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Open letter from person-centred community calls on BACP to halt the SCoPEd project

An open letter from hundreds of person-centred practitioners and supporters of the Person-Centred Approach has been published, calling on BACP to halt the controversial SCoPEd project for counselling and psychotherapy and to ‘open a more inclusive dialogue about the future of the field’.

The letter (reproduced in full below and also sent to UKCP, BPC and NCS) is signed by over 400 therapists, academics, educators and trainees, among them BACP Fellows, BACP Accredited and Senior Accredited members , UKCP registered therapists, NCS members and leading person-centred writers from the UK, Europe and the United States. 21 organisations have also signed, including person-centred groups from across Europe.

As the letter spells out, the project and its proposed competency framework is ‘divisive, elitist and exclusionary’ and marginalises Person-Centred Therapy, one of the most widely practised therapeutic approaches among BACP members. As the letter states:

SCoPEd distorts our professional landscape into a politically expedient shape at the expense of a whole swathe of practitioners whose work is misunderstood, downgraded and delegitimised.’

Read the letter and full list of signatories below.


SCoPEd: Insufficient and Incongruent

An open letter to BACP

As Person-Centred therapists and supporters of the Person-Centred Approach, we have become increasingly concerned about the development of the SCoPEd project for counselling and psychotherapy. Person-Centred Therapy (PCT) constitutes one of the most widely practised approaches within BACP and yet SCoPEd has marginalised and excluded Person-Centred therapists almost entirely. After the first consultation, we were assured that PCT – an approach supported by decades of research (e.g. Cooper, Watson & Hölldampf, 2010; Elliott et al, 2013; Murphy & Joseph, 2016) – would be more accurately represented in the second iteration of the proposed framework, but in fact little of any substance has changed and there has been no willingness to fundamentally reassess the project’s approach. We now call on BACP to halt SCoPEd and to open a more inclusive dialogue about the future of our field.

Person-Centred therapists are committed to creating the therapeutic conditions for constructive change and the fulfilment of potential, not only with individual clients and trainees but for the therapy field as a whole. How, then, can we best nurture the diverse ecology of therapeutic practice in the UK? This is an important and complex question that the SCoPEd project fails to answer successfully by attempting to ‘map’ training and practice onto a simplistic ‘competency framework’. For us, this signals a failure of imagination and a lack of creativity, but it also demonstrates a troubling commitment to a predetermined outcome.

Far from creating the conditions for growth, the project has proven to be divisive, elitist and exclusionary, not least by privileging some theories, practices and professional identities over others, while simultaneously turning a blind eye to the complex histories and professional politics that feed its erroneously hierarchical understanding of therapy training and practice. SCoPEd creates a professional self-concept that is incongruent with how many practitioners, trainees and clients actually experience the human relationships at the heart of therapy, irrespective of theoretical orientation.

This is not solely about our own interests as Person-Centred therapists. The marginalisation of the Person-Centred Approach in the SCoPEd project is an exemplary case study in how – whatever its intentions – the proposed framework fails to accurately promote, represent or clarify understanding in the field of counselling and psychotherapy in the UK. Rather than ‘mapping’ the territory, SCoPEd distorts our professional landscape into a politically expedient shape at the expense of a whole swathe of practitioners whose work is misunderstood, downgraded and delegitimised.

From a Person-Centred perspective, we are particularly concerned about the following issues:

1) It is a key Person-Centred value that no one group is better equipped to be a therapist than any other. Counselling and psychotherapy is already a disproportionately white, middle class profession but SCoPEd looks set to further entrench these deep structural inequalities by lending even more status to certain titles and trainings at the expense of others. This will inevitably drive up costs, exacerbate elitism and further exclude from the upper tiers of the framework’s hierarchy those experiencing socio-economic disadvantage, discrimination and oppression.

2) Until very recently, well into the project’s development and in our view far too late, the three SCoPEd membership bodies – BACP, UKCP and a relatively small body dedicated solely to psychoanalytic practice (BPC) – have excluded all other membership organisations, interest groups and stakeholders.

3) The composition of the so-called Expert Reference Group (ERG) is deeply problematic. Originally, the ERG had seven psychoanalytic therapists and no Person-Centred therapists. Then an eighth psychoanalytic therapist was added, together with one identifying as Person-Centred/Pluralistic. The ‘independent’ Chair is drawn from the British Psychoanalytic Council. This is not a grouping that can be expected to understand or faithfully represent the complexities and nuances of the family of Person-Centred and Experiential therapies.

4) SCoPEd uncritically adopts the notion that the best way forward for our field is to develop a ‘competency framework’ using a methodology designed originally to manualise CBT for the IAPT project in the NHS (Roth & Pilling, 2008). The Person-Centred Approach has long critiqued manualisation, which potentially dehumanises the co-created, relational art of therapy and, in this case, risks reducing it to a mechanistic, psychoanalytically-informed healthcare intervention.

5) The Roth & Pilling methodology relies on a narrow and self-referential range of ‘evidence’, which distorts the outcomes of its ‘research’ so that assumptions from psychoanalytic psychotherapy become in the SCoPEd framework ‘evidence-based’ assertions about the relative competency of therapists with different trainings and philosophies (Murphy, 2019).

6) Given the theoretical bias in the ERG’s composition and the values inherent in the project’s chosen methodology, it is no surprise that the competence framework itself almost erases a Person-Centred understanding of therapeutic practice. For example:

I. Despite the temporary and somewhat disingenuous removal of practitioner titles in the second iteration, SCoPEd clearly differentiates ‘counselling’ and ‘psychotherapy’, terms which in the Person-Centred Approach are used interchangeably. Indeed, from Carl Rogers’ earliest writings onwards, differentiation has tended to be viewed critically (Rogers, 1942; Thorne, 1999). Until very recently this was also BACP’s position but the organisation has now performed an astonishing and unevidenced U-turn on the issue.

II. Moreover, the framework portrays ‘psychotherapists’ as being not just different but more competent than ‘counsellors’ across a whole range of practice issues, formalising a divisive hierarchy of practice that devalues post-qualification experience and training. It also grants ownership of the language to those who support this hierarchical differentiation and delegitimises those, such as Person-Centred therapists, for whom these terms have different meanings. Proposing (as yet unspecified) ‘gateways’ between the titles does nothing to level this inequality – if anything it highlights how therapists have been organised into an imposed system of tiered enclosures, through which only those with sufficient resources will be able to move upwards.

