What the HPC delivers:
What the HPC Claims
Providing a high quality service
the HPC will ensure that the needs of its customers are met, namely the public, patients, health professionals and the health service. It will seek and utilise regular feedback from its customers to enhance its services. (
eIpnosis emphasis)
Protecting the public
the Council will have wide powers to deal effectively with individuals who pose an unacceptable risk to patients. It will have clear and well-published complaints and appeals procedures for the public and registrants. It will treat the health and welfare of patients as paramount. (eIpnosis emphasis)

There are as many certified charlatans and exploiters of people as there are uncertified… Certification is not equivalent to competence…, ...tight professional standards do not, to more than a minimal degree, shut out the exploiters and the charlatans, Carl Rogers
Spring 2007. eIpnosis publishes a book Regulating the Psychological Therapies. PCCS Books, the publisher, sends a copy of it to Marc Seale, CEO of the Health Professions Council [HPC]. Marc Seale reads the book from, ‘cover to cover’, and invites eIpnosis in for a meeting. After the meeting, eIpnosis posts two articles, one on the event with Marc Seale and Rachel Tripp, HPC Director of Policy & Standards, and the other reviewing documents that Marc Seale gave us.

In late summer, eIpnosis receives an email from a person who has read the two articles about the HPC. The email introduces several levels of concern about the HPC. These range from its statutory rigidity, to its capacity, due to inadequate accrediting and redress processes, to propagate continuing harm. This email opens the door to two parallel investigations by eIpnosis. One that sought to satisfy us that the complainant’s claims were valid, and secondly, a process of inquiry into what we could actually say about them publicly.

Both lines of inquiry provide an extremely clear illustration of why the long sought after arranged marriage between the psychological therapies and the state is Huge Mistake.

The client experience.

The complainant described to eIpnosis in comprehensive, documented detail, their experience of two levels of damage:

1. The complainant’s distress downstream of their experience of the inadequacies of HPC accreditation.

2. The complainant’s distress due to the failed promise of the HPC’s public claims to protect the public. The rejection, via a paper only inquiry process, of a complaint about a registrant, and a later follow-up. These investigations took no account of, or interest in, the deeply distressing and humiliating experiences of the complainant. The rejections compounded this harm.

A long and detailed list of proposals could be made about how the HPC’s process might be improved. As eIpnosis HPC Special #1 and #2 suggests, the ethos of the HPC is technocratic, rooted in medical expertise and taxonomies of skill. The way it distances itself, through hired in experts, from responsibility for the outcomes of this cultural choice, makes feedback a fruitless task.

What can be said.
Inquiries of leading defamation lawyers confirmed that, of the eIpnosis investigation of what stood behind the email that we received on 08/07/07, virtually nothing can be said here. I guess anyone from the HPC reading this will switch off and relax now. Their defensive impregnability and impermeability to learning from experience having been confirmed. This is the state at work. Good intentions. Emotional incompetence, systematic alienation and deep ignorance of group dynamics. The beginnings of a decades-long trail of devastation.

That this harm will include HPC registrants as well as members of the protected public, is confirmed by a second email. A relative of a registrant who, due to the HPC’s unfitness for purpose, has been off work for some years, contacted eIpnosis with an account of another dispute. We can say even less about this case because it is apparently moving to judicial review.

Missing detail.
The penny has dropped for the psychological therapies that their capture by the state, with the HPC as the master of ceremonies, is an oncoming disaster. That the HPC was bad news has long been apparent. What has been missing, are specifics.

eIpnosis spent dozens of hours researching the story and documentation of the first complainant to email us and for whom this page promised an opportunity to begin to heal the hurt. We were satisfied that, in contradiction of the HPC’s claims to protect the public, they had experienced serious long-standing harm as the result of its ethos and how it is structured.

And. The risk of defamation proceedings is too great for us (or the complainant) to tell the story publicly. At the core of this legal advice is the ruling, on the basis of a paper-only investigation by the HPC, that there was ‘no case to answer’, and no appeal. This implementation of state policy with regard to ‘health professions’, appears to provide HPC registrants with an unchallengeable defence against allegations by former clients, and enables them to avoid having to face the hurt and damage that they may cause, and learn from the experience.

Hooray, I hear some voices crying. Yet the other kind of crying, the tearful kind, seems more appropriate. If you were able to read what we cannot write here, - a moving, compelling insight into the lives of some of society’s most vulnerable members - you would appreciate that there have been a lot of tears, too many of them. Tears of injustice, tears of humiliation, tears of frustration, tears of rage. When the psychological therapies have been taken into HPC custody there will be more.

eIpnosis is deeply saddened that, having sat with the hurt of this person, we too find ourselves up against the raw power of the state. Not note, the authority of the state. eIpnosis has no problem with authority, including state authority, that is justly constituted. What we have here is ‘authority’ in the shape of the HPC, that is supposed to confer protection and justice but which is so threadbare, so inadequate, so ‘unfit for purpose’, that the raw, primal power of the state, touches people unmediated. And that will always hurt and wound very deeply.

eIpnosis is edited, maintained and © by Denis Postle 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
This is an edited version of an HPC advertisement
All I have is a voice to undo the folded lie.
W.H. Auden
Ipnosis Special - The Health Professions Council #1 #2 #3
Psychopractice civic accountability that honours the clients' experience is a high priority for eIpnosis. We welcome stories, experiences and whistle-blowing that support it. Email: eIpnosis
If you have the resources to help either of the complainants that we mention here Email: eIpnosis