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All counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists etc are warmly invited to become members of the Union. Members are entitled to:

  • Draw on the union's resources for help with employment issues, complaints, harassment, etc.

  • Join this site and use the members' area, including discussion forum and action groups

  • Join the Union google group

  • Play a part and have a say in the development and organisation of the Union and the campaigns which we undertake.

To become a member fill in the brief form on the union flyer here, compete and return by email or post, and send a contribution by cheque or bank transfer.

Please also download the flyer and distribute it!

Using this site

For Non-members:

Much of our site is open to all. You can view The Front Page, which you are now looking at, read the Union Constitution, and check out the News Page, without being a Union Member. The Sign Up/Sign In button is available to those who have registered as members, or previously as supporters, of the Union, who are then also able to access a members' area.

For Members:

Go to the Sign Up button (top right corner) and create a password and username. You will only need to do this once, after that you can go to Sign In to access to the members' area of the site. 

To become a Union Member see ‘JOIN THE UNION’ above. For further information contact 


Why a Union?

standing up for therapists and therapy

A single organisation working to:

bring together counsellors, psychotherapists and other practitioners from every corner of the field, including trainees on an equal basis

campaign for true diversity and equal opportunities in the therapy world, and support individuals who are discriminated against

campaign to reform IAPT and other ‘therapy-lite’ substitutes, while at the same time supporting IAPT practitioners with their grievances

campaign against the use of therapy to get people off benefits and/or back to work

change the system whereby starting practitioners have to work unpaid, often with very complex issues and without adequate support

campaign to defend and extend the provision of open-ended therapy which is free at the point of contact, and where the client can choose their practitioner and modality

support and defend practitioners in disciplinary hearings, and also against bullying and harassment

support and defend therapy against attacks from government and media, and against creeping medicalisation

Establish a policy and research unit to develop solid positions on a wide range of issues

Do you think we need such a union?


BACP gives special status to the PCU

Some excellent news has been received – BACP has just altered its document, ‘INFORMATION FOR MEMBERS/REGISTRANTS WHO ARE SUBJECT TO A COMPLAINT’. The addition now reads: The Psychotherapy and Counselling Union is an organisation that offers support to its members which may be of assistance if you are one of its members, and is completely independent of BACP. Its website can be located at …

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PCU held its first campaign conference, CHANGING THE GAME on Saturday 3rd December at Resource for London. The conference was to discuss and agree two codes of practice which the Union will campaign for employers to adopt.
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The Psychotherapy and Counselling Union Committee and PCSR Steering Group agreed this joint statement which was sent in a spirit of solidarity and support to organisations and individuals in the therapy field in the United States. It has been warmly received.
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Announcing our December Conference: Changing the Game 3rd December 2016 This day conference is to discuss and hopefully agree two codes of practice which the union will then campaign for employers to adopt: one for unpaid work "to get the hours" for qualification, the other for paid work for charities and other organisations. We believe that the current state of affairs is unacceptable, and reform is urgently needed.
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Centre Closure Protest

The Psychotherapy and Counselling Union extends support to colleagues opposing the closure of The University of Leicester's centre for adult learning, The Vaughan Centre. Along with UCU, we strongly oppose the cut.
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Following our Founding Conference on Saturday 6thFeb, and the ratification of our Constitution, we are now warmly inviting existing and new supporters to become Members.
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What we offer our members

Individual support and representation  with:

  • workplace disciplinary and grievance procedures
  • complaints processes
  • bullying, harassment and discrimination
  • problems with training organisations
  • contract vetting
  • whistleblowing-related problems

(NB: We do not offer specific legal advice: this would mean a large increase in subscriptions, and is widely available elsewhere, e.g. from insurance companies and other professional organisations)

Group support with:

  • organisational dysfunction
  • threatened closure of trainings and organisations
  • issues of discrimination, difference and diversity

A voice in:

  • collective decision making within the Union
  • identifying and carrying through campaigning issues
  • communicating with other members through the Union google group.

For further information about any of this, please contact us at

Interim committee

Until the next AGM in early 2017 the Union has an interim committee of eleven people drawn from many parts of the counselling and psychotherapy field:

Richard Bagnall-Oakley

Keith Barber

Jane Clements

Philip Cox

Philippa Marx

Kate O'Halloran

Andrew Price

Polly Singer

Guy Smith

Nick Totton

You can contact us via