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Dehra Mitchell is organising and co-ordinating free therapy for the residents and victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.
He is working with the North Kensington Law Centre to set up a database of therapists willing to offer free therapy for the current situation and on an ongoing basis.
At the moment what is being offered is short-term therapy of 3 sessions with the possibility of drop-in sessions as well.
What would be helpful is if therapists were able to offer a few hours on a particular day each week but if that's not possible offer what they can.
There are rooms available to use 
There is likely to be a need for group therapy at some point for the lawyers working in the North Kensington Law Centre. 
Volunteer Therapists need to be prepared to deal with trauma, there is a need for experience of working with families and children.
He is doing this on his own so may well need some help with organising this.
If you are interested in getting involved with this contact Dehra Mitchell 07973 821446 or e-mail dehra@gmail.com  
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The Guild of Psychotherapists are hosting an exciting afternoon of drama and discussion on July 1st, 2017

Venue: Kings College Waterloo Stamford Street London SE1 8WA. Arrive at 1pm performance starts at 1.30pm. Panel discussion until 5pm.

Called The state we are In, Psychotherapy for interesting times,  the afternoon begins with  a vibrant  professional reading of Josh Appignanesi's new play,  where  rival therapists go head to head over dinner, exposing each other's limitations - whatever the cost.  Josh says that Well, Being 'tackles with comic aplomb the clash between cognitive behavioural and psychoanalytic therapies - and how these two approaches relate to the modern managerial State's desire to quantify and control'.

Afterwards, a fabulous panel of discussants respond  to the play,  bringing wide ranging perspectives about  the most urgent priorities for contemporary  psychotherapy:

Josh Appignanesi , Filmmaker (The New Man, The Infidel) and playwright

Haya Oakley, Psychoanalyst

Dr Judith Anderson, Jungian Analytic Psychotherapist, of the Climate Psychology Alliance

Dr Phil Mollon, Psychoanalyst and Energy Psychotherapist

To book tickets, contact info@psychoanalyticpractice.co.uk or 07833 746569, stating your name, contact details and the number of £15/£20 tickets required. Ticket prices are affordable to encourage a broad participation and any additional donations are very welcome.

As this is a fundraising event for the Guild's reduced fee psychotherapy clinic, underwritten by a few individuals, we would really appreciate you passing on this information to all your networks of colleagues and friends who would enjoy being at this innovative and exciting event.

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A pop-up meeting organised by 

Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility www.pcsr.org.uk 

Association of Jungian Analysts www.jungiananalysts.org.uk

Confederation for Analytical Psychology  www.confederation-an-psych.uk

Saturday 3rd June 2017    10am - 1pm

Venue: Association of Jungian Analysts,  7 Eton Avenue London, NW3 3EL

Nearest tube stations:   Belsize Park and Swiss Cottage Bus:  C11

No payment in advance needed, but please book your place so that we know numbers for seating and refreshments.

Donations on the day will be much appreciated.   To book your place email: beatrice@bmillar.com

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CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELLING UNION AND VICE CHANCELLOR, UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA

 

From PCU to VC April 29th 2017

Dear Vice Chancellor,

This communication from the Psychotherapists and Counsellors Union (PCU) is in response to the recent announcements concerning the future of the person-centred counselling courses at the University of East Anglia (UEA). 

We consider the move to close these courses to be unacceptable, given that the decision appears to have been taken with negligible consultation and without consideration of the need for highly skilled and well qualified counsellors and psychotherapists, both locally to Norwich, in the region and in the UK. The loss of volunteer counsellors working locally as part of their training is also significant and will place the NHS under even greater pressure.  

We are also concerned about the impact on existing students and staff and we note that there will be a deleterious impact on your University’s own counselling service.

According to information received, it seems that students will now not be able to progress in the way in which they had expected. If students who gain the certificate in counselling may not proceed to the diploma in the way they had been promised, then this is damaging to their careers and professional development. We also have concerns about the finishing  period of the existing diploma students.

We are not sure how this high-handedness can be justified either on human or on academic grounds. Is it not unethical?

We think that wider communication about this closure is important because the public is at stake and hence we hope there have been no attempts to stifle discussion - because these would be badly received.

