|Attempts to freeze-dry love continue EDITORIAL
As spring approaches, the glaciation of UK psychopractice gathers pace.
The fingers of frost spread more widely and the chill reaches deeper and deeper into the previously willing but now panic-stricken echelons of the psychological therapies.
The refrigerant, the DoH powered by the ethos of evidence based medicine, is now challenging the Member Organizations of the UKCP. Are you ready for the frozen food cabinet? Can you, will you freeze?
CBT, already a favourite in the fast food end of the chiller cabinet is on the way to being joined by the systemic/family therapy grouping and the psychodynamic/psychoanalytic practitioners, who to many people's surprise have apparently discovered that they could freeze without difficulty.
Left out of this frost-ridden display is the UKCP Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapies Section, the DoH having very recently decided that they appeared to be contaminated by some anti-freeze molecules that meant they wouldn't be able to get down to the temperatures that would be needed for the Increasing Access to the Psychological Therapies menu.
However instead of seeing this as a virtue, the HIPS inhabitants, 28 organisations comprising 2500 practitioners, are diligently applying themselves to the task of accumulating the evidence to demonstrate that, given the chance they can and will freeze.
None of this we should note, affects the chill that emanates from the Health Professions Council, if and when the UKCP signs over their registrant database, everyone will find themselves in the HPC chiller cabinet.
However the ability to deep-freeze at the level of random controlled trial and statistically significant meta-analysis is apparently a prerequisite for getting on the menus of the IAPT scheme. The government is paying for IAPT and driven by the best of good intentions is setting about ensuring that it will be a Mistake on the same level, and for the same reasons, as the anti-depressant Mistake revealed his morning.
Where are you dear registrant in all of this? Do you feel represented? Do you feel informed? Last summer it was clear that the BACP was in a panic, now it is equally obvious that the MO's of the UKCP are in a panic, hustling and hassling for evidence that they can comply with the DoH's icy vision, documenting not what they believe in, not what they do well but what the refrigeration engineers of the DoH insist is the price of entry to the IAPT.
And why do they not just say no? Why dear registrant, because the UKCP MOs are businesses and to stand outside the glacier of state regulation, and as it now seems appropriate without paranoia to say, state control, of the psychological therapies, would mean going out of business. Not being able to sell their trainings. Closing down. Instead, at this moment they are scouring the planet for an evidence-base that will prove to the DoH that they can be frozen. Not a great, let alone exemplary, ethical basis for the claims of a prior, over-arching fundamental duty to protect the interests of clients that have decorated the fascias of these establishments for the last decade.
Curiously enough the evidence-base they and we and clients need is alive and well and living in another paradigm. It is vast, comprehensive, rigorous, ethical and accessible. But that is a story for another day.