In January 2015 a memorandum of understanding was signed by a host of organisations, including the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, the UK Council for Psychotherapy, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and NHS England. The memorandum condemned so-called “conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy”, which aims to turn gay people straight.
I fully agree with the memorandum that such “therapy” is both unethical and harmful. However, it was criticised for not also condemning such tactics when used with transgender people. Just under a year ago the UK Council for Psychotherapy announced it was “developing its position” on transgender people and conversion therapy, but since then nothing has happened. Yesterday Dominic Davies, a fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, resigned in protest over what he feels is foot-dragging over the issue.
From November 2015 to January 2016, the Professional Standards Authority briefly suspended the UK Council for Psychotherapy from their list of accredited registers. After the UKCP made a number of changes, the suspension was lifted. The PSA have now published their reasons for the suspension. When I commented about it online, various people suggested I was making a fuss about a “storm in a teacup”, and that this was simply a normal part of the reaccreditation process.
From reading the PSA’s review, it becomes clear that this was no storm in a teacup. It involves, among other things, the apparent mishandling of a sexual misconduct case.
From reading the UKCP page on the Professional Standard Authority’s list of accredited registers, it appears their suspension has now been lifted.
UKCP’s accreditation was renewed by the Panel on 18 January 2016. The Panel’s decision will be published in due course.
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.
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.
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.