III. PCT in the UK is commonly – though by no means exclusively – practised under the title of ‘counsellor’, which the hierarchy effectively downgrades. But the professional and political history of this identity (see Rogers, 2019) has nothing to do with the competence or ability of Person-Centred therapists to co-create and sustain therapeutic relationships at depth (e.g. Mearns & Cooper, 2017).

IV. Throughout the framework, a psychoanalytically-informed, instrumental treatment approach – one at least partly located in the medical model – is positioned as superior to holistic, phenomenological, Humanistic approaches. The highest level (‘psychotherapist’/ column C) competences are skewed towards psychoanalytic theory and practice, most obviously in their references to the ‘unconscious’. The addition of the phrase ‘out of awareness’ and other minor language tweaks do not go anywhere near far enough to redress this inequality.

V. The privileging of psychoanalytic approaches belies the claim that the SCoPEd framework is ‘evidence-based’. There is no clear evidence that psychoanalytic approaches achieve higher levels of competence, greater depth of practice or have better ‘outcomes’ for clients than Person-Centred therapies, which are well researched and strongly evidence-based (e.g. Cooper, Watson & Hölldampf, 2010; Elliott et al, 2013; Murphy & Joseph, 2016).

VI. Using UKCP and BPC-approved course curricula as the primary sources for the ‘psychotherapist’/column C competences devalues the alternative – but nonetheless philosophically coherent – approach found in Person-Centred training, which has different emphases, e.g. the value placed on group work (not just individual therapy) in personal development. There is, after all, no evidence that higher academic levels of study, more personal therapy, attending mental health placements and working from a psychoanalytic theoretical base in training result in more meaningful therapy experiences for clients.

VII. The related notion, visible in the SCoPEd competences, that only practitioners who meet the ‘psychotherapist’/column C criteria are able to undertake the most complex therapeutic work, is contradicted by the fact that many trainee and newly qualified counsellors (from all theoretical approaches) will already be working ethically in placements with issues such as complex trauma. It also ignores the pioneering work of Person-Centred practitioners both in psychiatric settings (e.g. Prouty, 2008; Warner 2014) and in the area of ‘post-traumatic growth’ (Joseph, 2011).

Summary

We cannot support SCoPEd because it imposes an understanding of therapy that we do not share and for which there is a lack of good evidence. The project’s organisational processes and research methodology have created a framework that erroneously equates practitioner competency and therapeutic depth with specific theoretical approaches, training conventions, practitioner titles and organisational memberships/levels – all of which evolved for professional reasons that have little bearing on the richly diverse, lived experience of therapeutic relationships.

In its legitimising of redundant hierarchies, SCoPEd misrepresents the profession of counselling and psychotherapy, fails the Person-Centred Approach, devalues the work of thousands of trained counsellors in the UK and risks further impeding diversity in our field.

We ask BACP to halt the project; to reconnect with its own membership; to consult more widely across the field about the best way forward; to fully embrace diversity of thought and practice; to genuinely prize the work of therapists of all kinds; and to put therapeutic values rather than political expediency back at the heart of its approach.

References

Cooper, M; Watson, JC; Hölldampf, D (2010) Person-Centered And Experiential Therapies Work: A Review Of The Research On Counseling, Psychotherapy And Related Practices. Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books.

Elliott, R., Watson, J., Greenberg, L.S., Timulak, L., & Freire, E. (2013). ‘Research on humanistic-experiential psychotherapies’. In M.J. Lambert (Ed.), Bergin & Garfield‘s Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change (6th ed.) (pp. 495-538). New York: Wiley.

Joseph, S (2011) What Doesn’t Kill Us: The new psychology of post-traumatic growth. New York: Basic Books.

Joseph, S (2017) ‘The Problem of Choosing Between Irreconcilable Theoretical Orientations: Comment on Melchert (2016)’ American Psychologist 2017, Vol. 72, No. 4, 397–398.

Mearns, D & Cooper, M (2017) Working at Relational Depth in Counselling and Psychotherapy. 2nd edition. London: Sage.

Murphy, D (2019) ‘The Questionable Evidence Base of SCoPEd’. Blog retrieved 26/09/2020 here: https://allianceblogs.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/the-questionable-evidence-base-of-scoped/

Murphy, D, & Joseph, S (2016) ‘Person-centered therapy: Past, present, and future orientations’. In D. J. Cain, K. Keenan, & S. Rubin (Eds.), Humanistic Psychotherapies: Handbook of Research and Practice, Second Edition (pp. 185 – 219). Washington: APA.

Prouty G (2008) Emerging Developments In Pre-Therapy: A Pre-Therapy Reader. Monmouth: PCCS Books.

Rogers, A (2019) ‘Maps, Languages & Lost Continents: Person-Centred Therapy And The SCoPEd Project’. Blog retrieved 26/09/2020 here: https://allianceblogs.wordpress.com/2019/07/31/maps-person-centred-therapy-scoped/

Rogers, C (1942) Counseling and Psychotherapy: Newer Concepts in Practice (p. 4). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Roth, AD & Pilling, S (2008). ‘Using an evidence based methodology to identify the competences required to deliver effective cognitive and behavioural therapy for depression and anxiety disorders.’ Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 36, pp. 129-147.

Thorne, B (1999) ‘Psychotherapy and counselling are indistinguishable’ (pp. 225-232) in Feltham, C. Controversies in Psychotherapy and Counselling. London: Sage.

Warner, M (2014) ‘Client processes at the difficult edge’. In P Pearce and L Sommerbeck (eds), Person-Centred Practice at the Difficult Edge. Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books.


Organisational signatories

The Person-Centred Association (TPCA)

UK Person-Centred Experiential (UKPCE)

Person-Centred Therapy Scotland (PCT Scotland)

The Association for the Development of the Person-Centered Approach (ADPCA)

European Network for Person-Centred & Experiential Psychotherapy and Counselling (PCE Europe)

Counsellors Together UK (CTUK)

Psychotherapy & Counselling Union (PCU)

Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility (PCSR)

Pink Therapy

Aashna Counselling & Psychotherapy

Free Psychotherapy Network (FPN)

Alliance for Counselling & Psychotherapy

Counselling for Social Change

Kaleidoscope Counselling Scotland

Radical Dialogues

Dutch Association for Person-Centred Experiential Psychotherapy (VPeP)

Flemish Association for Client-Centered & Experiential Psychotherapy and Counseling (VVCEPC)

Panhellenic Association of Person-Centred & Experiential Professionals (PEEPVIP)

Polish Society of Integrative Experiential Psychotherapy (INTRA)

Rogers Centre – Foundation for the Autonomous Person (Hungary)

Romanian Association for Person-Centred Psychotherapy (ARPCP)

