UKCP’s laughable response to bungled disciplinary hearing

In my investigations into the Smalley case, I’ve just had a response from the UK Council for Psychotherapy as to why they didn’t sanction a therapist who freely admitted he destroyed his notes. It’s so ludicrous I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

The story so far…the UKCP took over three years to investigate a complaint about John Smalley, a Jungian analyst with the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists. At the end of this inordinate length of time, they concluded that seven allegations had been proven, but they decided not to sanction him anyway. During the hearing before the UKCP’s Central Complaints Process, Smalley freely admitted that he had destroyed his notes.

Destroying notes is normally considered a fitness to practice issue in and of itself. As a registered nurse, the NMC Code specifically bans me from tampering with records. If I were up before the NMC and I told them I’d destroyed my notes relating to the complaint, I’d fully expect them to assume I was hiding something.

The UKCP have posted a response in the comments thread to my last post.

Z, you are correct in that the independent panel did not find the therapist guilty of something of which he was not accused.
This case had four public hearings. The parties were able to present their views, and all were legally represented. And the case was considered by an independent panel. There were 18 different complaints grounds. No complaint was made against the therapist about destroying notes.

So…the reason they didn’t take any action on the destroying of notes is…because the complaints listed weren’t about destroying notes?

Actually, while we’re at it, let’s have a facepalm gif party.

15 thoughts on “UKCP’s laughable response to bungled disciplinary hearing

  1. Yeah, well, typical bureacrat’s reply, what did you expect, Z?

  2. Just wanted to moot a newsletter from the nightingale collaboration that aims to challenge the practice of witchcraft in medicine. See their link at This will clearly be relevant to the CHRE consultation on psychotherapy. Do you think that they will kitemark the practitioners at the Bowlby Centre or the assoc. Of NLP Practitioners. Seems all back to square one to me if they did but I guess a lot of UKCP orgs. will bulk at even this limited form of regulation. And following from some of the comments in the Smallpiece case might not even have the wherewithal or resources to come up to it. Interested in your views. Ta x

    • What do you propose to do – burn them? The Nightingale Collection is, I suggest, a rather self-important group of people that claims to “challenge unfounded claims”. Only their definition of what may be “founded” or “unfounded” is acceptable. In other words, they are one-dimensional Puritans. I agree with their dislike of or at any rate scepticism about some of the practices they mention. On the other hand, I have known others greatly helped by others of those practices.

      It is you, Jo, who has brought the word “witchcraft” into this, not as far as I can see the Nightingale Collection. It looks as though you are trying to raise a hue and cry against complementary practitioners on the one hand and neo-pagans on the other. Fortunately, you are 400 years after your time. Please keep your placards and your burning torches to yourself.

      • Interesting about witchcraft and 400 years after your time. I am history graduate and familiar with both but not with psychology which I have had to beef up on under my own effort. Can you please round off my autodictic efforts by providing a critical assessment of the books I have read by Tana Dineen, Robyn Dawes and most recently by Richard Webster. Read them and then go back to any of the authors and have an agenda about witchcraft. I can arrange for you to attend a skeptics meeting and have the platform if you like. Can you please get back to the point of my post – would you like Valerie Sinason or Richard Bandler as a colleague. They will have commensurate professional status with you on the basis that they have “helped” people.

  3. Oops, Robyn Dawes is no longer with us…hey, if you are into you can get down to some past life regression therapy with some of the punks he describes in his books. Perhaps you would like them to be registered with the Nursing and midwifery council. And as for helped people I live in a certain suburb of Brum where the church of scumtology has advocates who will sincerely tell you that they have been helped. Come on, who do you want as a professional colleague – Richard Bandler, Valerie Sinason or L Ron Hubbard. (they are all very sincere you know…hue and cry 🙂

    • Hubbard sincere? That’s the first I’ve heard about it. He was a hack SF potboiler writer who typed directly onto a roll of paper on a bracket on the wall, and who told associates he was “going to invent a religion and get rich”. He did exactly that. Thus far is a matter of record in the public domain. As his successors are a notoriously litigious bunch, and I’m fond of this website, that’s all I’m going to say about them.

      I believe in regulation of professional status in counselling and psychotherapy, just as in nursing and midwifery, or medicine and surgery. That having been done (and to be sure at present it’s still work in progress), in a free society if people choose to spend their money on snake oil then they do. The problem is that in your righteous indignation you are giving the oxygen of publicity to groupings that would die off without it, much as it could be argued that we on the now defunct ‘Mental Nurse’ did for a certain ginger Californian and her worshippers.

      Are you a member of the Evangelosphere?

      • Thanks, I know all about L Ron Hubbard. “Sincere” was said with a degree of irony. Do we give people a degree of professional credibility soley on the basis that they or others connected with them claim to ba able to help people? You have missed the point, why should Hubbard have any more or less credibility than Sinason, Bandler and Paul Mckenna? They have all sat in the bath at some point and had a eureka moment and voila a new form of therapy emerges to take money off people and then cause all sorts of misery in it’s wake. Just some background to this, the nightingale collaboration is looking at the worth, value and benefit of giving legitimacy and status to all sorts of complementary health practices that we know do not work and through either their actual application or by diversion from better alternatives cause harm. So, do we do the same for different practices in counselling and psychotherapy which you and Z as well as many of your sensible colleagues would not touch with a radar beam? It really is a moot point as to whether my “indignation” will give the “oxygen of publicity to groups that would die off without it” I am looking around me and see no evidence of them going out of business. My fear with the CHRE consultation is that it will go down the same line as the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council. The sorry history of that organisation can be found in the archives of In short, over £900,000 of public money down the pan to date with no practical benefit. For the record, I am not a member of the Evangelosphere, have no idea who they are and cannot be bothered to even Google them. I would like either yourself or Z, or anyone to answer the question that I have asked twice in this blog and will now ask for a third time. Take a squint at the list of the member organisations of the UKCP and tell me which of them should be allowed to proceed under a kitemark scheme and considered, like yourselves, to be regarded as competent, safe and effectiive professionals?

      • “I would like…yourself or Z…to answer the question…”

        Not I. Your sanitised world appeals to me even less than the one you decry. Perhaps you should take a holiday, kitemarked of course. And that is my last comment on this thread.

    • Hi Jo, I dont know your background or reason for being here (are you still here?) But I am very interested in your views about Sinason and the Bowlby Centre. I have had some extremely shocking experiences with their therapists.

    • Hi Jo, I dont know your background or reason for being here (are you still here?) But I am very interested in your views about Sinason and the Bowlby Centre.

  4. Will Paul “bogus Phd” McKenna be a CHRE kitemark accredited therapist?

    • For legal reasons, I have to note here that although Paul McKenna’s PhD was from a non-accredited university, there was no suggestion that he obtained his PhD dishonestly.

      • Z, I apologise for the “bogus Phd” comment. As it happens my ex partner had a long time association with McKenna-Breen and I know that they can be “protective” about statements made in the public sphere. It is probably best removed.

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