We believe your decisions were based on poor information and a lack of understanding of the ways in which the overall field of the psychological therapies is developing. In-depth therapy work is generally agreed, on the basis of research, to be both effective in terms of alleviating mental and emotional distress, and also to be what clients and patients find beneficial and suited to their needs.

If UEA believes that its remaining trainings in psychological therapies predicated on the needs of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies scheme are in any way a replacement for what is now being lost, then this is a most unfortunate error. It will be perceived as such across the professions of counselling and psychotherapy.

Not only this, but the decision seems to have been made without consideration of the very high national and international standing that UEA holds in the field. For twenty five years UEA has been synonymous with person-centred therapy. The loss of a training programme of this quality and of its potential for University based research not only affects colleagues and students at UEA but all of us in the profession. 

The person-centred course at UEA was one very significant way that the University was nationally known outside of Norwich and these closures are a retrograde step. 

We request that these decisions be reconsidered, an appropriate consultative process be established, and that you will agree to a meeting with this Union which is most definitely a stakeholder in the matter.

We look forward to the swift receipt of your response to this communication and we would appreciate acknowledgement of its receipt.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Bagnall-Oakeley (Chair, PCU)

Professor Andrew Samuels (Academic Adviser, PCU and Former Chair United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy

 

Note: This e-mail has been copied to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Universities and Colleges Union, MPs and local authorities.

 

Message from Professor David Richardson, Vice-Chancellor, University of East Anglia May 4th 2017

Dear Professor Samuels, 

Thank you for your email concerning the closure of the person-centred counselling courses at UEA.

The decision to withdraw the counselling courses at UEA has not been taken lightly and does not reflect a negative view of the value of counselling to the wider community. Rather, it reflects the School of Education and Lifelong Learning’s need for greater alignment of its courses and a more coherent portfolio of activity centred on the teaching of Education theory and practice.

Regarding the question of demand for the counselling courses, in each of the past three years we have had fewer than the full-time equivalent of 35 students studying across the five full and part time courses offered. There are alternative providers of counselling courses in the city and region, such as City College Norwich, the Norwich Centre, the University of Suffolk, the University of Cambridge and University Centre Colchester (linked to the University of Essex), where students can study counselling. 

UEA continues to support mental health provision through the clinical psychology courses (66 currently on the course), High Intensity CBT and Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner courses (with more than 80 people commencing training on each of these in the last 12 months).   In terms of UEA student counselling a new blended service model is being developed that will see an increase in cognitive behavioural therapy counselling capacity and less emphasis on person-centred counselling.

 

I hope this information is helpful. Thank you for taking the time to write in about your concerns. 

Best wishes,

 

[PCU was surprised at the omission of the Head of School from the reply to us. Please ensure that he has sight of the Union’s initial letter to the VC. He is now included.]

 

Dear Vice Chancellor, 

On behalf of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Union (PCU), I write to express disappointment and disquiet over your response to our initial e-mail. 

By now, you will have become aware of negative press, radio and TV attention, and the fact that two petitions protesting your decision have quickly reached over 2,000 signatures. In addition, local MP/Parliamentary candidate, Clive Lewis, has been quoted as saying:

"This reminds me very much of the University's motivation for closing the music department - their first motivation wasn't to provide services for public good but business and profit instead. Our universities really must get the balance right between being a viable institution and serving wider public interests".

Of course, we are not suggesting you should instantly succumb to pressure, but doesn’t the breadth and depth of concern give you pause for thought?

 

Amongst the many issues raised in our e-mail that you have ignored, we wish to mention the following:

(1) You have not responded to our request for a meeting;

(2) You have not reassured us that a proper and open process of consultation was followed;

(3) You have not given any information about what steps are to be taken to enable certificate students to progress to the diploma programme which was advertised and to which large numbers of applications were made. In this connection, we refer to UEA’s recent undertakings to the CMA to “improve its approach to dealing with course changes”. It is particularly concerning that that application deadlines for other diploma programmes  (and/or next level training courses) were mostly closed and places offered by the time of students’ being notified of UEA’s actions.

(4) You have not responded to our concerns over the impact of these decisions on your counselling service. We think serious issues of quality and diversity will now arise. Such considerations will also apply to counselling services in the local area where UEA students on placement make a particular and highly valued contribution.