Russian Community of the Person-Centred Approach (RCPCA)


Individual signatories

Ray M. Adomaitis Ph.D; Licensed Psychologist, Washington
Sabine Ahlen MBACP Registered; NCS Accredited
Laura Aitken MBACP (Accred)
Maria Albertson, Founder, Counsellors Together UK (CTUK)
Ashley Allcorn A.M., LSW; B Temaner-Brodley PG Fellow, CCA, Chicago
Lee Allen MBACP Registered
Vicki Allen MBACP Registered
Jacqueline Anderiesz-Tyrrell MBACP (Accred); BA (Hons)
Lisa Andrews A.M., LCSW; B Temaner-Brodley PG Fellow, CCA, Chicago
Dan Angel MBACP Registered; NCS Accredited
Paul Atkinson, Free Psychotherapy Network
Jax Ayling MBACP (Senior Accred)
Richard Bagnall-Oakeley UKCP & BACP Registered
Julia Bailey MBACP (Accred)
Williamina Baillie MBACP Registered
Sarah Baimbridge MBACP (Accred)
Charles Baines MBACP (Accred)
Helene Baker MBACP Registered, NCS (Acc)
David Ballantine MBACP Registered
Sal Bannister MBACP (Accred), NCS (Acc); counsellor/psychotherapist
Keith Barber UKCP Registered
Jennifer Barlow MBACP (Accred)
Eleanor Barnes MBACP (Accred), MCOSCA
Larry Barnett MBACP Registered; BSc (Hons), FdSc
Alison Barr MBACP Registered; Director, The Green Rooms
Diz Barton MBE MBACP (Senior Accred); UKCP Registered
Jay Beichman Ph.D; MBACP (Senior Accred)
Alaina Bercilla CCA Intern, Eastern Michigan University
Paul Berry MBACP Registered
Kris Black MBACP/UKCP Registered, ISN, IAP, LLB (Hons); Founder, Radical Dialogues
Martyn Blair MBACP Registered
Jon Blend UKCP Registered
David Blowers UKCP Registered
Dr Peter Blundell, Senior Lecturer, Liverpool John Moores University
Gloria Boadi MBACP (Accred), NCS Accredited
Arthur Bohart Ph.D; Santa Clara University, California
Mihaela Bonațiu, Chair, ARPCP
Margaret Borszcz MBACP (Accred)
Mae Boyd MBACP (Accred)
Heather Grace Bond Ph.D
Carla Boulton NCS member
Anne-Marie Bradley MBACP (Accred)
Fr. William Bradley, St. Joseph’s Mission, Stafford Springs, CT, USA
Yasmina Bradshaw BACP student member
Ben Brett MBACP Registered, Dip.Couns
Alan Brice MBACP (Senior Accred)
Rita Brophy MBACP Registered; Integrative Counsellor
Helen Brown, student counsellor, University of Warwick
Jane Brown MBACP Registered
Daniel Bruck MBPsS, University Sao Francisco, Brazil
Chris Bulpitt ACC Accredited
Terry Butler MBACP Registered
Beatriz Cadavid MBACP Registered
Sarah Callen DipCo., MSc.; Co-Editor, Person-Centred Quarterly
Rose Cameron MBACP (Senior Accred)
Caroline Capon NCS member
Isabel Carballal CPCAP L4 Therapeutic Counselling Dip
Jenny Carlisle MBACP (Senior Accred)
Lorna Carrick MBACP (Senior Accred); Counselling Programme Director, University of Strathclyde
Ian Carty
Nancy Cerritelli BACP student member
Sally Chisholm, Lecturer, Supervisor & Counsellor, Keele University, Metanoia Institute
Agapitos Chrysochoos, PCA counsellor
Celia Clark NCS Accredited
Dot Clark MBACP Registered
Becki Clitsome, Student Member BACP & NCS
Dilys Codrington NCS Member; Psychotherapeutic Counsellor
Peter Coffey MChem (hons), MRes
Jo Cohen, Assoc. for the Development of the Person-Centered Approach
Susan Coldwell MBACP (Accred)
Sophie Coleman
Paul Colley, therapist & supervisor; conscientious membership body objector since 1994
Kim Cooper MBACP (Accred)
Sandra Cooper MBACP Registered counsellor; BA (Hons)
Dr Elizabeth Cotton, Surviving Work
Tom Cowan, Student Member BACP
Geoff T. Cox MBACP (Accred); MA
Mary Coyne UKCP Registered; person-centred psychotherapist
Andrew Cranham UKCP Registered
Daniela Crasan ARPCP
Stephen Crowther MBACP Registered
Christine Cullen MBACP Registered
Leigh-Anne Cummings-Flint
Alisha Cunningham NCS student member
Maria Mirella D’Ippolito, psychologist & psychotherapist, Rome, Italy
Amy Dann NCS Accredited
Catherine Date MBACP Registered
Jayne D. Davidson MBACP (Accred)
Dominic Davies, CEO Pink Therapy; Fellow of NCS and NCP, former Fellow of BACP
Jennifer Davies MBACP & UKCP Registered
Kim Davies MBACP Registered
Maria Davies MBACP Registered
Rebecca Davies nee Howes MBACP Registered
Samantha Davies NCS Accredited
Ryan Dawes MBACP Registered; Mphil, PGDip
Veronica Day MBACP Registered
Mathias Dekeyser
Glenna Demeter NCS Fellow Accredited member
Trees Depoorter, Chair, VVCEPC
Helen Ditchburn BACP student member
Melody Dixon-Oliver MBACP Registered
Lesley Dougan, Senior Lecturer/MA Course Lead, Liverpool John Moores University
Magda Draskoczy, Person-Centred therapist and trainer, Hungary
Sam Driscoll MBACP Registered
Ashleigh Dunford-Bishop MBACP Registered
Charles Durning MBACP Registered
Rachel Dyer-Williams MBACP Registered
Cheryl Edwards MBACP Regsitered, NCS member
Erin Ekeberg A.M., LSW; B Temaner-Brodley PG Fellow, CCA, Chicago
Roisin Elder MBACP Registered; PGDip
Derryn Ellingham MBACP Registered
Ivan Ellingham Ph.D, CPsychol (Counselling & Clinical Psychology), HCPC
Clayton Elliott MBACP (Accred)
Beth Evans UKCP Registered
Claire Fewster NCS Accredited
Melanie Fieldhouse MBACP Registered; PGDip
Christine J. Finch NCS Accredited
John Fletcher MBACP (Accred), UKCP Registered
Palada Florentina ARPCP
Jane Flotte A.M., LCSW; B Temaner-Brodley PG Fellow, CCA, Chicago
Florenta Foca ARPCP
Leeanne Fowler UKCP Registered; NHS counsellor & university lecturer
Heidi Francis Ad Prof Dip PC, MNCS Accred
Peter Freeman MBACP Registered
Pamela Frith MBACP Registered
Sally-Anne Fuller BACP member
Dr Anna Louise Fry Ph.D, MNCS Accredited
Samantha Fulton MBACP Registered
Stavroulla Gabriel MBACP Registered
Jamie Geary
Sharon Gibbons, formerly MBACP Registered, now NCS
Donna Gibson MBACP Registered
Marc Gibson NCS Accredited
Alexandre F. Gieseke MBACP (CYP); Graduated Basis for Chartered Psychologist – GBC – MBPSs
Lizzie Gilbert MBACP Registered
Nick Glenister MBACP Registered
Trish Golding MBACP (Accred)
Jojo Gosney MBACP (Accred); MA
Natalee Goodman BACP student member
Keith Grayson MBACP Registered
Sue Griffiths MBACP (Accred)
Monica Gundrum, psychotherapist, Belgium
Dr Ellen Gunst Ph.D, psychologist and psychotherapist, Belgium
Rob Hack BACP student member
Jules Haley, Person-Centred counsellor
Sonia Hall MBACP Registered
Deborah Hare NCS Accredited Member
Caroline Harland MBACP Registered
Elizabeth Harris MBACP (Senior Accred)
