Anne Richardson Senior Policy Advisor at the UK Department of Health outlined factors that, in the view of the Department, decisively militate against statutory regulation of psychotherapy. After reminding her BCP conference audience...
that there is no agreement here in the UK, or it would appear in Europe, about what exactly does or should constitute the activity of psychotherapists.
...she went on...
There are no plans to regulate what, after all we have to call, an activity, rather than a title. I mean psychotherapy is something that people do. It's something doctors, psychologists, nurses, social workers, lay psychotherapists, do. Lots of different people practise this activity. Many... most... some... with training some without training... with different kinds of training. Psychotherapy is an activity not a job title.
...Its important to say it would be extremely difficult to regulate by statute something which is an activity like that. Could you imagine trying to write a law? It would be impossible
Another thing that militates against [statutory regulation] is the increasing evidence of the effectiveness of a variety of approaches which some people wouldn't call psychotherapy. Some sorts of stress management... you might not call it psychotherapy... some forms of psycho-educational approaches... you might not call psychotherapy but other would and do. And there is good evidence for the effectiveness of some of these approaches with mental illness groups. So if you were to regulate or legislate you might stop that, prevent that diversity and that would be unwelcome.
Ms Anne Richardson
Dept. of Health
Confronting UK Psycho-practice Professionalisation
H u m a n P o t e n t i a l V o i c e s !
Except where otherwise indicated, these screens are maintained and © 1995,1996,1997 Denis Postle. All rights reserved. Last updated 27th November 1997.