Why are so many Jungians facing complaints hearings?

Since my last blog about the UK Council for Psychotherapy’s attempts to bring in a centralised complaints hearing, somebody has pointed out to me an interesting trend among therapists who’ve been hauled up on allegations of misconduct.

The first psychotherapist to go before the UKCP’s new central complaints system was John Smalley, a Jungian analyst with the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists. Several allegations of serious misconduct were found proved.

Since then another therapist, Rob Waygood, has been suspended from the UKCP register pending investigation due to “allegations of gross professional misconduct”. His website describes him as “working in the Jungian, integrative, transpersonal¬†and process oriented modes.”

And then there’s Geoffrey Pick, who was found to have committed a serious breach of sexual boundaries with a patient. He didn’t go through the new central complaints service. Instead he was sanctioned by his UKCP member organisation, the Arbours Association. Appallingly, they suspended him for a year and then allowed him to re-register as a psychotherapist. In any other profession it would be considered unthinkable to give any sanction other than a striking-off. He since resigned from both Arbours and UKCP, but before he did, I took a screenshot of his register entry.

PickScreenshot from 2013-04-03 18:59:30redacted

Once again, he’s a Jungian.

Other than that, there’s only two other complaints decisions in the UKCP archive for the past year. One is against a family therapist, the other for a gestalt psychotherapist. Both were found to have committed misconduct and give conditions of practice orders.

So, of the 6 known investigations into alleged misconduct by UKCP psychotherapists since March 2012, 4 of them were into the practice of Jungians.

Okay, it’s a small sample, but an interesting result.

Of course, Carl Jung himself was no stranger to misconduct. He had a sexual relationship with Sabina Spielrein, one of his patients at the Burgholzli psychiatric hospital. It was recently the subject of a movie by David Cronenberg.

File:A Dangerous Method Poster.jpg

So, does anyone reading this have any ideas why Jungians seem to be over-represented in recent fitness-for-practice investigations? I just thought I’d put the question out there to see if anything comes back from the Hivemind.

A Dangerous Method Indeed: Therapist Investigated for 3 Years, Still Able to Practise

Today the David Cronenberg film, A Dangerous Method, was released. It depicts the pioneering psychoanalyst Carl Jung (played by Michael Fassbender) engaging in what would now be considered serious professional misconduct.

A Dangerous Method

In a chilling parallel, The Not So Big Society has obtained court documents showing a Jungian psychotherapist has been under investigation for alleged misconduct for over three years, apparently with no conclusion reached. Throughout this period he has been able to continue advertising his services with no warning that his fitness to practice may be impaired.

The case is likely to raise serious questions about the way psychotherapy is regulated in the UK.
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