September 11, 2014
I’ve regularly covered the saga around John Clapham and Lindsey Talbott, the two Devon counsellors struck off by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy for 30 proven allegations, including serious sexual misconduct by Clapham. They’re still in the counselling business, despite being booted out of the BACP and shamed in the Mail on Sunday.
Talbott has always taken a “stand by your man” approach to Clapham, sending threatening e-mails to the complainants and making online threats to sue them under Britain’s much-misused libel laws. Since then she’s been posting online again. Naturally, her latest burblings show every bit as much insight, reflection and remorse as she’s shown all along. None at all.
August 31, 2014
I’ve been invited to speak to the Cardiff branch of Skeptics in the Pub. It’ll be at Porter’s bar on Bute Terrace, on Monday 15th September at 7.30pm. I’ll be speaking on the topic, “Dangerous Methods: The Abuses of Psychotherapy.”
The Facebook event page is here.
August 30, 2014
Back in February I commented on a worryingly lenient decision by the UK Council for Psychotherapy to give only a 6 month suspension to a therapist who had committed serious sexual misconduct. Rob Waygood, a Jungian and transpersonal psychotherapist, admitted having sex with a client.
The suspension is now over, and Waygood is now back on the UKCP register. He has put his website back up and has announced he’s practising again.
August 26, 2014
Following on from the Palace Gate story (which I’ve covered extensively on this blog) appearing in the Mail on Sunday, it’s now also been reported in the Plymouth Evening Herald. After months of rumbling around social media, the abusive behaviour of John Clapham (and his co-director Lindsey Talbott) is now a mainstream story in both the national and local press.
So, what does this mean for the debate on psychotherapy regulation?
August 17, 2014
[Guest post by Amanda Williamson and Tina Welch]
[The Palace Gate abuse case, which I’ve covered on this blog, has now been reported by the Mail on Sunday. Here, the complainants tells us why they’ve gone public with their experiences – Phil]
Note that the title says ‘told’ rather than ‘sold’. This is important as cynics may proffer that we did it to make money. We can assure you that it wasn’t done for publicity either. Both of us are very wary of the impact that sharing our story may have on our personal and professional lives. Taking Phoenix Counselling to a professional conduct hearing has already cost us both heavily, in personal, professional and financial terms.
We want to make it absolutely clear that our motivation consists of two clear aims:
August 2, 2014
This morning I clicked on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website to discover an article by Christian Pattison giving a novel criticism of the nursing profession. We’re all too fat.
If you go anywhere near the NHS, you can’t fail to see it. The woman who marches you over to the scales and carefully records your weight, the man who asks you to roll up your sleeve and tells you to expect a “sharp scratch”: what they often have in common – apart from a desire to help – is that they’re pretty damn big.
Oh dear. Where to start?
July 30, 2014
As the cuts continue to bite, the various agencies that work with vulnerable children have become more and more stretched. Multi-agency working has become ever more difficult to achieve. Fortunately there is a standard letter, which I’ve seen increasingly in use by these agencies. Feel free to copy this letter and use it in correspondence between social services, CAMHS, GPs, schools, Youth Offending Services and voluntary agencies. Lots of other professionals already do.
July 28, 2014
In recent months I’ve covered the Palace Gate abuse case, in which the two directors of Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter, were struck off by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. John Clapham was found to have taken sexual advantage of two women during therapy sessions. His co-director Lindsey Talbott then aided him in a lengthy campaign of harassment and defamation against the complainants.
Palace Gate Counselling Service rents its premises in the Palace Gate Centre from South Street Baptist Church. Because counselling has only voluntary self-regulation rather than state regulation, Clapham and Talbott have been able to continue running their firm despite the striking-off order. Which is not to say their business hasn’t been impeded. Outside agencies have stopped referring clients there. Fundraisers have pulled their support. Even so, they’re still there at the Palace Gate Centre.
Which begs the question, why haven’t South Street Baptist Church evicted them from the premises? I now have a statement from the church.
July 18, 2014
I work in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). One of the roles of CAMHS is to act as a gateway to the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) at the Tavistock and Portman in London. GIDS is the only service in the NHS that can prescribe hormone treatments to young people under 18 with gender identity issues. I’m something of a CAMHS jack-of-all-trades, and gender identity issues aren’t a large part of my role, but they’re a part of my role nonetheless.
The purpose of this blog post is to assemble some of my thoughts on the role of CAMHS with regard to gender identity. It’s a bit different to my usual blogging content in that it isn’t so much giving my own views as inviting others to give feedback. I think I should give the usual preface that any opinions I state here are personal ones and not necessarily those of my employer.
July 5, 2014
[Trigger warnings: sexual harassment, misogyny]
I’m currently sat in a hotel in Raufarhöfn, on the North East coast of Iceland, which is pretty much the closest you can get to the Arctic Circle and still have a decent wifi connection. I’m partway through a long road trip through this wonderfully strange and strangely wonderful country. It’s my third trip here and it’s a land I’ve come to love.
A couple of days ago, I picked up a copy of the Reykjavik Grapevine, a local English-language circular, and promptly discovered that a spectacularly vile online movement have been making their way here. The Pick-Up Artists, or PUAs.