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All PCU members are warmly invited to the PCU AGM to be held on Saturday 5th May 2018 from 10am to 5pm at Resource For London, Holloway Road, London N7.

There will be a free workshop open to members and non-members Mapping transferences in complaints procedure: The shadow of therapeutic work from 10am to 1pm (see details below) and the AGM will be held from 2pm to 5pm.  Please let Jane know if you will be attending the workshop, the AGM or both by e-mail: pcu.union@gmail.com

The AGM has to have one-tenth of the membership or 21 members, whichever is less to go ahead on this date. As there are approx. 335 current members, at least 21 members will need to be in attendance. Fuller details about the AGM for members can be found on our AGM events forum where as a member you are invited to post/discuss AGM related comments, thoughts and ideas https://pandcunion.ning.com/pcuevents/agm2018

Workshop 10am - 1pm - open to members and non-members

Mapping transferences in complaints procedures: The shadow of therapeutic work - Philip Cox and Robin Shohet 

In this interactive workshop, we will look at all the stakeholders involved in a complaint and how they interact in ways that might not be useful. We aim to experientially highlight how the interactions serve different and sometimes contradictory needs within the system, and how mapping this out can lead to working in a way that is less adversarial and more humane.

Complaints contain a transformative seed. People don’t generally complain about something they don’t care about. Beneath the surface torrent of complaining lies a hidden river of our caring. We and the professional registration bodies could treat complaints as a doorway to deeper commitments. The language of complaints tells us what we can’t stand. The language of commitment tells us what we stand for (Kegan & Lahey, Immunity to Change, 2009).

The PCU is committed to change how complaints are worked with, and how to support professionals complained against. The underlying philosophy is that by standing up for therapists we are standing up for clients. 

In this workshop, our aim is to explore and understated the forces at work in us, in our professions and how they may reflect in wider society as a whole, ways that relationships break down. What are the unconscious dynamics at work? What might be the feelings, unmet needs and values that have not had a voice? How can we embrace uncertainty, humility and being human in a way that will help us to move towards a more compassionate, systemic view in the face of inevitable challenges? (Shohet, 2017).

The PCU CommitteeRichard Bagnall-Oakeley, Viviane Carneiro, Victoria Childs, Jane Clements, Phil Cox, Jamie Crabb, Robbie Lockwood, Juliet Lyons, Andy Price 

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Therapy Today’s article, “Working for Free” (April edition online here: https://bit.ly/2ExJQq4) claims to offer “views from both sides of the argument about whether qualified counsellors should work unpaid.” 

We are therefore surprised and concerned to note the omission of any reference to the Psychotherapy and Counselling Union (PCU) and its active campaign around unpaid work https://pandcunion.ning.com/.  Moreover, we note that the piece conveys, without correction, the view that 'we don't have a union to represent us'.

PCU is known to BACP, particularly in regard to support in complaints procedures. Therapy Today ran its own news piece following our launch two years ago and has published letters from us previously. We are therefore puzzled by this omission.

We respectfully request that Therapy Today offers a correction to the article and makes available to its members, in that correction, the information that a union is in existence, uniquely, for the benefit of its members and all counsellors and psychotherapists in the UK, and which is actively campaigning for the rights of both trainee and qualified therapists in the arena of unpaid work. 

Richard Bagnall-Oakley - Chair, on behalf of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Union (PCU)

PCU also note that BACP is yet to update membership criteria to include the PCU exception for PsychD Trainees who progress rather than graduate from M level to D level for which PCU was recently involved - see:

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Hello fellow members,
 
Phillip Cox will be representing the union at this timely event, which may be of interest to members. If anyone is going and would like to link in with Phil, we have the organiser’s agreement to hand out leaflets.
 
It’s interesting to see that many of the organisations that have given the union special status are involved on the organising committee.  Phil
 
Is there a future for a unified profession of psychotherapy? by Society of Psychotherapy, Sat 26 May 2018, 09:00-16:00, British Library, 96 Euston Rd, NW1 2DB
 
Is psychotherapy in the UK a profession, or is it a technique used by many professions, including counsellors, psychologists, psychoanalysts, cognitive behavioural therapists, hypnotherapists, mental health workers? Where does the answer leave private practitioners who may not have any other professional identity, or network? Speakers include Martin Pollecoff (chair UKCP), Susanna Abse (executive member of the British Psychoanalytic Council), Maureen McIntosh (Chair, Counselling Psychology Division, BPS), Malcolm Peterson (Chair, Society of Psychotherapy), Emmy van Deurzen (Principal, New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling), Digby Tantam (Trustee, Federation of Existential Therapists in Europe): 
 