Richard Harris MBACP Registered
Steven Harris MBACP Registered
Dr Jeff Harrison, Senior Lecturer, Liverpool John Moores University
Mark Harrison NCS member (ex-BACP, departed in response to SCoPEd)
Dr Andrew Hart CPsychol, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (AFBPsS)
Colin Hartland MBACP Registered
Michelle Harwood MBACP Registered
Jan Hawkins MBACP (Senior Accred)
Catherine Hayes MBACP (Senior Accred); Assistant Professor in counselling
Lee Healbury
Sebastian Heid MBACP Registered; trustee, the Person-Centred Association (TPCA)
Paula Hendricks MBACP Registered
Suzy Henry, Chair of the Person-Centred Association (TPCA)
Arne Heylen, Client-Centred therapist, Catholic University Louvain, Belgium
Amanda Hignett BACP student member
Antonia Higgins MBACP Registered
Michelle Higgins MBACP (Accred)
Jo Hilton, Clinical Fellow, University of Edinburgh
Kerrie Hipgrave MBACP Registered
João Hipólito, Professor, Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, Portugal
Cara Hitchcock MBACP Registered
Brennan Holt MBACP Registered
Jacqueline Homonko MBACP (Accred)
Darren Hopgood MBACP Registered & NCS Accredited
Kirsty Horne NCS member
Sophie Horrox MBACP (Accred)
Angela Hotchkiss, Person-Centred counsellor
Richard House Ph.D, Chartered Psychologist, former Senior Lecturer in counselling & psychotherapy
Bernard Howell MBACP Registered
Lin Hudson MBACP (Accred)
Gillian Hughson NCS member
Kathy Humberstone MBACP (Accred); Senior Lecturer, University of Derby
Lee Humphreys BACP student member
Jane Hupston MBACP Registered & NCS
Fiona Hutchings MBACP (Accred)
Lynne Hutton MBACP Registered
Darren Jackson
Gillian James MBACP Registered
Marie Jefsioutine MBACP Registered
Marlene Jenas MBACP Registered
Julie Jenner UKAHPP, UKCP and EABP registered
Julia Jenkins MBACP Registered
Dr Peter Jewel, Person-Centred counsellor and supervisor
William Johnston MBACP Registered
Shirley Jolley Retired Person-Centred counsellor, TPCA
Ruth Jones MBACP (Accred)
Stephen Joseph Ph.D, Professor of Psychology, Health & Social Care, University of Nottingham
Kay Juviler-Bacon MBACP (Accred)
Ewa Kaczorkiewicz, Psychotherapist & Psychologist, Warsaw, Poland
Edwin Kahn, ADPCA
Ali Keen MBACP Registered
Dawn Keenan, trainee counsellor, Liverpool John Moores University
Susan Kelly MBACP Registered
Emma Keir MBACP (Accred); CMCOSCA
Josephine Kerr MBACP Registered
Howard Kirschenbaum, Professor Emeritus, University of Rochester; biographer of Carl Rogers
Grace Klein, ADPCA
Julia Kohnert MBACP Registered
Lisa Kmita MA; Prog. Leader, University Campus North Lincolnshire
Judy Knight MBACP Registered
Farah Kurdi-Villate CCA Intern, University of Chicago
Nicolas Krivine
Lynne Lacock MBACP Registered; Senior Lecturer
Colin Lago BACP Fellow; M.Ed, D.Litt
Adam Laidler MBACP Registered; psychotherapist
Leonore Langner, Chair, PCE Europe
Janey Lansdell MBACP Registered, NCS member
Emma Largesse MBACP Registered
Richard Lasson, Social Worker, Mental Health Support
Barbara Leach Former MBACP (Senior Accred), now retired
Maggie Leathley MBACP Registered; BSc MA PGDip
Rev Dr Jeff Leonardi, counsellor, supervisor, Honorary Research Fellow
Sonica Li, American Counseling Association (ACA), ADPCA
Germain Lietaer, Emeritus Professor, Catholic University Leuven, Division of Clinical Psychology
Jacqui Light NCS member
Mary Lim MBACP Registered
Francesca Lo Verso MBACP Registered
Georgia Looker, level 4 PCT Counselling student
Corrina Lord MBACP (Accred)
Kate Loughran MBACP Registered
Ruth Lyne MBACP (Accred)
Suzi Mackenzie MBACP (Senior Accred)
Colin Mackillop MBACP Registered
Vickey Maddrell, postgraduate student, LJMU
Angela Madeley NCS member
Lisa Major NCS student member; trainee on MA
Barbara Malinen, psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer
Bogumila Malinowska MBACP (Accred)
Lorna Marchant BACP Fellow
Laurel Marks MBACP Registered counsellor
Vivien Marsh MBACP (Accred)
Mary Martin MBACP Registered
Fiona McAlister MBACP Registered
Ali McBride MBACP (Accred)
Jennifer McCann UKCP Registered psychotherapeutic counsellor
Lorna McCarthy MBACP (Senior Accred)
Karon McCarthy-Sadd
Kate McGarry MBACP Registered; PCT Scotland
Elizabeth H. McGauley Sarfaty M.Ed
Susan McGinnis MBACP Registered
Alan McNeill MBACP (Accred), PGDip Couns; NHS primary care counsellor
William Mendez
Beatrice Miller, Chair, PCSR; Person-Centred Therapist
Tina Miller MA; sociologist, social worker, and family life educator
Katie Miller-Cole MBACP Registered; PCU member
Graeme Mills MBACP (Accred)
Catherine Mitchell MBACP Registered
Joanna Mockfrord, Person-Centred Experiential trainee
Mihaela Momoiu MSc; UKCP Registered psychotherapist
Kathryn A. Moon, Licensed Counselor, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Judy Moore Ph.D, MBACP (Senior Accred); former Director, Centre for Counselling Studies, UEA
Dr Shirley Moore BACP individual member
Hilary Moors MBACP Registered
Trish Morgan BACP student member
Kerry Morris MBACP Registered
Rosswitha Morrison MBACP Registered
Kate Morrissey MBACP Registered
Mike Moss MBACP Registered
Vicky Mould NCS (Prof Accred)
John Moulder A.M., LSW; B Temaner-Brodley PG Fellow, CCA, Chicago
Danusia Mulligan MBACP Registered & NCS Accredited
Alison Munro MBACP Registered
Dr David Murphy, Associate Professor, University of Nottingham
Anne Murphy MBACP (Accred)
Claire Murray MBACP Registered
Travis Musich CCA Intern, Illinois School of Prof. Psychology, National Louis University
J. L. Myatt MSc, MBACP Registered
Lynn Naidoo MBACP Registered
Wendy Neil, Person-Centered Counsellor, MNCS, BA (Hons), MSc, DIC
Anna Nelson-Smith MBACP Registered
Paula Newman MBACP (Senior Accred) counsellor and supervisor
Georgeta Niculescu ARPCP
Sally Nilsson, Human Givens Practitioner
Len Northfield MBACP Registered; MSc, PGDip
Stacy Nye MBACP Registered
Donna O’Connor MBACP Registered; psychotherapeutic counsellor
Charlotte O’Hanlon BACP student member
Jeremy O’Sullivan MBACP (Accred)
Sarah Oak MBACP (Accred); member of MK Rogerian Group
Todd Odell M.A.; Senior Therapist, Chicago Counseling Associates (CCA)
Stephen Ong, Person-Centred therapist
Gemma Owen MBACP Registered
Lynn Palethorpe MBACP Registered
