Author Archive

October 18, 2014

Physical healthcare for people with mental health problems: Why do we so often get it wrong?

I recently completed some postgraduate study in systemic and family therapy, which I did in order to help me work more effectively with the very vulnerable families that come into contact with child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). What I didn’t expect was the way it made me reflect on communication between various agencies, and how bizarre and dysfunctional it can be. There was a prime example of this on Twitter today, courtesy of @debecca.

People with mental health problems sometimes have physical health problems. In fact, they’re statistically more likely to have such problems than those who don’t have a mental health problem. There are a number of reasons for this: if you have a mental health problem, you’re more likely to live in poverty, or in substandard housing, to have a poor diet, to be engaging in risky behaviour or drug/alcohol use, to be experiencing the side-effects of psychiatric medications, and so on. And of course, there’s the simple fact that people with mental health problems are people, and people sometimes get sick.

September 30, 2014

What kind of regulation for counselling and psychotherapy?

On this blog, I’ve highlighted the need for statutory regulation for counselling and psychotherapy. This is demonstrated by cases such as Palace Gate, where a counselling firm was struck off by the BACP due to 30 proven allegations, but has no legal impediment to stay in business. And indeed, still is in business.

What I haven’t talked about so much is what kind of regulation might work. Time to muster some thoughts.

September 20, 2014

Strange goings-on at counselling training provider

In August 2014 the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy withdrew the membership of Chrysalis Courses Ltd, which provided training in counselling and hypnotherapy. Allegations were upheld over failure to provide appropriate feedback to coursework, and the company was heavily criticised for failing to respond to the allegations or to engage with the complaints process. According to the BACP the company was dissolved in May 2014.

However, there’s still a website up and running for Chrysalis Courses, advertising training in counselling and hypnotherapy. So what’s going on here?

September 18, 2014

Struck-off psychotherapist still practising?

The UK Council for Psychotherapy recently struck off Raymond Spencer Holland for serious sexual misconduct with an “evidently vulnerable client.” They allege he “threatened [the client] in order to prevent her from reporting the matter” and “spoke with the absence of empathy towards [the client] whom he said he believed was ‘a fantasist’.” The UKCP found that he showed no remorse or insight into his actions.

But is he still practising? Web searches suggest he may well be.

September 12, 2014

UKCP strikes off psychotherapist

Following the godawful decision by the UK Council for Psychotherapy to impose a 6 month suspension for serious sexual misconduct (after which the therapist was allowed to re-register), there’s been another hearing outcome, again involving serious sexual misconduct. This time however, the registrant has been struck off.

Obviously, that represents an improvement on the terrible decision-making in the Rob Waygood case. But does it mean that the UKCP’s complaints process is becoming more robust? Personally, I’m not convinced.

September 11, 2014

Struck-off counsellor’s ridiculous online rants

I’ve regularly covered the saga around John Clapham and Lindsey Talbott, the two Devon counsellors struck off by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy for 30 proven allegations, including serious sexual misconduct by Clapham. They’re still in the counselling business, despite being booted out of the BACP and shamed in the Mail on Sunday.

Talbott has always taken a “stand by your man” approach to Clapham, sending threatening e-mails to the complainants and making online threats to sue them under Britain’s much-misused libel laws. Since then she’s been posting online again. Naturally, her latest burblings show every bit as much insight, reflection and remorse as she’s shown all along. None at all.

August 31, 2014

Come see me at Cardiff Skeptics in the Pub

I’ve been invited to speak to the Cardiff branch of Skeptics in the Pub. It’ll be at Porter’s bar on Bute Terrace, on Monday 15th September at 7.30pm. I’ll be speaking on the topic, “Dangerous Methods: The Abuses of Psychotherapy.”

The Facebook event page is here

August 30, 2014

Therapist who breached sexual boundaries returns to psychotherapy practice

Back in February I commented on a worryingly lenient decision by the UK Council for Psychotherapy to give only a 6 month suspension to a therapist who had committed serious sexual misconduct. Rob Waygood, a Jungian and transpersonal psychotherapist, admitted having sex with a client.

The suspension is now over, and Waygood is now back on the UKCP register. He has put his website back up and has announced he’s practising again.

August 26, 2014

The Palace Gate abuse case, the media and therapy regulation

Following on from the Palace Gate story (which I’ve covered extensively on this blog) appearing in the Mail on Sunday, it’s now also been reported in the Plymouth Evening Herald. After months of rumbling around social media, the abusive behaviour of John Clapham (and his co-director Lindsey Talbott) is now a mainstream story in both the national and local press.

So, what does this mean for the debate on psychotherapy regulation?

August 17, 2014

Why we told our story to The Mail on Sunday

[Guest post by Amanda Williamson and Tina Welch]

[The Palace Gate abuse case, which I've covered on this blog, has now been reported by the Mail on Sunday. Here, the complainants tells us why they've gone public with their experiences - Phil]

Note that the title says ‘told’ rather than ‘sold’. This is important as cynics may proffer that we did it to make money. We can assure you that it wasn’t done for publicity either. Both of us are very wary of the impact that sharing our story may have on our personal and professional lives. Taking Phoenix Counselling to a professional conduct hearing has already cost us both heavily, in personal, professional and financial terms.
 
We want to make it absolutely clear that our motivation consists of two clear aims:
 

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