John Smalley, Dr Anne Maguire and the differing accounts of supervision

Time for another instalment on the Smalley case, a spectacularly mishandled fitness for practice hearing by the UK Council for Psychotherapy.

The story so far…The UKCP took over three years to investigate complaints about Mr Smalley, a Jungian analyst with the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists. At the end of a long sequence of delays, they decided that seven allegations had been proven, but also decided not to sanction him. The fact that he admitted in the hearing that he destroyed his notes doesn’t seem to have prompted a sanction. The UKCP’s laughable response to this is that they didn’t sanction him for destroying his notes because there wasn’t a complaint about destroying his notes.

In the two instalments we discussed two of the allegations that were found proven. One was that Smalley inappropriately set up two of his clients in a business partnership with each other. The other is that he made derogatory comments about other clients to the complainant, including one where he (jokingly, according to Mr Smalley) suggested to the complainant that he hang around after the session because he had an attractive female client coming.

This time, let’s look at a dispute that erupted in the case regarding Smalley’s supervision. His supervisor was the late Dr Anne Maguire of the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists, who sadly passed away in August 2011. Dr Maguire was a very eminent and respected figure, both as a Jungian analyst and as a dermatologist. In 1998 she gave the valedictory address at the funeral of Marie-Louise von Franz, founder of the CG Jung Institute and colleague of Jung.

During the Smalley hearings, the question of supervision came up, particularly with regard to the inappropriate business relationship that Smalley set up.

Later in the hearing, the questions returned to supervision.

The “ethical position”, the panel later concluded, was that this was misconduct. If this is as described, then Dr Maguire gave him carte blanche to carry out this misconduct. It would be a stain on the reputation of an internationally-renowned Jungian.

But did she do this? After the hearings, the complainant’s wife submitted a statement to the UKCP panel. In 2007, she and the complainant had a split in their relationship (one of the allegations found not proven by the UKCP was that the complainant seemed to blame Mr Smalley for the split). They subsequently reconciled and married. Around this time, she was attending analysis with Dr Maguire.

Mr Smalley hotly denied the claim.

To corroborate his insistence that he discussed these matters in supervision, Mr Smalley gave the panel receipts for supervision, and entries from his work diary showing his appointments with Dr Maguire. However, Dr Maguire’s records were not presented. I have no idea if they were sought from her estate.

The complainant then responded pointing out that the receipts and diary entries do not provide a complete record of his monthly supervision.

The “diagnosis of PPD” mentioned is a reference to one of the allegations found not proven – that Mr Smalley (who is not a medical doctor) diagnosed the complainant with paranoid personality disorder.

Here we have, as in many areas of this dispute, two wildly differing accounts. One, in which the late Dr Maguire sanctioned Smalley’s misconduct. The other, in which she hadn’t seen him for a while around the time of the inappropriate introduction. A record to show that Smalley had supervision was provided, but this record was incomplete. And in any case, it showed no evidence of what was actually said in those supervision sessions.

This needs investigating, and the records need to be sought if they have not been already. It may not fall to the UKCP to do this, as Mr Smalley is no longer a member. However, Mr Smalley is still a member of the IGAP, as was the late Dr Maguire. They have a clear duty to investigate.

4 thoughts on “John Smalley, Dr Anne Maguire and the differing accounts of supervision

  1. I know I have posted elsewhere on this blog but feel compelled to do so again, because the lies told by Mr. John Smalley are detrimental to the late Dr. Anne Maguire, who was one of the best analysts, and indeed one of the best human beings, I have ever had the privilege to encounter. Since discovering these disturbing facts yesterday, I have emailed the UKCP calling for an investigation into IGAP’s Complaints Procedure and Ethics Committee.

    I was once associated with IGAP myself and knew both of the people mentioned well. Anne Maguire was my mentor and I have never known her to be anything less than ethical. She was loving and would forgive, but only if the person acknowledged the wrong which they had done and attempted where possible to redress the wrong. There is no way in which she would have condoned misconduct on the part of an analyst.

    John Smalley has an engaging personality and a talent for covering his shortcomings under the guise of humour. Shortly before my parting company with IGAP (chiefly because of him!) I heard that he and Anne Maguire had fallen out. The stupid rumour mill said that they fell out over me, but I knew this to be untrue. This would coincide exactly with this complaints procedure and the lies which John Smalley told in order to save his own skin, which interestingly increased the very day after Anne Maguire’s death. That great lady retained her dignity to the very end and would probably be telling me not to waste my energy on this, she knew the truth and nothing else matters – but it matters to ME.

    John has behaved inappropriately towards me and several others, neglected his duties as Convenor of my Review Committee by refusing to answer emails or telephone messages (of a professional nature), has disclosed confidential patient material inappropriately in public lectures, and has frequently lectured when visibly drunk.

    He deserves to be struck off but if he sullies the well deserved excellent reputation of Anne Maguire, a lady who embodied the archetype of the healer in every sense of the word, he will wish he had never met me!!!

  2. I am the neice of the late Dr Anne Maguire and my recollections of her are completley different from her mentee- I came across this by accident Anne Maguire was involved in a long dispute with her brother – which she liked to keep quiet about perhaps this mentee was overly influenced by Dr Anne Maguire -she could often be overbearing and was a very strange character indeed.

    • I do not wish to disrespect any relation of Anne’s, and obviously our personal memories will differ due to the various ways in which we knew her. I would however say that I am not easily influenced. Many people find me to be overbearing too! When I first met Anne she said that she thought that the unconscious had brought us together. Pretty soon people were referring to me, only half-jokingly as her “adopted grand-daughter”. She was led, first and foremost by the unconscious but I think that on a conscious level there were quite a few things about me which reminded her of herself as a girl. She never tried to tell me what to do, although would sometimes give gentle advice. When I ignored it I generally rued the day – and when I ran back to her with a confession she never ONCE said “I told you so”. I think that is pure love.

      With regard to the original thread, Smalley is no longer practicing and I would very much like this thread to die. I would greatly appreciate it if Anne’s name is not dragged through the mud any more. Thank you

      • I agree that it’s probably time for this thread to end. As a personal opinion I don’t think Mr Smalley made a convincing case that Dr Maguire did as he claims. However, since he’s no longer practising there’s no particular point in trying to get to any definite truth on the matter. Better to just leave Dr Maguire’s legacy to stand and her loved ones to remember her.

        I’ll leave this comments thread open over the bank holiday in case anyone wants to leave any final thoughts, and then close it at 5pm on Monday.

Comments are closed.