Joana Pancada MBACP Registered; MA
Nicola Parry BACP student member
Ian Parker, in solidarity, President, College of Psychoanalysts – UK
Geraldine Pass MBACP Registered
Saf Patel MBACP Registered
Fiona Paterson MBACP Registered
Lorna Patterson MBACP (Accred)
Rachael Peacock, MUCKP Person-Centred Psychotherapist
Sally Pendreigh MBACP (Senior Accred); Person-Centred counsellor
Natali Petkova MBACP Registered
Sarah Pettifer MBACP Registered; therapist and trainer
Gabriella Philippou, Person-Centred Chamber, Pancyprian Association for Psychotherapists (PAP)
Mary Phoenix MBACP (Accred)
Susan Pildes, Senior Trainer, Chicago Counseling Associates (CCA)
Lisa Pinder MBACP Registered; psychotherapist & counsellor
Caroline Plummer MBACP Registered
Maggie Pollard MBACP (Senior Accred)
Chip Ponsford
Martin Poole, trainee therapist
Denis Postle ARCA, Independent Practitioners Network (IPN)
Kevin Powell MBACP Registered
Karen Prescod MBACP Registered
Sue Price NCS member
Dr Gillian Proctor, Lecturer, University of Leeds, and independent clinical psychologist
Steph Quinn MBACP Registered
Rob Radcliffe MBACP Registered
Heather Rai PG Student, University of Nottingham
Pretish Raja UKCP Registered; co-founder, Aashna Counselling & Psychotherapy
Suzi Rankin
Catarina M. Rato MBACP (Senior Accred)
Lyn Rhodes MBACP (Senior Accred)
Anne Richards MBACP Registered
Antonia Richardson MBACP Registered; MUKCP
Helen Richardson MBACP (Accred)
Kathleen Richardson, diploma student
Ruth Richardson MBACP Registered
Nicola Richter MA; MBACP (Senior Accredited), UKCP Registered, MBPsS, Fellow of HEA
Lindsay Riley MBACP Registered
Alison Rimmell MBACP (Accred)
Cashel Riordan MBACP (Accred)
Anne Robertson MBACP Registered
Cy Rodger MBACP Registered
Andy Rogers MBACP Registered; PGDip; therapist, supervisor & author
Blue Roth LCSW; Staff supervisor & therapist, Chicago Counseling Associates (CCA)
Kaye Rowe MBACP Registered
Andy Rushton UKCP Registered
Peter Ryan MBACP (Accred)
Professor Andrew Samuels, former Chair, UKCP
Pete Sanders, author, retired counsellor, supervisor and trainer
Hamilton Sargent MBACP Registered
Martin Sawers, Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapist (UKCP), IAPT Counsellor
James Schindler-Ord MBACP Registered; BSc
Jane Schindler-Ord MBACP Registered
Carolyn Schneider A.M., LCPC; Director, Chicago Counseling Associates
Julia Scott MBACP Registered; NCS Accredited
Trodi-Ann Scott BACP student member
Becky Seale MBACP (Senior Accred)
Judith Seddon MBACP (Accred); RGN
Tracy Sedgeworth MBACP Registered
Alberto S. Segrera, Emeritus Professor, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico
Daniela Ploesteanu Sfirlea ARPCP
Radha Shah MBACP Registered
Mike Shallcross MBACP Registered
Rosemin Shariff MBACP (Accred)
Sandra Sharman MBACP Registered
Kath Shaw MBACP & UKCP Registered
Hannah Shepherd NCS Accredited
Katie Ship MBACP Registered, FdA
Jessica Shipman, ADPCA
Lynne Short MBACP (Accred), Counsellor/Psychotherapist
Lois Sidney, formerly MBACP Registered
Molnár L. Simon, Rogers Centre – Foundation for the Autonomous Person (Hungary)
Helen Skelton UKCP Registered
Al Skiffington-Smith MSc; UKCP Accredited Psychotherapist
Pete Smallwood MBACP (Accred)
Audrey E. Smith MBACP (Accred) Counsellor/Psychotherapist
Deb Smith MBACP Registered
Elizabeth Smith MBACP (Senior Accred)
Katherine Smith MBACP Registered
Liz Smith MBACP Registered; NCS Accredited
Leona Smith-Kerr MBACP Registered
Wendy Snell MBACP Registered
Sarah Sollis MA
Lisbeth Sommerbeck, Danish psychologist and author
Bill Stanley, Director, Merulae Limited
Amy Star MBACP Registered
Geri Stein MBACP Registered
Susan Stephen MBACP (Accred)
Anna Sternberg MBACP (Accred)
Ian Stockridge MBACP Registered
Duncan Stoddart MBACP (Senior Accred)
Helen Storey UKCP Registered; MSc
Julia Stretton MBACP (Accred)
Kate Stubbings MBACP (Senior Accred)
Joseph Suart, College of Psychoanalysts, Free Psychotherapy Network, PCU
Amanda Sugarman MBACP Registered
Árpi Süle, Editor-in-Chief, Dutch Journal of PCE Psychotherapies of the Netherlands & Belgium
Tim Sumner, student member BACP; Level 4 Counselling Course
Heather Swan MBACP Registered
Julie Taylor
Rachel Teare MBACP (Accred); Counsellor and Psychotherapist
Victoria Telfer-Smith MBACP Registered
Veda Tester MBACP Registered; BSc (hons)
Claire Thomas MBACP (Accred)
Peter Thomas MBACP Registered
Alison Thorne MBACP (Senior Accred)
Gloria Tirelli MBACP Registered
Janet Tolan BACP Fellow; NCS (Senior Accred)
Jo Tomlinson, Lecturer in counselling; MA Comm. Psych.
Siobhan Toner MBACP Registered
Agnes Banatine Toth, Person-Centred counsellor, Hungary
Ian Townshend MA; Retired Senior Lecturer, UCLan
Henri Treece NCS member
Melanie Holland Tucker MBACP Registered
Allan Turner MBACP (Senior Accred)
Bridget Tyson-Carr MBACP Registered
Elizabeth Urie MBACP (Accred)
Debbie Vallance MBACP Registered
Dr Kathleen Vandenberghe, Senior Lecturer, Liverpool John Moores University
Daniel Vanyi, Person-Centred counsellor, Hungary
Christine Vinnicombe MBACP Registered; integrative counsellor
Alan Mark Walker MS, LMFT, Texas
Jenny Watkins UKCP Registered Person-Centred psychotherapist; MSc
Catherine Watson MBACP (Accred)
Natasha Wellfare NCS Accredited
Chris Wels MBACP (Accred); Counsellor and Psychotherapist
Neil Weston MBACP Registered
Graham Westwell MSc; Senior Lecturer, Edge Hill University
Louis White NCS member
Andy Whitehouse, Dip. in Person-Centred Counselling & Psychotherapy
Jacqui Whittingham MBACP Registered
Melanie Whyatt MBACP Registered
Heather Whyte MBACP Registered
Cathrin Wildwood MBACP Registered
Heidi Wilke MBACP Registered
Dr Paul Wilkins Ph.D (Psychotherapy)
Paula J. Williams MSc, Fellow of NCS
Liz Willows MBACP Registered
David Wilson MBACP Registered
Marge Witty Ph.D, Professor Emeritus, Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Argosy Uni, Chicago
Judy Wright MBACP Registered
Julie Wright MBACP Registered
Jin Wu Psy.D; ADPCA; licensed clinical psychologist, Illinois, USA
Rae Yates NCS Accredited
Mei Liou Zarnitsyna, CCA Intern, Loyola University, Chicago
Alicja Zwiercan MA in PCE Counselling & Psychotherapy, University of Nottingham

