November 11 2007 | LEGAL | ARCHIVE | IPN | CONTACT | HOME | CONTENTS.........
Love Matters pages
Regulation News and Views pages
Archive pages
Conversations with Charles Layton
The State Regulated Mind
Make-over Madness
The Sav**oy Declaration
Love Matters VIDEO
The Hamburgization of Personal Development
The Dogs That Didn't Bark
The Impossible Dream: Evidence Based Psychological Therapy, Science, and the NHS
Next Steps to Happiness
eIpnosis PsycholOdeon
Make-Over Madness
eIpnosis inconversation with Fitness to Practise Consultant, Charles Layton
All I have is a voice to undo the folded lie.
W.H. Auden
eIpnosis is edited, maintained and © Denis Postle 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
eIpnosis: Hello Charles. Welcome to ihpnosis.

CL: Good to see you again Millie. After what I said about Denis last time, I'm surprised eIpnosis would want to talk to me again.

eIpnosis: Not at all. We are in favour of debate, and meeting people we disagree with.

Charles. In our first conversation, you argued that we should be pleased with state regulation of the psychological therapies.

CL: That's right. It's a wholly beneficial development.

eIpnosis: and for those of us who are opposed to it, what are we missing?

CL: Well for a start, the whole project has attracted some remarkable people, Ros, Meade, of the Department of Health, for example. There may be more, but she is the person I know about.

eIpnosis: and why is she remarkable?

CL: Well Ros Meade, and whoever her bosses are. They have orchestrated a truly extraordinary set of projects. They all rotate around state regulation of the psychological therapies.

eIpnosis: Such as?

CL: The setting up of The Health Professions Council. Then there was the BACP/UKCP mapping exercise. After that it really got going, with Ros Meade's ‘Next Steps’ initiative.

The ‘Next Steps’ schemes began the measurement of the psychological therapies. Especially, the Skills for Health measurement of what we do. Our competencies. To be able to regulate something, you have to be able to describe it.

As Denis pointed out in his book, that means taxonomy

eIpnosis: Oh. Yes. All those trays of butterflies and spiders in Natural History Museums, with, pins through their middle, and now psychopractice joins them. I don't want to be dead, on a tray, with a pin through my middle.

CL: All this was followed by the National Occupational Standards for Counselling. 65 pages of them. Wonderful.

eIpnosis: We're astonished that anyone thinks this is great news.

CL: But It is. You miss the point. What you don't see is the orchestration; the integration of lots of different initiatives. The Government has put together a very elegant, very beautifully coordinated collection of psychological therapy initiatives. That's what governments are supposed to do.

And then there is the Quality assurance. Their approach is, really... NICE.

eIpnosis: Forgive me Charles, if I don't laugh. You are the first person I've come across who thinks NICE is, well… NICE.

CL: NICE, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. They are great. They've laid it all out scientifically. What works. What doesn't work.

eIpnosis: Well. What doesn't work, is everything that falls between the fingers of their scientific model.

CL: And, big sigh, all this is against a background of major change in the NHS. As they move towards the commissioning, of services

eIpnosis: Out-sourcing them.

CL: Breaking up the enormous, Stalinist monolith, of the NHS.

eIpnosis: No, surely, they are out-sourcing blame.

CL: Millie. Please stop, heckling. The government's plans, for a make-over of the psychological therapies, are truly spectacular. Layer upon layer of commitment to evidence-based therapy, scientific therapy.

eIpnosis: Meaning CBT?

CL: And, to go on. What is the focus of all this? The Increasing Access to the Psychological Therapies programme. IAPT. Wonderful. Stepped Care Centres for people with anxiety and depression.

Great. And especially satisfying, it cuts the ground from under the mainstream accrediting bodies.

eIpnosis: Yes indeed. May they rest in peace.

CL: Even more wonderful is the creating of a whole new, HPC controlled, division of psychopractice, the ‘psychological therapist’.

eIpnosis: Yes, very logical. Speech Therapist. Art Therapist. And then, Psychological Therapist. HPC style creativity. It conveniently side-lines traditional psychotherapy, counselling and psychoanalysis.

CL: Yes, isn't it a wonderful piece of social engineering. Such diverse sectors of government. all pulling together

eIpnosis: Towards protecting the public?

CL: No, that was always a fiction. Denis is absolutely right. For all their enthusiasm for evidence-based practice, the government have never researched the level of harm due to therapy.

eIpnosis: So why is all this resource, being poured into state regulation of the psychological therapies?

CL: Control. The word eIpnosis and IPN don't want to hear.

eIpnosis: Charles, I sometimes think, you have fallen in love with control.

CL: Millie, You keep coming back to the personal when I'm trying to help you see what's actually happening on the ground. What I've been describing are hugely creative initiatives. And they are all about control, government control.

eIpnosis: It doesn't make sense. It's a huge waste of public money. There was nothing wrong with psychopractice.

CL: You still miss the point. There is something wrong with psycho-practice. It's, wild. It's dis-orderly. It's rebellious. It's chaotic. There are hundreds of different theories, different therapies.

Governments are bound to want to reach out, and capture them.

eIpnosis: But doesn't this rich diversity give clients a lot of choice?

CL: Listen. The government tried to talk to the mainstream bodies about regulation. And what did they find? That these supposed fountains of rationality were fighting among each other for business, for status. For government there was something here to be tamed. To be domesticated.

eIpnosis: Apparently the last Health Minister thought counselling was ‘having a chat over a cup of tea with someone’.

CL: Ministers know perfectly well that psychopractice is subversive. Ros Meade probably even looks at eIpnosis from time to time.

eIpnosis: I doubt it.

CL: Millie. In a time of high security anxieties, like the present, disorder, subversion is seen as a risk factor.

eIpnosis: But surely we are only talking about health care. For any society - isn't the kind of questioning that psycho-practice does, necessary and healthy?

CL: It was - once. It did use to be necessary and healthy but now, today, it has become clear, capitalism is the only way to successfully run a society. This means that psychological insights, subversive or not, are irrelevant.

eIpnosis: How so?

CL: by the time what you have to say, is heard, let alone, sinks in, the market, has moved on.

It leaves you, whistling in the wind.

eIpnosis: You mean eIpnosis, and IPN?

CL: yes, both are dinosaurs.

eIpnosis: Charles this is rubbish, and you know it. And the whole notion, of wonderfully integrated government planning, for access to the psychological therapies, and state regulation. It's all rubbish.

CL: Millie, if you are going to respond to what I have to say with abuse. I'm going to leave.

eIpnosis: No don't go. Charles. Stay. I'm sorry.

CL: You are such dreamers. You've got your heads in the sand. The parade is passing by, and you don't even know it's there. What's the point of turning your back on it? Join it. If the HPC had their heads screwed on, they'd hire eIpnosis, make you part of the action.

eIpnosis: Ok. Charles. Let's call it a day. Thank you for an informative and robust conversation. We'll return to it another day.

CL: I hope we will.