UKCP trying to improve their Central Complaints Process

The latest bulletin of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy describes improvements they’re working to make on their new Central Complaints Process (CCP) to take over from the (frequently atrocious) complaints procedures implemented by the UKCP’s various member organisations.

The CCP is in dire need of improvement. In recent months I’ve documented the John Smalley case, in which their shiny new complaints procedure took three years to find seven allegations proven against a Jungian analyst. The sanction imposed on the therapist? Absolutely nothing. He was just sent on his way. This was made all the more shocking by the revelation that he admitted destroying his notes, an action that would normally be considered a fitness for practice issue in itself.

The bulletin states:

Of course there are cases where serious professional misconduct is alleged. Those are the cases where UKCP should accept that a much more formal process is needed, including a formal hearing before an independent panel. Serious misconduct needs to be dealt with fairly, but more swiftly than has been the case in the past. And if there are psychotherapists who are unsafe to practice and a danger to the public, we need to remove them from the UKCP register. There are very few complaints cases that are about outright abuse, but our systems need to be ready to respond appropriately.

“More swiftly than has been the case in the past”? A reference to the Smalley case perhaps? Oh well, at least they’re recognising that this is an issue that needs to be addressed. They also need to look at the decision-making in relation to sanctions given, as well as what action to take if a fitness to practice issue such as destroying of notes emerges as part of the hearings.

There’s also an emphasis on use of negotation for less serious allegations.

 We want to make sure that our complaints system is not cold and alienating for clients with a concern, or terrifying for the therapist. We will devote resources to resolving more complaints in a non-adversarial fashion – in many cases UKCP should be encouraging the two parties to address their issues without needing to declare victor of one over the other through legalistic jousting.

I’m a little dubious about this one, to be honest. Fair enough if it simply seems to be a matter of falling-out in the therapeutic relationship, but when does one draw the line that it’s actually a fitness for practice issue, and who draws it? It would be concerning if complainants were expected to engage in negotiation before they could raise a concern about misconduct. What if the complainant tells the inquiry to stick their negotiation, as a lot of aggrieved parties may well do? I would have thought if it’s got as far as a formal complaints procedure then the therapeutic relationship is likely to be pretty thorough wrecked, with neither side keen to go back into therapy with each other. What exactly are these negotiations trying to save?

Also, should a fitness to practice inquiry really be about “declaring victor” through “legalistic jousting” anyway? The point isn’t to win like a lawsuit. It’s supposed to be a thorough investigation into whether a practitioner is, well, fit to practice. Exactly what it says on the tin. Statements like this leave me wondering whether the UKCP has truly understood and embraced the principles of fitness to practice.

Dissent among the ‘child-stealing’ tin-foil hat conspiracy theorists

We had some “interesting” responses to this blog post in which I highlighted the wild conspiracy claims by people like Brian Gerrish and Chris Jarvis. They seem to believe that social services, the police, the courts, CAFCASS, CAMHS and a whole slew of other agencies are involved in systematic removal of children into care. Not for child protection reasons, but in order to make money.

Having been involved in quite a few child protection cases, I actually find the proposal pretty laughable. Not only is the removal of a child a complex and difficult process, both legally and logistically, but some of the agencies supposedly in conspiracy together actually have quite dysfunctional relations with each other.

Brian Gerrish seems to have been touting this theory for some time. For reasons I’ve yet to fathom, he suggests it all involves a company called Common Purpose. Gerrish appears to believe it’s part of a conspiracy to use neuro-linguisitic programming to control the levers of power. Personally it looks to me like a slightly drippy provider of management courses for New Labour and David Brent types, but then maybe I’m just a dupe of the One World Government. I understand Mr Gerrish denies supporting the BNP, but from browsing various BNP blogs, they seem rather keen on him.

Recently he’s been teaming up with Chris Jarvis, whose children have been removed into the care of the local authority. His response to this was to mount a private prosecution against Leeds City Council for genocide. Mr Jarvis seems to be part of a movement that I’ve only recently heard of called the Freemen on the Land. To understand these “Freemen” a bit more clearly, here’s a segment from Rationalwiki.

Freemen believe they can declare themselves independent of government jurisdiction using the concept of “lawful rebellion”: that all statute law is contractual and therefore only applicable if an individual consents to it. They assert that what everyone else regards as “the law” doesn’t apply to them as they have not consented to a contract with the state,[4] even going so far as to claim they have a lawful right to refuse arrest if they do not consent. They insist that the government is a corporation, are obsessed with maritime law, and call themselves things like “John of the family Smith.” Essentially, they’re hilarious and somewhat less threatening sovereign citizens.

No freeman arguments have ever succeeded in court; some have even explicitly ruled that the term “freeman on the land” has no legal significance when the argument is raised.[5] Actually using the arguments gets people into worse trouble, including fines, asset seizures, contempt convictions and criminal records. However, this doesn’t stop freemen from claiming, without any supporting cases, that the arguments work.

With that in mind, it’s perhaps understandable that his prosecution for genocide was struck out on the spot as soon as it saw the light of an actual courtroom. But then that’s the trouble with going around saying you don’t believe in the law. Put that argument before the court, and you’ll quickly discover the law believes in you.

So, how’s their campaign going?

It looks like in the last couple of weeks they’ve had something of a falling-out. On Jarvis’ blog he publishes an e-mail conversation in which Jarvis accuses Gerrish of secretly being part of Common Purpose, and of being “a demon, a FREEMASON, and infact a man of DISHONOUR.” Gerrish in turn furiously denies the suggestions.


Very disappointed to see you trying to claim that I am Common Purpose.
Laughable and makes you look silly.

Not sure what your agenda is Chris but I am very disappointed in you
that as a victim of the system you attack others who are trying to help.

rgds Brian G


Jarvis goes ballistic back at him…

There is so much more, and so many people you have let down I cannot be bothered really going in to it all, but it is interesting that you only ever reply to people when it is for your COMMON PURPOSE.

We are all entitled to make the odd mistake here and there when seeking the truth, my mistake was trusting you at face value.

Everything you have purported to have stood up for like freedom of speech, you have in fact tried your best in a reverse FREEMASON style to undo, take for example your introduction of the thought crime “TROLL” not discriminating between abuse and constructive criticism in your labeling and judging of others

There’s more on Jarvis’ blog, if you have any particularly interest in reading incoherent rants in capital letters.

Oh well, as you reap so shall you sow. Mr Gerrish, you hitched your wagon to someone comes across as deeply paranoid, and presented him to the media as some sort of crusader and legal expert. And now he appears to have turned you. I can’t say I feel much sympathy.