*

Joint letter to BACP, UKCP and BPC on the SCoPEd consultation results

In response to the SCoPEd initial consultation results, a joint letter to BACP, UKCP and BPC has been signed by the Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy, the National Counselling Society, Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility, the Psychotherapy and Counselling Union and the College of Psychoanalysts.


Dear Chairs and Chief Executives of BACP, UKCP and BPC,

The Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy, the National Counselling Society, Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility, the Psychotherapy and Counselling Union and the College of Psychoanalysts have noted your claims hailing the results of the recent consultation.

We have analysed the available statistics, and, on behalf of our combined memberships of well over 2,000 practitioners, nearly all of whom register with yourselves, respectfully beg to differ.

The results are hardly a ringing endorsement of the SCoPEd project (dramatically so, as far as BACP is concerned).

The return rates are assuredly below acceptable minima for the adoption of such wholesale change in any profession. We calculate that there is an overall return rate of the survey of around 13 per cent (7,087 respondents out of 53,500 members) – or about one in eight.

BACP’s return rate appears to be 13 per cent (5,878 respondents out of 44,000 members. (If the smaller register were used then the return rate will have been higher.)

BPC’s return rate appears to be 15 per cent (230 respondents out of 1,500 members).

And UKCP’s return rate appears to be 12 per cent (979 respondents out of 8,000 members).

Our organisations consider that it would be foolhardy to attempt to make such fundamental changes to the structure of our professions on the basis of the level of response garnered up to now. Don’t forget, it is you yourselves who have asserted that the changes will be fundamental, not only your critics. We will continue proactively to oppose any such developments.

Nor do the more detailed statistics offer you anything like the succour that you have claimed. Drilling down, we find that:

60 per cent of respondents did not believe SCoPEd would improve things for clients.

46 per cent did not believe it would help recruitment.

39 per cent did not believe it would make things clearer for trainees.

46 per cent did not believe it would help professional organisations to promote therapy.

Given that the leaderships of the three organisations so strongly supported the direction of travel of the project, these figures should make for depressing reading for you.

And among BACP members, the positive responses were even lower. Only 36 per cent of BACP respondents to the survey believe SCoPEd will make things easier for clients trying to find the right help (Question 1a). This is just 2,131 members, which is about 5 per cent of BACP’s total membership.

For comparison and to get these returns into some kind of proportion, this is 1,000 less than those, mainly but not all BACP members, who signed the petition to scrap the project.

It also contrasts fairly dramatically with the 57 per cent of BPC and 56 per cent of UKCP respondents who believe the framework would be positive for clients – an intriguing difference that is reflected throughout all the results, as laid out here.

On the question of how useful SCoPEd will be for employers (Q1b), 50 per cent of BACP respondents answered that it will be easier to establish who to employ, whereas 78 per cent of BPC and 71 per cent of UKCP respondents agreed.

On the effect on clarity for students choosing training pathways (Q1c), 57 per cent of BACP respondents were positive, compared with 84 per cent of BPC and 78 per cent of UKCP. Similarly, 50 per cent of BACP members answering the survey believed SCoPEd would make promotion of members’ skills by professional organisations easier (Q1d), whereas 75 per cent (BPC) and 73 per cent (UKCP) felt the same.

