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November 14th 2006
An historic moment?
In his July 2006 letter to over a hundred stakeholder organizations, Professor Louis Appleby, Director of Mental Health UK, asked The Independent Practitioners Network [IPN] for support for the Department of Health proposals for the regulation of counselling, psychotherapy (is psychoanalysis too hot a potato to handle?). This request was parallel to the consultation on the Foster review of the regulation of non-medical health professions that closed on 10th November 2006

How to respond? Have we arrived at an historic moment - the point when the state begins to take control of the psychological therapies? And are we prepared to silently bystand it?

There is some evidence of an historic moment. At recent meetings that ipnosis has attended there have been clear signs of considerable 'despair' and even panic in the mainstream accrediting institutions. Have mainstream insiders heard that the government going to announce, contrary to mainstream opposition, that the HPC will be tasked with regulating the psychologists, and possibly psychotherapy and counselling as well? Add to this that the closing date for Foster review feedback falls a few days before the Queens Speech when such an announcement might well be made.... a coincidence?

Several of us in IPN who have a history of concern about state regulation of psychotherapy and counselling and psychoanalysis feel that this does indeed appear to be an historic moment, another point at which it is essential to refuse to bystand the damage to the psychopractice field for practioners and clients that state regulation is overwhelmingly likely to entail.

We responded to to Professor Appleby's request by developing the following 'Statement of opposition to state regulation of counselling psychotherapy and psychoanalysis', and asked people who support the statement to sign up to a list of endorsees that would be distributed as widely as possible.

As of November 14th, the response including the signatures to a shorter statement by Nick Totton, has been so substantial, around 400 signups so far, that we will keep the list open after November 8th for a few weeks/months, so as too reach as many of you who have felt disenfranchised by the mainstream psychopractice organisations pursuit of state regulation.

The two statements and the full list of endorsees at November 8 have now been mailed to The Foster Review consultation desk, Professor Appleby, National Director of Mental Health, Nic Greenfield, Deputy Director of Workforce, and Marc Lyal, programme manager, Skills for Health (a department under the employer-led umbrella of Skills for Business), and several of the mainstream psychopractice organizations that might not have seen it.

If you feel you can support the statement we invite you to add your name and role to the list of signatories by emailing Denis Postle. Please forward the address of the opposition statement http://ipnosis.postle.net/SRStatementOpposition.htm to anyone you think might wish to see and endorse it.

Look out for possible press coverage, and check back here from time to time to check for significant developments.

If for reasons of employment or other commitments, you feel unable to be publicly identified with this opposition to the state regulation project but support its intentions, perhaps you would let us know so that we can add you to an 'anonymous' section of the list.

Ipnosis is edited, maintained and © Denis Postle 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006