 

We now wish to comment on the various points you have made, as follows: 

(a) The various other institutions that you aver can provide similar trainings cannot in fact do so. The University of Essex course you mention is specifically of a psychodynamic nature and hence is not suitable (Professor Samuels knows this because he works in the department). The other courses are not in any way commensurate with a long-established and nationally appreciated full-time university diploma. Either you know this and are ignoring it, or you don’t know.

(b) You and your colleagues have inadvertently and inappropriately taken one side of a long-running dispute within the therapy world. This is between the in-depth and relationship-based work of counselling and psychotherapy on the one hand – and, on the other, the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) wellbeing and CBT treatments. You are scrapping course connected with the former in favour of enhancing courses connected with the latter. We note that these IAPT-oriented courses are offered by your clinical psychologists who therefore cannot be neutral in this matter.

 

The fact is that there is a huge difference between these two kinds of therapy, and your university has not been properly briefed on the matter. For example, are you aware of the rising tide of opinion that proper counselling (such as the Person-centred Counselling and Psychotherapy taught at UEA) should be offered in IAPTs (an offer of choice that is included in NICE guidelines) because many patients need this as opposed to CBT and wellbeing work? This failure in information is another reason for suggesting a meeting, one that usefully might include the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) with whom PCU is in close communication.

We respectfully suggest that your reference to “a greater alignment of courses” within the School of Education and Lifelong Learning is not a true indicator of what is going on here. Nor is the rather veiled reference to student numbers (in relation to a programme that has a pattern of being oversubscribed, with a waiting list) of much use in discovering the reasons for your closure of the courses.  

Finally, it has become clear to us that you are attempting to prevent staff and students from speaking out about these developments. We suggest you desist.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Bagnall-Oakeley (Chair, PCU)

Professor Andrew Samuels (Academic Advisor, PCU and former chair UK Council for Psychotherapy)

 

 

 

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Dear Vice Chancellor,

This communication from the Psychotherapists and Counsellors Union (PCU) is in response to the recent announcements concerning the future of the person-centred counselling courses at the University of East Anglia (UEA). 

We consider the move to close these courses to be unacceptable, given that the decision appears to have been taken with negligible consultation and without consideration of the need for highly skilled and well qualified counsellors and psychotherapists, both locally to Norwich, in the region and in the UK. The loss of volunteer counsellors working locally as part of their training is also significant and will place the NHS under even greater pressure.

We are also concerned about the impact on existing students and staff and we note that there will be a deleterious impact on your University’s own counselling service.

According to information received, it seems that students will now not be able to progress in the way in which they had expected. If students who gain the certificate in counselling may not proceed to the diploma in the way they had been promised, then this is damaging to their careers and professional development. We also have concerns about the finishing  period of the existing diploma students. 

We are not sure how this high-handedness can be justified either on human or on academic grounds. Is it not unethical?

We think that wider communication about this closure is important because the public is at stake and hence we hope there have been no attempts to stifle discussion - because these would be badly received.

We believe your decisions were based on poor information and a lack of understanding of the ways in which the overall field of the psychological therapies is developing. In-depth therapy work is generally agreed, on the basis of research, to be both effective in terms of alleviating mental and emotional distress, and also to be what clients and patients find beneficial and suited to their needs.

If UEA believes that its remaining trainings in psychological therapies predicated on the needs of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies scheme are in any way a replacement for what is now being lost, then this is a most unfortunate error. It will be perceived as such across the professions of counselling and psychotherapy.

Not only this, but the decision seems to have been made without consideration of the very high national and international standing that UEA holds in the field. For twenty five years UEA has been synonymous with person-centred therapy. The loss of a training programme of this quality and of its potential for University based research not only affects colleagues and students at UEA but all of us in the profession. 

The person-centred course at UEA was one very significant way that the University was nationally known outside of Norwich and these closures are a retrograde step.

We request that these decisions be reconsidered, an appropriate consultative process be established, and that you will agree to a meeting with this Union which is most definitely a stakeholder in the matter. 

We look forward to the swift receipt of your response to this communication and we would appreciate acknowledgement of its receipt.

 

Yours sincerely,

Richard Bagnall-Oakley (Chair, PCU)

Professor Andrew Samuels (Academic Adviser, PCU and Former Chair United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy

Note: This e-mail has been copied to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Universities and Colleges Union, MPs and local authorities.

