convert transgender people to being cisgender.
I wondered if this is the start of a trend, and both the BACP and BPC have confirmed that this is the case.
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy said,
We are indeed looking into opportunities to work collaboratively with other professional bodies. I don’t have any details of specifics just yet but collaborative working is something that’s very important to BACP and is likely to form an integral part of our new strategic plan.
The British Psychoanalytic Council said,
The three main bodies representing psychotherapy and counselling are indeed looking to work more collaboratively on projects which are of mutual concern.Full details about this will be announced soon.
My assertion here is that the only way in which we can really define what is important about counselling and psychotherapy… and coaching… and pastoral care… and the use of counselling skills, for example, is for professional bodies to begin to find ways of working together – collaboratively – so that we can begin to find points of similarity and a shared perspective, rather than separation – so that difference becomes an opportunity for growth and facilitation rather than friction and fracture.
I know I am not alone here. In speaking to many members at Making Connections and other events, there seems to be a groundswell of opinion that only good can come out of a new collaborative agenda. Likewise, because of discussions that have already begun to take place, there is a real commitment from other professional bodies to want to find ways of working together too. Once the psychological therapies – or the counselling professions as the new Ethical Framework will term them – find a common voice, then we will be in a much stronger place to help shape our own future.