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PCU at Pink Therapy’s conference: ‘Sex works! – The intersection of mental health and sexuality professionals’

http://www.pinktherapy.com/

The 6th annual Pink Therapy conference titled, ‘Sex works! – The intersection of mental health and sexuality professionals’ took place 23-24th March 2018. Eighty people attended this sold out beyond cutting edge event. Day 1 focused on conference presentations, workshops and spaces to meet with various sex-work and body-work disciplines. These included Urban Tantra, Conscious Kink, Sex Coaches, Sacred Intimates, Surrogates and Sexological Body Workers. Day 2 focused more on ethics. The day began with the personal perspective from three speakers around ‘Being a therapist and a sex worker’. Issues covered working in different sex-related areas with some not involving physical contact, “being denied the opportunity to be myself in training”, and curiously being accepted by a university training team yet stigmatised by peers for having the dual roles of trainee and sex worker. A qualified therapist and Dom explained that as sex work pays much more than individual therapy, the level of commitment to practice mainstream therapy is high.

Moving from the personal lived experience to the regulatory bodies, senior representatives from BACP and then UKCP discussed, ‘Working within current ethical frameworks’. Looking through the lens of exploring how sex works and the intersection of mental health and sexuality, these speakers seemed to raise more questions than answers. Many delegates felt unsupported and distrustful of training institutions and of the regulators, who the delegates felt lacked appreciation of what their practices contribute to therapy. Delegates also spoke of the regulators’ negative contribution to the mental health of dual trained sex workers. The Association of Somatic and Integrative Sexologist (ASIS) then introduced its own ethical code. The ASIS code not only seemed a better fit with the breadth of Sex Works, yet also offered a far less quasi-judicial and fairer (transparent) process for professionals receiving complaints.

The PCU was invited to attend the end of conference panel discussion alongside reps from the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT), BACP and UKCP to explore ‘Moving forward – Protecting dual-trained therapists’. Unfortunately, the UKCP ethics representative cancelled without offering a replacement. As the PCU rep, it seemed important to emphasise that our position is the inclusion of all who self-identify as therapists – we are not regulators, moral monitors, the social police or agents of the state. The panel was invited to speak about ‘what have you heard this conference’? As your union rep, I heard how sex works through different forms of body therapies, and serves the many different needs of clients that talking therapies are unable to fulfil. Yet I also heard an undercurrent of fear because the dual-trained therapists said they lacked protection. As one dual-trained delegate said, “Who’s got my back?” Where therapists were engaging in sex work and also in more mainstream practices, many spoke of fearing complaints and the shame of being called into meetings or publicly outed. The delegates offered many painful examples.

The delegates were clear that the panel did not ‘get’ the full lived experience of being a dual-trained/trainee sex worker. Only one of the panel had openly declared their sexuality. A delegate commented that in the psychotherapy world there is so much fear that as a profession we seem deceitful – this is exemplified by the topic of this conference, which focussed less on widely accepted talking therapies and more on widely disavowed variations of bodywork. As a striking example, a dual trained bodywork therapist spoke of how she could be struck off for simply referring to a surrogate sex worker; even if that was a considered intervention to meet a client’s needs. Addressing this was the strength of the ASIS complaint procedure and what it offers the wider profession. The weakness was the panel’s lack of connection with the delegates. BACP, UKCP and particularly COSRT were critiqued for a lack loyalty towards all their members. As the panel was tasked to discuss ‘Moving forward’, the union’s position to unequivocally support all therapists, including with complaint procedures was welcomed yet also raised concerns.

These concerns left me wondering about where the PCU’s stands on who we accept as members, where our boundaries sit regarding what counts as therapy and who can access the benefits that membership confers. The conference feedback was that conversion therapy (CT), which religiously sells itself as repairing ‘wrong gender identity choices’ currently presents a dilemma for the PCU. People practising CT, either overtly or covertly, can be PCU members and if a professional complaint is made, access PCU support. This position, which seems completely contradictory to the philosophy underpinning this Pink Therapy conference and seemingly PCU, is now being discussed within the union. Pink Therapy is to be commended for organising a conference that is beyond the cutting edge. The take home message is that therapists who do sex work are often being harmed – by the field of therapy.