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Hello,

I am emailing you with regards to the news that the UEA will no longer be offering any counselling courses, including the BACP accredited Postgraduate diploma in counselling. (course info found here https://www.uea.ac.uk/education/centre-for-counselling-studies).
Students who are currently completing the certificate course in counselling have only just been notified (many were hoping to complete the diploma at the UEA as natural progression towards becoming a qualified counsellor). This has left it too late for them to apply to anywhere else to complete their studies regardless of the fact I and many others believe the courses should not be discontinued.
I have been made aware that you assisted with a similar situation at the Strathclyde University in Scotland and wondered if you were able to offer any support?
The courses obviously make a huge difference with regards to the free counselling that not only the University but local charities receive and Norfolk has been highlighted as an area most affected by mental health.
The current and past students are very keen to do all we can to fight this decision and have already got things off the ground with regards to drafting a letter fully opposing the decision full of facts and figures etc. 
We would really appreciate any guidance or support you could offer.
Best wishes
Laura Colman - Past UEA student (Diploma in Counselling) and current trainee trainer on the Certificate Counselling Course.
This is an extract from the draft letter - 

The rationale provided by the UEA for course cessation

  • The key reasons you gave at our meeting were that this decision had been taken due to:
  1. the reduction in student applicants over recent years
  2. the lack of international students applying for the course, who would attract a greater student fee
  3. the lack of sufficient research undertaken by the Counselling ‘Centre’

  • The Postgraduate Diploma course is annually over-subscribed, traditionally capped to approximately 15 students. We understand that the majority of current students on the Postgraduate Certificate course (circa 20-25) have applied to undertake the Postgraduate Diploma/MA. This does not of course include external applicants or applications from previous years’ students. The only comparator course in Norfolk, undertaken at the Norwich Centre (whilst person centred is not currently BACP or University accredited) is oversubscribed for this year, and likely 2018/19. With demand for places outstripping supply it is difficult to marry the point you make regarding ‘falling application’ numbers being a driver for course cessation.
  • It is understood that decisions have been taken over recent years by the University to reduce research in Counselling, including the cessation of a researcher post; i.e. the Counselling Centre will have undertaken less research. The University may wish to consider how many of the prospective Postgraduate Diploma students may have had appetite to undertake research via an MA, or indeed at Doctoral level. Informal indication from current course participants would suggest that there are individuals who are experienced researchers at Masters level who would be interested in exploring doctoral level research work. Further, in the context of the earlier mentioned statistics as to the prevalence of Mental Illness, the resulting health care- and employer expenditure and the caution by MPs and national advisors to take this matter seriously it is difficult to comprehend that there is not an absolute societal need, and demand for evidence based research in this field.

As a leading University in East Anglia, with well-established links to local organisations, employers and other institutions – it is a shame that a lack of international student applicants has been cited as a key reason for course cessation when the value of locally based students, with extensive networks should be a strong driver for course sustainability

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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 http://pandcunion.ning.com/.”

This has been achieved by Andrew Samuels who since Feb 2016 has worked on getting the PCU recognised by professional membership/registration bodies. Andrew has also achieved special status for the PCU with UKCP, BPC and NCS. 

Below is the post we have put on Facebook. Could all members please mention this important news to at least 2 people in your network - the aim to use this great opportunity to spread the word about the value of joining the PCU. Ideas on how to build on this news would be greatly appreciated:

The Psychotherapy and Counselling Union (PCU) would like to thank the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) for referring in the relevant guidance document to the Union as an organisation that can support BACP members who have had complaints made against them. We also support members who may be thinking of making, or have made, a complaint. The PCU has been similarly referred to by the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and the National Counselling Society (NCS). All counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists and so on, whether members of these organisations or not, are warmly invited to become members of the Union, where you could immediately draw on the Union's resources for help with complaints, employment issues, harassment, etc. Our motto is ‘Standing Up for Therapists and Therapy’, and that is exactly what we do. We would particularly welcome an increase in the diversity of our membership to include people from minority and marginalised groups. Our next AGM is in London on April 1st (seriously), and all members are welcome. Feel free to find out more at  http://pandcunion.ning.com/ or make direct contact via pcu.union@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you.  

Phil

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THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN THE US

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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DECEMBER CONFERENCE: CHANGING THE GAME

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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