What are we to make of this? Is it surprising that organisations representing those identifying more often as ‘psychotherapists’ (and in BPC’s case, exclusively psychoanalytic psychotherapists), rather than ‘counsellors’, would favour a framework that places psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the top of a hierarchy of practice? We also note with as little cynicism as we can manage the close ties these organisations have with training programmes that would profit from such an assertion or reassertion of superiority.

Despite the deeply problematic nature of the consultation methodology, as shown in this article, and the lack of any real endorsement of the project in the results – not to mention the widespread dissatisfaction with the framework (particularly amongst ‘counsellors’ and especially the under-represented person-centred/experiential/existential/humanistic communities), as well as the substantive critiques of the political agendas and claimed ‘evidence base’ of the project – despite all this, BACP, BPC and UKCP assert nonetheless that, ‘we have an early indication that we should progress this work’.

Surely, if anything, a dispassionate viewpoint would be that there is an ‘early indication’ that the entire project is deeply flawed, and is pursuing a path that a substantial portion of the field finds at best misguided, and at worst a complete betrayal of their practices. In what sense, then, can this work be said to be happening ‘alongside our memberships’?

To progress the SCoPEd framework anywhere near ethically, it would mean reappraising every single aspect of it: its motivations and intentions, its assumptions, its methodology, its form, the composition of its ‘expert reference group’, the ‘independent’ chair, the disputed ‘evidence base’, the nature of further consultations, and so on.

Is there any will at all to do this within BACP, BPC and UKCP? The leaderships of your organisations may ‘acknowledge’ the ‘strength of feeling’ in the debates around ScoPEd, but how can they possibly continue with the project in this form, knowing the numerous substantive critiques of the project and its current functioning?

Perhaps the 3,000 consultation comments, as yet not analysed by the ‘independent research company’, hold some of the answers. Is it possible that all of these comments and all other relevant data beyond what you have released thus could be published on one of your websites? We are serious about this and consider it to be normal good practice for a consultation. Not to do so, or to refuse to release the comments, will leave you open to allegations of cooking the books.

In the meantime, the organisations sending this letter would welcome open dialogue, above all in a public format, with BACP, BPC and UKCP about the future of the therapy field.

Collegial greetings from,

The Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy

Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility

The Psychotherapy and Counselling Union

The College of Psychoanalysts

The National Counselling Society

 

19 March 2019: post amended to add the National Counselling Society to the letter signatories.

 

*


 

‘Psychoanalytic coup’ – Andrew Samuels on the SCoPEd Competence Framework

Sent to the Chairs and CEOs of BACP, UKCP and BPC

January 24th 2019

From Professor Andrew Samuels


You have every right to ignore this.

I was in the room as chair of UKCP when the HPC Professional Liaison group in 2010 were told by Prof Peter Fonagy that counselling was inferior to psychotherapy. BACP (Sally Aldridge) were apoplectic. But now, when I look at the lists of competences, I feel sure that many counsellors meet those ascribed to psychotherapy. I’ve trained some of them.

(Incidentally, didn’t the abject failure of the Skills for Health competency based project stick in anyone’s memories?)

Moreover, the interests of Jungian analysis, body psychotherapy, arts psychotherapies and transpersonal psychotherapy have been downplayed. I am not sure how a humanistic and integrative psychotherapist might react, to be honest. Not well, I surmise.

What has happened is that psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy have pulled off a major coup. Their values and approaches have triumphed. I am sure that this will be widely recognised by anyone who reads the documents. It reflects the dynamism and skill of their top people, in my view, so hats off to them in a way!

I have returned the survey to BPC and UKCP. In the free section, I have expressed astonishment that the discredited work done by Roth and Pilling in different contexts has been utilised in this one. Those academics are gung-ho for NICE, IAPT and statutory regulation. They are not friends of the work that we do.

The whole thing strikes me as an example of fiddling while Rome burns. Actually, it is worse than that. We’ve spent decades making sure that, for example, job adverts ask for BACP or UKCP or BPC membership where once the BPS held sway. I’ve been proud to be a part of that. We even managed to reduce the stress on modality in most adverts, except those where the consultant doctors were psychoanalysts. We have begun to get the Professional Standards Authority on the map.

Now three utterly bizarre neologisms are being put forward. And this is going to make getting jobs easier? Or help applicants? ‘Qualified counsellor’, ‘advanced qualified counsellor’, ‘psychotherapist’.

Even if the old terms are restored once the survey has run its course, the discrepant crunch between the two indicative languages will be so confusing.

And what is the point of saying that these terms are ‘loosely described’? They are not loosely described at all; they are clearly differentiated (albeit on shaky grounds) and formed into a tendentious hierarchy.

Sorry for the passionate way in which I write. I am hoping that there will be massive opposition to these proposals but am realistic: the supine memberships mostly won’t bother about it at all – a few will support, a few will oppose, and we shall lumber on, promoting the demise of depth, relational work – what I still call (semi-seriously) ‘real psychotherapy’.

Finally, I will comment on page 72 of the main document where the membership of your Expert Reference Group is given. There are 12 in total, 7 of which are psychoanalytic, 2 integrative (unspecified combination), 1 hypno-psychotherapy, 1 pluralistic (unspecified combination) and 1 humanistic-integrative. Add in the chair and information analyst and I believe it comes to 8 psychoanalytic and 6 others (of which only two are explicitly humanistic in orientation).

How is this a balanced group of experts??

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alliance update: Letters to the press on the general election

Dear colleagues,

The Alliance has taken a lead in organising two recent press letters, aimed at the election campaign, on government policies around people with disabilities and the nation’s mental health.

In the Daily Mirror:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/must-defeat-tories-sake-mental-10494187

And last week, this appeared in the Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/18/vote-labour-to-uphold-the-rights-of-disabled-people

For us, an important and exciting development over the past few years has been the involvement of therapists in campaigns of a wide nature, including  disability, psycho-compulsion, workfare, benefit cuts, and mental health. Crucially, these have been campaigns in which psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists and other professionals have for the first time joined service users and welfare campaigners to plan and participate in protest, political lobbying and street actions on issues of social and psychological politics.

The initiatives for these alliances and for a more strident intervention in the social and political field have not come from the establishment of our profession (the regulatory professional bodies like BACP, UKCP, BABCP, BPC, BPS and RCP) whose voices have been slow to rise above the careful comprises of ‘realpolitik’, but from the growing energy of radical, more grass-roots organisations like the Alliance, Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility, Psychologists for Social Change, the Free Psychotherapy Network and the Social Work Action Network.

