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The State Regulated Mind
eIpnosis in conversation with 'Fitness to Practise' Consultant, Charles sound track

In this interview eIpnosis talks with 'Charles Layton', the eIpnosis ‘fitness to practise consultant’. Charles is a keen supporter of state regulation of the psychological therapies.

eIpnosis, has long argued that this is a Huge Mistake, a contradiction of everything counselling, psychotherapy, and psychoanalysis stand for. We ask Charles, to tell us why he supports it.

eIpnosis: Hello Charles.


eIpnosis: It looks as if the Health Professions Council is going to regulate, the psychological therapies. Apparently you think this is a great idea.

CL: Yes. I do.

eIpnosis: 90,000 practitioners coming under state control.

Yes. We are going to throw away our freedom. Get into bed with the government and have lots of... fun.

eIpnosis: Denis calls it, social insanity.

He's wrong. eIpnosis, is wrong.

eIpnosis: But Charles. How can the values of the state, and the values of counselling and psychotherapy, ever be compatible?

They aren't compatible. This is an arranged, marriage. A wedding of dynasties of control.

eIpnosis: And love?

You still don't get it do you. Therapists are marrying up. Into the health-care aristocracy. We are marrying into privilege, and power.

eIpnosis: And Charles, what about love?

The Department of Health—you know. They did us all a great favour—‘tell everybody it's for their protection’, they said. Client protection. It worked really well. But actually if we are honest and accurate, it's bums on seats that we are interested in.

eIpnosis: And love?

Oh Yes. Love. Flavour of the month at eIpnosis.

eIpnosis: Charles, as you know very well, for eIpnosis, love, is always on the menu. So. What about people who are struggling, who are looking for help. We have to meet them with love, don't we?

Of course. And what are courses and trainings for, if they are not to teach people how to come over as loving, and authentic? But today, if you want to really meet people. Then there is a deeper, more effective value around.

eIpnosis: Such as?

C. C. Caring cynicism.

Many people are not, looking for honesty, or authenticity. They are looking, for a match for their cynicism. You have to come over as, chilled. Cool. Even a bit jaded.

eIpnosis: That cuts across everything I ever learned as a therapist.

Oh you have to smile a lot, as well!

eIpnosis: But how could cynicism be of value. Surely it's the opposite of value? Even horrible?

CL: It's not horrible it's great. You connect with people better through caring cynicism. You mirror the client's position, you mirror their cynicism.

eIpnosis: But I don't know any therapists, who work like this.

CL: Oh yes you do. They keep it well hidden. They know in their hearts what they have bought in to with state-regulation. Caring cynicism becomes normality.

eIpnosis: So how did you become a caring cynic?

I signed up for a very expensive training. I learned real fast that you cannot trust the training and accrediting bodies. They don't look after your interests. The goal posts for finishing the course seemed to change every few months.

And I learned that there is an intellectual, academic, downside to psychotherapy trainings. As all the theory gets to you, you become a Post-modern person.

eIpnosis: And this, troubles you?

If everything is relative, then nothing matters more than anything else. And I think this means, though most practitioners won't admit it. We don't trust our-selves. We don't really need to. The role of therapist, being a professional, protects us from the need to have opinions of our own.

eIpnosis: Aha.

What you are saying is, moral authority goes missing. Perhaps this is why so much of psychopractice is obsessed with measurement.

CL: That's right.

eIpnosis: So far as we lose the authority that comes from deep personal enquiry, it gets replaced by measurement, cost-effectiveness, random controlled trials, evidence based practice.

We become, seduced by. a scientized authority.

What do you think?

CL: Nowadays 'deep personal inquiry' equals dinosaur thinking. To move on in a psychopractice career now, you have to become 'scientific'.

eIpnosis: And again. What about love? Is love, dinosaur thinking?

Love has become just another brand name. For some, love's a big thing. For others, like me. We can take it, or leave it.

eIpnosis: And what replaces it is caring cynicism?

eIpnosis, and especially Denis, should try to understand that, there is no place in regulated therapy, for love. Caring cynicism, is about survival in this profession that we have created for ourselves. It's how we stay sane.

eIpnosis: And this is why so many therapists, are so passively accepting of state regulation of the psychological therapies?

It’s not the whole story. But it will do. Post-modern beliefs have got into all of us. 'Everything and nothing is true'. Anything, goes. I think you were right in what you said earlier, this creates a vacuum where moral authority should be. Therapists, like the rest of the population feel it. And it's generating a back-lash. A desire, for somebody. Anybody. To take responsibility. To be in charge.

eIpnosis: Somebody that lays down objective, scientific standards?

CL: Yes that's why the, HPC is such good news. They command respect. They stand for rationality and discipline.

eIpnosis: But Charles, there's no more moral authority to be found in science than there is in capitalism.

Yes, but neither of them do impassioned rants, like Denis!

eIpnosis: Charles, behave yourself!

And so, to sum up: therapists are looking for, a combination of science, and the state, to supply their missing moral authority?

They are. I asked some of the people on the CPD course about it. State Regulation. They all agreed. Boring. Well there was one exception. They all agreed we were already state regulated. It is literally a state, of mind.

eIpnosis: And the one exception?

Trish. She thinks it's all crap. She can't bear it. ‘Fitness to practise'. Competencies. Standards, National Occupational Standards. and all that. I think they're great. At last we know precisely what we are supposed to be doing.

But anyway, Trish is in big trouble.

eIpnosis: How so?

CL: She's in love.

eIpnosis: Charles. Thank you. Thank you for taking part in this eIpnosis event.

You are very welcome I look forward to another opportunity, to crack a few more complacencies.