May 24, 2015

Eurovision Grand Final – Review

And so the contest reached its conclusion last night. After months of me sarcastically livetweeting the national selections (I do wonder how many unfollows I got as a result of that), then flying out to watch the semifinals in Vienna, and then watching the finals on back home on TV, it’s all over.

So, how was it?

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May 22, 2015

Eurovision Semi-Final 2 – Review

This second review of the contest comes from my home back in Wales, having negotiated a flight, the circle of Hades that is the M25, and the Bank Holiday traffic to get back from Bratislava. I watched the Jury Show of the second semi-final on Wednesday live in Vienna. Last night I discovered that, disgracefully, Slovakian TV doesn’t screen the Eurovision, so I had to watch the event via an online livestream. There was some amusement at watching the “spontaneous” interviews between artists and Conchita Wurst being repeated verbatim from the previous night.

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May 20, 2015

Eurovision Semi-Final 1 – Review

I’m currently sitting in a very pleasant hotel room in Bratislava, Slovakia, having got in at 2am last night from watching the first semi-final of the Eurovision live in Vienna. I’ve also been catching up some of the highlights on YouTube, because from past experience some acts comes across differently on TV to watching them in the flesh. Time for me to post some thoughts on last night’s show.

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May 19, 2015

When does sexual attraction turn into sexual misconduct?

Given that I’ve blogged about serious sexual misconduct cases in counselling and psychotherapy, @sameihuda on Twitter drew my attention to this article in BPS Research Digest. It deals with the tricky topic of when therapists develop a sense of sexual attraction to their clients.

The article refers only to when therapists have sexual feelings, not when this turns into actual sexual acts (fortunately, none of the therapists surveyed in the research cited had done this). I’ll give some thoughts on when this could happen.

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May 16, 2015

#BornNaughty – TV Review

On Thursday night I settled down to watch Channel 4’s new TV series, Born Naughty, which examines the lives of young children with behavioural problems. To declare an interest most of my professional background is in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

I’ll set my cards out from the start. I didn’t like it.

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May 2, 2015

How not to do trauma therapy 2: Mere negligence, or a therapy cult?

I’ve had some eye-opening responses to my blog post about a trauma therapy session that went horribly wrong. Two therapists had allegations proven against them by the UKCP and BACP after a post-abuse survivor was left “crying daily and not sleeping” due to being physically held at a workshop.

Some comments were left on the blog post. While the hearing outcomes reeked of clinical negligence, these replies gave a whiff of something rather more sinister.

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April 29, 2015

Are some accredited counsellors more accredited than others?

There’s been a lively debate on the comments thread to a blog post I did back in September 2014. I’d written about Chrysalis Courses, a counselling training provider which had been struck off by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Chrysalis continues to be registered with the National Counselling Society, which has become an Accredited Register with the Professional Standards Authority. Some of those leaving comments seem to be former students, unhappy with the quality of training they received. Others have raised criticisms what they perceively to be an excessively-close relationship between Chrysalis and the National Counselling Society.

Both the National Counselling Society and British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy have routes to become accredited counsellors. But what does the word “accredited” actually mean, and does it necessarily mean the same thing between different registers? Continue reading

April 6, 2015

How not to do trauma therapy: A tale of two misconduct hearings

I must be spending too much time reading the various hearing outcomes on the UKCP and BACP websites. A year ago I posted about the case of Sue Clancy, where a client had been left traumatised in a therapy session gone badly wrong. I criticised the outcome, because despite finding that Clancy had committed misconduct and harmed the client, the UKCP declined to issue a sanction. Not even a warning.

Earlier this week, another sanction notice went up, this time on the BACP website. There were a lot of similarities between this case and Clancy’s, which seemed seemed to suggest it was the same incident. It gives more information about what has happened here, and it’s a disturbing tale.

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March 22, 2015

On Kanye West, Glastonbury and Online Petitions

In three months time I’ll be heading to the Glastonbury Festival, where I’ll be doing voluntary work with the Oxfam Stewards [n.b. I’m writing in a personal capacity here, not as a representative of the Oxfam Stewards.] As I write there’s an online petition demanding that Saturday headliner Kanye West be cancelled and replaced by a rock band. There’s 123,000 signatures on it. Given that 135,000 tickets have been sold for Glasto, at some point (probably in the next couple of days) more people will have signed the petition than are actually going.

This leaves open two possibilities. One is that in June the population of Worthy Farm will be Kanye, me and some cows. The other is that a lot of the people signing had no intention of going in the first place.

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March 16, 2015

2015 – The Year Punk Broke at the Eurovision

Apologies to those of you who’ve had your Twitter timelines clogged up with me livetweeting the various national selections for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The good news for you is that all the entries have now been announced (with the exception of Montenegro, who for some reason are waiting until next weekend to unveil their act).

Watching all these shows has been at times fun, at times exhausting. I’ve seen some great entertainment, and also some rubbish along the way. Having gone through this process, I’m now going to reveal my top ten acts that you’ll be seeing perform at Vienna in a couple of months. Naturally, these are my own subjective opinions, so feel free to disregard them as worthless.

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