If you agree with the broad sentiments in the letters, we’d be most grateful if you would circulate and share the links far and wide through all your networks, including tweeting and social networking.

You can for the moment contribute your own comments below the line of the Mirror letter – please do! Thanks very much for your support.

Our warm regards,

Paul Atkinson (for the Alliance)

Andrew Samuels on Jobcentre Therapy and the Psy-Organisations

Letter submitted to Therapy Today (the BACP journal) but not published.


I’d like to respond to Catherine Jackson’s interesting article Colocation or collusion? How ethical are the Government’s proposals for closer working between IAPT services and Jobcentre Plus?’ (Therapy Today, April 2016, pp.8-9).

Catherine’s title suggests that the issue is generating heat and, at the end of this letter, I make a suggestion for a dialogical, relational next step.

What Catherine wrote illustrates the usual dilemma that the large professional organisations find themselves in with regard to Government policies – in this case, the many linkages between employment on the one hand and psychological therapies on the other. If bodies such as BACP, UKCP, BPC, BPS and BABCP are too robust in their criticism of Government policies, they will be labelled as ‘the awkward squad’ and ‘the usual suspects’. Doors in Whitehall close, requests for meetings go unanswered or evaded. That doesn’t serve the interests of the members. But what if they are too compliant, too accepting and even collusive with Government policy? What if the Big Five (as I call them) have inadvertently fallen into a role as being one of passing on reassurance to their memberships about the reassurance they themselves have received from the Department of Work and Pensions? That isn’t what members expect either.

I suspect that getting this particular balance right matters a lot to BACP members – it certainly did at the UKCP when I was Chair and the conundrum continues to be frequently discussed there. It is a really difficult balance to achieve. Be that as it may, Catherine’s article describes a significant new development in the field, in which 17 separate organisations have united to make the claim that the Big Five professional bodies referred to may need to do more to bring to the attention of their members what the overall thrust is of the linkages being made at many levels between employment and ‘mental health’. These 17 organisations include service user/survivor groups working alongside organised groups of professional counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses and academics. In all my 44 years as a therapist involved with public issues, I cannot remember anything like this happening before. It’s really important that BACP, in particular, with its deserved reputation for being the most outward-oriented of all the big professional bodies, clocks the significance of what has happened; I hope that the recognition of the importance of user-professional co-operation is not being too slow to arise. (See Note 1, below, for a roll call of the organisations concerned; the names tell their own story.)

In the public correspondence between the Big Five and the 17 organisations challenging them, there seems to be one point of agreement – at least in the abstract, at the level of principle. This is that therapy which has employment as a specific goal stated in advance is questionable from clinical and ethical standpoints. This is what the memberships of the Big Five believe, I think, and hence it is what they expect their leaderships to support.

But there is an increasing amount of ‘therapy-for-work’ being offered in Britain today and the Big Five know about it. Not least, their websites carry adverts whose job descriptions make it clear that the client’s employment is to be the clinical goal of the therapist that will be appointed. To be clear: the main issue here is not that our organisations carry the adverts. The thing is, now it has been pointed out, it is a little problematic to go on saying that this is not happening on the ground. The evidence is very close to hand. Or, to give a further and more general example, the New Savoy Conference, of which four of the Big Five are members, has been explicit that the stated clinical goal of psychological therapy should be employment. IAPTs, too, follow the same line, as Catherine mentions.

Counsellors and psychotherapists, who bring psychological perspectives to bar on public affairs, will understand that the proposals to locate ‘therapy’ in job centres will have (and has already had) a profound emotional impact. Counsellors and psychotherapists all know that the line between ‘suggestion’ and ‘compulsion’ is a very difficult one to demarcate. Vulnerable people can and often do say ‘No’ to what they believe will damage them, no matter how well intended. But, as therapists, shouldn’t we be concerned at what a false compliance does to the emotional state of an individual going through a difficult time?

Returning to the suggestion I flagged up in my opening paragraph, how about BACP convening a Stakeholders’ Meeting at which these matters can be more deeply explored. The Big Five plus the 17 smaller organisations would be at the core of such a gathering. Whether the Department of Work and Pensions would attend is something to discuss.

Andrew Samuels

Professor of Analytical Psychology, University of Essex; former Chair, United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy


Note 1

The organisations referred to are: Mental Wealth Foundation, Mental Health Resistance Network, Disabled People Against Cuts, Recovery in the Bin, Boycott Workfare, The Survivors Trust, Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy,  College of Psychoanalysts, Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility, Psychologists Against Austerity, Free Psychotherapy Network,  Psychotherapists and Counsellors Union, Critical Mental Health Nurses’ Network, Social Work Action Network (Mental Health Charter), National Unemployed Workers Combine, Merseyside County Association of Trades Union Councils, Scottish Unemployed Workers’ Network, National Health Action Party

Nailed: Tory lie on suicide rates and austerity

Dear friends and colleagues,

The question of mental health under the previous government’s austerity policies has taken a vital new twist. Please find a new press open letter touching on this in Monday’s Guardian, here:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/03/us-and-british-health-specialists-support-the-nhs

In the accompanying newspaper report, we read that,

…A [Conservative] party source added: “Every suicide is a tragedy, but the latest available data shows that the rate is now the same as in 2003 and has been relatively stable during successive governments in the intervening period.”

The following rebuttal appears in today’s “i” newspaper (not available online):

SUICIDAL POLICY

Having announced their £12 billion of welfare cuts nearly two years ago, any responsible government would have long since devised clear plans for implementing them (6 May). The Conservatives are also being equally disingenuous about the impact of their austerity policies on Britain’s suicide rate, having recently publicly denied that there has been any spike in the data. This denial flies in the face of all the empirical evidence. Extensive international epidemiological evidence shows a clear and consistent causal link between austerity policies and suicide rates. With the Conservatives returned to office and these cuts imposed, Britain’s suicide rate would soar to previously unheard-of levels.

Dr Richard House – Chartered Psychologist, Stroud; Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy

Could you please circulate this far and wide to all your contacts ASAP, and ask them all to do the same… That way, we can maximise the extent to which voters know about this scandalous issue before voting today.

Thanks once again for your much-valued support of our initiatives on this crucial issue.

STOP PRESS: Important news re: deaths linked to ESA. Please share:

http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/election-2015-greens-demand-ids-apology-for-misleading-voters-on-benefit-deaths/

http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/dwp-told-to-publish-esa-deaths-report-after-two-year-delay/