Author Archive

February 15, 2015

The punk band with learning disabilities competing to represent #Finland at the #Eurovision

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been going a bit off-topic recently on this blog, talking about my guilty-pleasure Eurovision hobby. As it happens, there’s a development which neatly juxtaposes this with my professional interest in health and social care.

In a fortnight’s time, Finland will pick their Eurovision entry. In the running is a punk band called Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (which means Pertti Kurikan’s Name Day). They all either have Down’s Syndrome or are on the autistic spectrum.

February 11, 2015

Praise the Lordi! Further Adventures of My #Eurovision Guilty Pleasure

It’s time for you all to roll your eyes again as I present a follow-up to my previous post about the Eurovision Song Contest. I have no doubt that in recent weeks my Twitter followers have been scrambling for the mute button as I livetweeted various national selections around Europe.

Time to reflect a little on what’s been learned so far.

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February 10, 2015

NHS psychotherapy services hit by austerity

In sad but unsurprising news, a report by the UK Council for Psychotherapy and the British Psychoanalytic Council shows that psychotherapy, and in particular long-term psychotherapy, is getting more and more difficult to access on the NHS. They surveyed 2000 psychotherapists.

January 31, 2015

My not-so-secret Eurovision guilty pleasure

Over the past couple of months some of you may have had a shock. Tuning into my Twitter account expecting some highbrow insights on psychotherapy, or politics, or mental health….and instead discovering I was livetweeting the Albanian or Maltese selections for the Eurovision Song Contest.

What can I say? Everybody needs a guilty pleasure.

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January 29, 2015

High Court upgrades McCarron case to a striking-off

In June 2014 I was alarmed to hear that the Health and Care Professions Council had declined to strike off a clinical psychologist who had committed serious sexual misconduct with someone who had recently been in therapy with him. Despite John McCarron not even turning up to the hearing, he was issued with a one-year suspension instead.

The Professional Standards Authority subsequently appealed the decision to the High Court. Today I’m pleased to hear that the High Court has upheld the appeal (see page 6) and ordered that McCarron be struck off.

January 25, 2015

#GreenSurge and the “UKIP of the Left”

Back in November I blogged about my increasing reluctance to hold my nose and vote Labour in May. A couple of weeks I made my decision and signed up for the Green Party, becoming one of the Green Surge that we’re all talking so much about. Then this morning I saw the party leader, Natalie Bennett, fielding questions from Andrew Neil on BBC Sunday Politics.

How did she hold up against Neil’s probing? Frankly, risibly.

January 14, 2015

New memorandum of understanding on gay “conversion” therapies

A number of key bodies in mental health and psychotherapy have brought out a joint statement condemning so-called “conversion therapies” or “reparative therapies” which aim to turn gay people straight. The memorandum of understanding is signed by, among others, the Department of Health, the UK Council for Psychotherapy, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

January 8, 2015

Book Review: Sex in the Forbidden Zone by Peter Rutter

Having blogged about therapy abuse for several years, I recently made the decision to start work on a book on the topic. For that reason I’ve begun reading through the published literature, which isn’t as large as one might think. I have to thank Amanda Williamson (who has personal experience of therapy abuse) for pointing me in the direction of one of the seminal texts – Sex in the Forbidden Zone: When Men in Power – Therapists, Doctors, Clergy, Teachers and Others – Betray Women’s Trust, by Peter Rutter. As well as this review, you can also read Amanda’s own review here.

December 17, 2014

The Daily Mail’s xenophobia against overseas nurses

Thanks to Tim Fenton for (a) pointing out the Daily Mail stoking bigotry against nurses who come from overseas to work in the NHS and (b) providing a link I could use that won’t boost their online advertising. Today’s Fail front page screams, “4 IN 5 NEW NURSES ON NHS WARDS ARE FOREIGN”. Filthy foreigners, coming over here, healing sick people.

As is usually the case with such Mail headlines, the report is a mix of empty assertions, half-truths and dogwhistle politics that stoke up racism.

December 12, 2014

I get a legal threat from a struck-off psychotherapist

Previously I commented on the case of Ray Holland, a psychotherapist who was struck off by the UK Council for Psychotherapy for serious sexual misconduct with an “evidently vulnerable client”. Mr Holland denies the allegations despite the striking-off, and has returned to psychotherapy practice. This week I noticed that he had put up a new business website, changing his name to Ray Bott-Holland.

Today, I received two e-mails from Holland (or Bott-Holland, or whatever he’ll be calling himself next week) threatening to sue me if I don’t remove all his details from my blog.

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