Dr Philip Cox (Psych.D. C.Psychol)

PCU executive committee member

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BPS Doctoral students can now gain BACP individual membership

For Clinical Psychology, Counselling Psychology and similar doctoral trainees, progression to ‘D’ level will henceforth be recognised as sufficient for Individual BACP Membership (BACP levels of accreditation). Please note that this initiative is intended to enhance professional opportunities and be an addition to BPS, UKCP or other memberships. This exception was arranged for BPS trainees by the Psychotherapy and Counselling Union (PCU).

In order to take advantage of this new way to join the BACP as an Individual Member, you will need to ask for a Letter of Confirmation re your progression, from your Course Director. For more details contact the union: pcu.union@gmail.com

This exception was only made possible because the Psychotherapy and Counselling Union (PCU) liaised with BACP. In achieving this exception PCU has clearly demonstrated the benefits of union membership.

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Members in Scotland informed us that  COSCA (the national professional organisation for counsellors in Scotland) has been telling trainee counsellors to cross UCU picket lines at Edinburgh University. The message below has been sent from PCU to COSCA, UCU, and the Head of the relevant School in Edinburgh.
 
The Psychotherapy and Counselling Union are very concerned to hear from our members at Edinburgh University that COSCA and the School of Health in Social Sciences are instructing students to cross picket lines at Edinburgh University rather than show their support for striking academic staff.

Many students, including trainee counsellors, are rightfully concerned at the marketisation of higher education and the erosion of the terms and conditions of staff. The issues being protested by UCU members and their supporters are also very relevant to counsellors and psychotherapists in all areas.

As this recent piece
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-doesnt-kill-us/201803/why-i-decided-strike
reminds us, counselling is not politically neutral, and training in personal growth cannot be separated from engagement with social issues.

We urge COSCA and the School to change their positions on this issue, so that students' ethical and socially responsible choice to show their support for academic staff is recognised and validated.

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New Savoy Leaflet 1 New Savoy Leaflet 2                                                                                            PCU Members will be demonstrating at the Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy Demonstration and Lobby at the New Savoy Conference

Wednesday 21st March 2018 from 8.15am Millennium Conference Centre
4-18 Harrington Gardens South Kensington, London, SW7 4LH Venue details here

The New Savoy Conference is the annual gathering of professional and charity bodies providing psychological therapies (IAPT) in NHS primary care.

IAPT is an assembly-line service providing short-term therapies to over a million people every year. Despite the commitment of its frontline therapists and psychologists, IAPT is failing the mental health needs of communities all over England, while working with government policies that themselves generate psychological distress and social alienation.

  • Second-class therapy for people who can’t afford ‘real’ talking therapy

  • Partnering the DWP on welfare reform, psycho-compulsion and the

    work cure

  • Outcomes made up of massaged statistics and lies

  • An evidence base that exposes failure

  • NICE guidelines supporting restricted practices

  • A workforce depressed, overworked, and burning out

    Come and join therapists, mental health activists, psychologists and welfare campaigners. Meet at the Harrington Gardens entrance of the Millenium Conference Centre (Gloucester Road tube) from 8.15am to greet conference goers.

Contact info@allianceforcandp.org for more information

 

 

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The Psychotherapy and Counselling Union stands in solidarity with the Time’s Up movement. We recognise the “systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential”, and see the effects of this every day in our own work with people in distress. We also recognise that our own professions are not separate from embedded gender inequalities and work to bring awareness and change within our own work places and networks.
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PCU Member Feedback

I can’t recommend the PCU highly enough. There is no doubt that in 2017 they saved my self-belief and my career!  In 2017 I faced an extremely upsetting and complex problem at work, being accused of professional wrong-doing.  A total lack of support and bullying by my line manager and senior management left me worn down and doubting myself.   Despite the fact I had not been a member when the incident happened PCU immediately agreed to help me. They offered me unconditional emotional support and practical advice for 6 months.  Without them, I would definitely not have been able to move on and find the strength to find a new counselling and psychotherapy job.  As a result of my experience  I would urge everyone who works as a counsellor and psychotherapist to join the PCU in case, and before, any problems arise - PCU Member 2018.

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PCU supports UCU industrial action

The message below was sent today to Sally Hunt, Chair of UCU, in support of their industrial action.
 
Dear Sally Hunt

The members of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Union express our full support for UCU members taking strike action to defend the pensions of university staff. A number of our members work in universities, and we hope that this necessary industrial action is strong and successful.

In solidarity

Richard


Richard Bagnall-Oakeley
Integrative Adult & Child Psychotherapist (UKCP Reg.)
Chair, Psychotherapy and Counselling Union
https://pandcunion.ning.com/

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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.

Read more…