The Geoffrey Pick Case: The UK Council for Psychotherapy Responds

Last week I broke the news that a psychotherapist who had sexually abused his patient had been allowed to re-register with the UK Council for Psychotherapy. Yesterday that the UKCP issued a statement on their website.


A UKCP complaints case has attracted interest in the blogosphere. We would like to issue the following statement.


The next part is more-or-less identical to the media release they e-mailed me last week:

In January 2011 Mr Geoffrey Pick was dismissed by his employer for gross professional misconduct. Following on from this his UKCP organisation, the Arbours Association of Psychotherapists (AAP) considered the matter in relation to his fitness to practise. It found Mr Pick to be in breach of Article 6 of the AAP Code of Practice, and Mr Pick was suspended from the membership of AAP and, therefore, UKCP for a period of one year from 16 May 2011.

AAP notified us of the decision and this was published on the UKCP website.

At the end of the suspension period AAP confirmed that Mr Pick had complied with the conditions imposed during his suspension and that it was now permissible for Mr Pick to resume membership of AAP and, therefore, UKCP.

In April 2013 Mr Pick informed us that he was resigning from AAP and UKCP with immediate effect. In compliance with this notification his name was removed from the UKCP Register again.

Plus there’s this bit about what’s happening in UKCP.

How UKCP is improving its complaints system

We are now working with our members to implement an improved central complaints and conduct process. This new system has been designed to be clear, fair and independent. Cases involving serious allegations, including gross professional misconduct will receive the highest priority in terms of both speed and depth of enquiry.

The complaints and conduct process was launched at the end of 2012 and we aim to cover all members by the end of this year.

The Geoffrey Pick case highlights the contrast between old and new ways of doing things. Under the old system, complaints about a therapist were directed to the therapist’s UKCP member organisation. Pick’s organisation, the Arbours Association, is still using the old way. It seems they thought that an appropriate sanction for the worst possible betrayal of a duty of care was to exile him from the club for a year, and then all would be forgiven.

The UKCP knows that this way of doing things is untenable. They also know it won’t pass muster to get accreditation from the Professional Standards Authority, which they need in order to compete with rival bodies such as the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Hence the new central complaints and conduct process which they mention.

The first time the new process was used was for a Jungian analyst called John Smalley. It was a total shambles. The process took over three years to complete. At the end of it seven allegations were found proven, but the panel declined to issue a sanction: not even a caution.

Last week a second decision was published under the complaints and conduct process. This one seems to be a much more rigorous hearing. The process was resolved in less than a year. Aggravating and mitigating factors appear to have been taken into account. What looks like a proportionate sanction (a conditions of practice order) was issued. Let’s hope this means the UKCP has learned some lessons from the Smalley case.

The Arbours Association has not yet signed up to the complaints and conduct process, but it seems clear that they are simply incapable of dealing with misconduct. They’ve shown this not only in their handling of Geoffrey Pick. As I previously mentioned, they also showed it in their co-authorship of the Maresfield Report, a 66-page work of steaming bullshit in which they’re kind enough to detail the various ways in which they simply don’t understand safeguarding and fitness-to-practice issues.

The Arbours co-authored the Maresfield Report with 9 other psychotherapy organisations. Those other bodies, so you know to avoid their therapists like the plague, were:

Association for Group and Individual Psychotherapy
Association of Independent Psychotherapists
Association of Psychoanalysis Users
Cambridge Society for Psychotherapy
Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research
The College of Psychoanalysts-UK
The Guild of Psychotherapists
The Philadelphia Association
The Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis

19 thoughts on “The Geoffrey Pick Case: The UK Council for Psychotherapy Responds

  1. Unlike Zarathustra, the organisations which authored the Maresfield Report, (which was instrumental in a Judicial Review, won by the organisations against the Health Professions Council, ie subjected to rigorous legal analysis) do not hide behind pseudonyms. Any kind of ‘steaming bullshit’ can be safely propounded from behind your cowardly shield. You clearly have chosen to misrepresent that report. No one involved in producing it took the lazy route to mudslinging that Zarathustra does. That seems to me an abuse of power without taking responsibility for your actions by stating who you are. If you really believe what you say, why are you so afraid to show your name? The usual reasons, one must assume.

    • I thought everyone knew my name by now? It’s Phil Dore.

    • Out of curiosity Mrs Carne, will the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research be signing up for the Complaints and Conduct Process?

    • “…You clearly have chosen to misrepresent that report…”


      The report has been rubbished because, well… it’s rubbish.

      I recall giving it a good booting on these pages on two occasions referenced with examples as to why it is a pile of pretentious crap.

      As for your statement, “…an abuse of power without taking responsibility for your actions…” that really does go to the heart of the matter with the UKCP and fellow travellers.

      Go on with you, get out of your nappies.

    • “…instrumental in a Judicial Review, won by the organisations against the Health Professions Council, ie subjected to rigorous legal analysis…”

      I am not a lawyer but my understanding of the JR case was that it was a preliminary hearing which the respondents chose not to pursue and that the case swung on the process of consultation involved in moving towards statutory regulation. Thus the statement that the Maresfield Report was subjected to rigorous legal analysis may tend towards hyperbole.

      The issue of statutory regulation has been around for a long time now and many people have failed to have redress, many abusive therapists have been allowed to remain in practice.

      Although UKCP sycophants would like it to be forgotten all sorts of battles have been won in the High Court:

  2. Every psychoanalyst knows their right as well as the right of their clients. Being a respected professional in this field, they very well know that they should help and not harass their clients. What the UKCP should do is not to cover up their colleagues who have maligned their profession, instead, they should discredit those psychoanalysts who have been harassing their clients.

  3. Dear Zarathustra or Phil Dore (whatever your name is), I would be very careful of throwing stones at other professions (and imitating psychiatric patients), and casting assertions about codes of conduct and integrity. If you are a professional yourself, are you abiding by your own code of coduct abiding by professional integrity?


    • If by imitating psychiatric patients you mean the Clare Stiller e-mail, then yes. I am comfortable that it was an ethical thing to do. Why would it not be?

  4. Seems I haven’t missed much – :o)
    Tho Ran, et al, remains clueless on the issues of integrity and ethics and the validity of harmless misrepresentation utilised in investigatative journalism to seek the truth – I must stress, Z, you’re in danger of breaching certain ethical codes – ie farming – you’re worrying the sheep :o)
    Manhugs xx

  5. Just to mention, A lot of people in the field of mental health just love and respect Phil Dore. He’s able to speak his mind about organisational behaviour in an accurate and thoughtful way so – more man hugs Phil! (even though I am a woman) and big respect for representing a factual argument on the issues of regulation and also supporting mental health patients in the process and a lot of us in the profession who are ‘astounded’ and dismayed at the behaviour and attitudes of some people in the field.

    • Have they made any progress? I don’t know, is the straightforward answer. I know that a few months ago David Pink was expressing disappointment at a lack of engagement from some MOs, but haven’t had much update since.

    • I am new to the researching of “abuse in psychotherapy” and just had a look at the link you posted. I then googled P.Clarkson’s name and found out she had killed herself. How terribly tragic…. but reading this article has helped me understand that what I experienced, as a trainee and client, was real and VERY abusive. I now feel more motivated than ever to go through with the complaints.

      • Thank you fo rthe link SamuraiofJustice but when I clicked on it it said that I needed to be invited to join the blog and to contact the author yet there is no email for the author. You wouldnt know how to contact the author would you?

  6. Pingback: This Week in Mentalists – The Late Late Edition | The World of Mentalists

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s