Jumbled thoughts following the Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s rally

by Julia Evans on December 3, 2012

These are subjective impressions – they are my way of making sense of the conversations during yesterday’s Alliance’s (Strap line: Supporting diversity, responsibility, autonomy and innovation in the psychological therapies) rally: The Future of Counselling and Psychotherapy . Thank you to all who participated.


It feels as if I am in one of those computer games where you turn a corner and there confronting you is an impossible situation, your way is blocked.  The Government is driving the agenda (they are defining the walls of this game) with

Skills for Health competences

NICE clinical guidelines

HPC/HCPC/CHRE/PSA fitness to practice standards, entry criteria, continuous professional development, complaints procedures and courts,

Happiness Factories (IAPT) whose aim is to produce economically happy people, or wellbeing or something

Evidence-based practice and outcomes measurement (at the end of every session to make sure you are on target).

to produce ‘safeguarding of Health and Wellbeing’ which is commanded by Parliament’s approval of Health Professions Order 2001.

So what do you do when you are being colonised by an alien power – your Government?

I became depressed and paralysed which was not all due to the cold!

Where this is going wrong

1.  David Pink its Chief Executive, stated that UKCP  existed to protect the public.  Comment: So the UKCP is one of the Government supporters (Think the crowd in the Emperor’s New Clothes cheering the naked Emperor) or collaborators. (Denis Postle first used the terms collaborator: collaborationist : resistance here) They support or glorify the Government’s order to produce protection or safeguarding as commanded in HPO2001.   There is absolutely no evidence of harm, except from Dr Shipman, no evidence that processes which had been in place for over 100 years had failed, no evidence that regulating using top-down power and standards would work, no CON-sultation with practitioners, no research into how the training organisations were functioning and no evidence that the Government’s systematic regulation would work. It, in fact, feels like the Government is paranoid and delusionally stuffing poison into their targets – those who are prepared to engage with distressed fellow human BEINGS. Anyone not registered with CHRE/ PSA/ HCPC/ HPC/ UKCP/ BACP/ BCP/ and others, (for a full list go to the New Savoy Partnership), is automatically a charlatan, dangerous, abusive, etc.

2.  Next David Pink gave the reason why the UKCP/ BACP/ BCP and others are prepared to go in with them. Becoming registered, even if involuntary (see the bps (psychologists’) letter here).  It is so obvious.  If they are registered, they command a £10,000 a year premium.  So giving up practicing ethically, means you get paid more – just following the doctors’ example. Everyone who is a Government-registered supplier to the Government’s Mental Health Clinic, can earn more if they get registered.  You just give up responsibility for your practice to the Government’s centrally devised and driven systems.

3.  If you are committed to providing treatments within the NHS – watch out!  The following are some of the problems arising:

i.  Rosie Risq who was one of the speakers, stated that in the future it will probably be the case that she, who is employed within IAPT, will have to choose between doing what she considers best for her patient and falsifying the outcome documents.

ii. The systems used defensively.  This practice is increasing as human error or failure is not allowed in the Government’s systematic provision of health care.  At a family case conference the social worker turned up with her manager.  This was because this family was assessed 6 months prior and given a clean bill of health.  No cause for concern.  The Social workers blocked a reassessment of this family to cover their backs.  The systems give protection.

iii. Quote: What will emerge is a poor relation of private practice (poor evaluation, poor outcomes, poor rates of pay, poor practice) – and, despite the rhetoric and the enthusiasm of those trying to make it work, it will be a clunky, unresponsive and bureaucratic state service.

iv. The safe place to work has been destroyed.  Nowhere to take your doubts and fears and be helped.  Supervision means setting targets and finding out why you are failing.  Remember the practitioner is always to blame.

v.  If you are not cured with 6 sessions of cbt, then you have to find your way through a further process of selection.  At the end of this, you will have to fight for further treatment. All funding for long-term work has been withdrawn or slashed.

vi.  NICE clinical diagnoses are used to define where the money goes – depression and anxiety at the moment.  These are very different to diagnoses used within psychoanalytic treatments and are based in a tick box approach instead of within the clinical process.  How one person ticks the boxes is different to another one & it is possible to manipulate diagnoses, for example, only those with let’s say bi-polar disorder justify an NHS therapist so diagnoses for this classification go up.

vii. The Government defines which outcomes are measured. So they, within the IAPT clinics insist that your level of anxiety and depression, is measured. It must get less regardless of whether you were referred for anxiety or depression.

viii. Rosie Risq gave a good example of how the sufferer’s humanity is denied.  The Government’s clinic treats unique individual subjects as flawed objects to be put back together on a factory conveyor belt.

4. How statistics are used:

i.  Paul Burstow MP, the ex-minister told one of our number, probably at the Savoy Conference last week, that (these figures are from memory and may not be accurate) 100,000 units (people) had gone through the Government’s conveyor-belt line in the last year which is twice??? the number treated previously and cost less.  This shows naïvity and an inability to think or critically examine information fed by corrupted civil servants.  How many sessions did the 100,000 attend? Probably just the one. Were their conditions at the same level? If yes, how does he know? Is the cost saving down to the Government’s preference to use slave labour or not pay?  Through his administrations, is how we got into this mess and he is still being wooed by those Government collaborators (we’ll do anything providing we are sole suppliers) the New Savoy Partnership.

ii.  Most people leave IAPT after one session. There are no statistics available on this. However, the figure of 50% cured refers to the minority who last 6 sessions. Half of them measure as cured – their symptoms have been relieved. The conveyor belt has bolted them back together in the Government-standard order.

iii. All the clients personal data is sucked back into a country wide computer.  This data is revered as THE Truth. It gets spewed out to justify the Government treating human BEINGS as objects to be repaired and to prove what a success they are.

5. Use of standards, driven by top-down power in NHS management and Government complaint procedures.

In both cases, NHS discipline procedures and external complaint procedures, use bullying and unfair tactics as the core process. Why did you break procedure 345 and a half? Why were not your notes up to date? Why did you lock your filing cabinet? No room for relationships. No room for human error. No equality or fairness. The victim goes into the process as guilty and it is a struggle to prove otherwise.  I have heard of a long-serving mental health nurse who was brilliant with those in their care.  They were sacked for not being able to perform on the Government’s preferred technology – cbt.  So the blame gets stuffed away from the Government’s negligent attitude to mental health into the Government’s victims, skilled practitioners.


The last major change to the care of those defined as mentally ill came when Mental Hospitals were closed.  It was bad for them to be institutionalised, was the excuse.  The result of this change? Many are now sleeping rough on our streets or have sought refuge in our prisons where a large proportion of prisoners have a NICE clinical label, courtesy of the Government.

So what will these changes bring?

The provision within the NHS is being decimated and Mental Health wards are being closed. This is being replaced by profit-making companies who work rigidly within Government standards and guidelines.  Those who refused state regulation via CHRE/ PSA/ HPC/ HCPC are treated as traitors and wanting to harm those who consult them. Remember, I am in a computer game and every time I turn a corner I come up against prejudice and persecution from the Government.

What to do? Ensure your mp knows what is going on.  Go and visit them and initiate a conversation.