Struck-off psychotherapist still practising?

The UK Council for Psychotherapy recently struck off Raymond Spencer Holland for serious sexual misconduct with an “evidently vulnerable client.” They allege he “threatened [the client] in order to prevent her from reporting the matter” and “spoke with the absence of empathy towards [the client] whom he said he believed was ‘a fantasist’.” The UKCP found that he showed no remorse or insight into his actions.

But is he still practising? Web searches suggest he may well be.

As one of my readers pointed out, there’s a website up,, described as based in Exeter and Bristol. The Ray Holland struck off by the UKCP was based in Exeter.

I suppose it’s theoretically possible that there’s two psychotherapists called Ray S Holland in Exeter, but it really isn’t very likely as psychotherapy is a small profession, especially in a place like Exeter. I e-mailed the website to ask if he was the same person. I haven’t received a reply.

Holland’s website boasts the following:

I am a full member:

  • Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists and Allied Professionals

  • International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy

  • International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy

Unlike the UKCP, none of those organisations are accredited voluntary registers.

I e-mailed the organisations. The International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy said he’s not a member. The International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy told me that only people in good standing can be members, and that they’ll take it up with their ethics committee. The Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists and Allied Professionals haven’t replied.

The trouble with the current system of accredited voluntary registers is that being struck off by one doesn’t stop a counsellor or psychotherapist from practising. It just means they’re no longer a member of that particular organisation. Apart from Holland, the only other psychotherapist who the UKCP has struck off in the last five years is Julia Eastwood. She’s still advertising online for counselling and psychotherapy services. She’s also advertising herself as a conscious channel for the archangel Gabriel if you’re looking for one of those.

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy is also an accredited voluntary register. Jo D Baker surveyed 53 practitioners who had been struck off by the BACP. He found positive hits for 22% of them to business websites still advertising themselves as counsellors or psychotherapists.

What more proof do we need that accredited voluntary registration is not protecting the public? Counselling and psychotherapy need state regulation and protected titles.

11 thoughts on “Struck-off psychotherapist still practising?

  1. Dear Sir/Madam,

    Of course, I am still practising because I am a psychotherapist of high integrity and ethical principles! I cannot go into detail, but you do not consider the fact that the Panels conclusions were simply wrong! But now I have to live with the reality of search engines – like Google. But to reiterate, of course I will continue to practise and help people from a wide variety of backgrounds and presenting issues.

  2. Zarathustra

    You may find what I’ve said as ‘unbelievable’. I would very much like to discuss the issue raised in much more detail, but it would not be very productive in this context – including for legal reasons. But I thought it would be beneficial to provide your ‘blog’ with a simply statement.

  3. Zarathustra

    As I have said, this is not the context to discuss these matters in any detail. However, I would like to highlight a few obvious and startling facts. In the UKCP’s original preamble, they wrote:

    ‘Mr Holland failed to maintain appropriate boundaries; allowed his own need for gratification to become dominant in the therapeutic relationship; failed to take care not to exploit his current client, sexually or emotionally; had sexual relations with his client; and failed to contain the dynamic or maintain therapeutic clarity and distance’.

    If I may bring your attention to the use of the wording ‘current client’. Significant, powerful wording, which also provides support to the Panels comments about my lack of professional notes. But on this latter point the Panel should have been more informed about UKCP’s actual ethical guidelines on the retention of such notes:

    ‘8. Record
    8.1  The psychotherapist agrees to keep such records as are necessary to properly carry out the type of psychotherapy offered.
    8.2  The psychotherapist commits to store and dispose any personally identifiable records or data securely in order to protect the client’s confidentiality’.

    This is where this particularly loose guideline ends.

    However, despite this loose ethical guideline, like the Panel, I would be very surprised if any therapist did not have any professional notes concerning a ‘current client’.

    But the original complaint did not concern any current client of mine – but someone I attempted to treat approximately 8 years ago! This fact was not only omitted but replaced with what can only be described as a lie.

    The UKCP has since removed this particular wording, but the current wording conveniently retains a contemporaneous feel. It is an obvious ploy to substantiate weaknesses in the Panels conclusions – one of which I have highlighted.

    I have not provided the UKCP with any authority to publish information about me, but an organisation that presents such gross misinformation to the public is frankly shocking and not worthy of becoming a Statutory Regulator of Psychotherapists.

    • So, what you’re saying is that the UKCP Panel have lied about you? Any reason why they would do such an apparently motiveless action?

      To reiterate, are you suing the UKCP for defamation, if you believe they have published lies about you?

  4. Zarathustra

    I have provided you with factually based comments concerning a gross piece of misinformation concerning the UKCP’s original preamble. Your initial sentence removes this reference point. But it is plausible that you do not understand the structural makeup of the proceedings in question. To reiterate, this is not the context to go into more detail about the matters raised, but I thought it right to provide you with the information I have and to make clear necessary facts.

  5. Before getting to section 8 of the code, did Mr Holland adhere to the first points of the code?
    General Ethical Principles
    1. Best interests of clients
    1.1 The psychotherapist takes responsibility for respecting their client’s best interests when providing therapy.
    1.2 The psychotherapist undertakes to treat their clients with respect.
    1.3 The psychotherapist undertakes not to abuse or exploit the relationship they have with their clients, current or past, for any purpose, including the psychotherapist’s sexual, emotional or financial gain.
    1.4 The psychotherapist undertakes not to enter into a sexual relationship with a client.
    1.5 Psychotherapists are required to carefully consider possible implications of entering into dual or multiple relationships and make every effort to avoid entering into relationships that risks confusing an existing relationship and may impact adversely on a client. For example, a dual or multiple relationships could be a social or commercial relationship between the psychotherapist and client, or a supervisory relationship which runs alongside the therapeutic one. When dual or multiple relationships are unavoidable, for example in small communities, psychotherapists take responsibility to clarify and manage boundaries and confidentiality of the therapeutic relationship.
    1.6 The psychotherapist undertakes to take into account the length of therapy and time lapsed since therapy and pay great attention to exercise reasonable care before entering into any personal or business relationships with former clients. Should the relationship prove to be detrimental to the former client, the psychotherapist may be called to account to the charge of a misuse of their former position as the former client’s psychotherapist.

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