There’s been a few responses since I noticed a snippet on the Professional Standards Authority website, saying that the UK Council for Psychotherapy has had its accreditation suspended, pending further improvements that the PSA requires. The UKCP have issued a statement, which depicts the suspension as a relatively routine aspect of renewing their accreditation. However, enquiries made by a therapist raise question marks about just how routine it supposedly is.
The following account was sent to me by a woman who was repeatedly raped on a weekly basis by a psychotherapist of whom she was a client. Following her abuse, it transpired that all of his qualifications were bogus. Her account gives a vivid description of the effect the criminal justice system has on survivors of rape. It was originally written in 2002, and I don’t know enough about the topic to know how it compares to the experiences of victims in more recent cases. I suspect the difference is not much.
Copyright of this article remains with the author, who is entitled to remain anonymous.
I suddenly noticed something on the Professional Standards Authority’s list of Accredited Registers. The UK Council for Psychotherapy are still on the list, but if you click on their page, some eye-opening details are revealed. It seems the UKCP has had their accreditation suspended.
I couldn’t find any mention of this on the UKCP website, which surprised me somewhat.
Back in March 2014 blog reader Jo D Baker sent me an alarming bit of number-crunching. He downloaded all the striking-off orders issued by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy from October 2005 onwards. He then did Google searches to see how many of them had online business websites still advertising themselves as counsellors or psychotherapists. He found positive results for 22% of them, which shows that self-regulation isn’t effective at removing struck-off therapists from the workplace. Scary.
I decided to update the data to the present day, and also add data from the UK Council for Psychotherapy. The new results are, well, still scary.
One of the arguments against regulation of psychotherapy is that if such titles as “counsellor” or “psychotherapist” are made protected titles, then those who are either struck off or were never registered to begin with will simply use other titles. “Life coach”, for example.
Parallels are sometimes drawn with other professions. Dietitians are regulated, but people get around regulation by calling themselves nutritionists. Likewise podiatrists and chiropodists have protected titles, but some people call themselves “foot health professionals”, and work unregulated. An example of someone using this to get around a striking-off order was shown to me by blog reader Patrick Killeen. It’s a tale that stinks worse than a nasty case of bromodosis.
We’re all familiar with the sorry tale of the collapse of Kids Company. While there’s been plenty of criticism of its founder Camila Batmanghelidjh, there’s one aspect of her story that hasn’t received much attention – her self-description as a psychotherapist.
In amongst all the drama from her appearance before a House of Commons public administration and constitutional affairs committee, there’s an exchange which was noticed by Exeter counsellor James Banyard. He’s transcribed the conversation and posted it on his blog.
As I reported in July, the three biggest psychotherapy organisations in the UK – the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, the UK Council for Psychotherapy and the British Psychoanalytic Council – have been moving towards a more collaborative approach.
They’ve now formally announced this, and an information video is online.