The meeting featured input from a resuscitated Psychological Professions Action Group [PPAG], (readers may recall that a previous version fell apart in 2008 when the BPS defected to the HPC). The PPAG is a trade association grouping that appears to include the UKCP, BACP, BCP, CPCAB and BABCP. They had produced a document that PLG chair Di Waller presented to the meeting in an attempt to resolve the impasse over whether and how psychotherapy and counselling are the same or different.

The PPAG paper was not well received despite its inclusion of an offer of three titles in possible compliance with the HPC's specifications:

Discussion appears to have cycled through previous difficulties - criteria for what is meant by 'Psychotherapist' and 'Counsellor' remain undefined, and along with this unresolved problem, there were questions about what would be the 'NQF' threshold entry training levels; and an accompanying BACP discussion document was adamant that psychotherapy and counselling comprehensively overlap.

Failure by the PLG participants to find a viable taxonomy at this meeting for the psychological professions appears to have led to the November 15th meeting being cancelled so that the PPAG factions can meet privately to find a way forward.

During the meeting, a presentation from the Association of Christian Counsellors [ACC] let it be known that of their approximately 2000 members, 80% are volunteers, many are over 40 years old and that they are unlikely to be enthusiastic about a requirement which says they must have a degree to continue to do what they already do. COSCA (Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland) appears to have endorsed this, saying that most counsellors in Scotland would be at 'NFQ level 4' and thus outside what was being planned.

The cancellation of the PLG's November meeting; the continuing standoff over psychotherapy/counselling differentiation, mainly it appears between UKCP and BACP; the imminent prospect of a Judicial Review which is expected to show lack of due process on the part of the HPC; and hints from PLG participants at the previous meeting that the newly privatised CHRE is likely to take over regulation of the psychological therapies; given all this it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the PLG now amounts to an elaborate HPC charade in which they, along with the rest of us, await a government decision about how, if not whether, to regulate the psychological therapies.

There must be a wing on which to fly
Wallace Stevens
18 videos and sound tracks
eIpnosis is edited, maintained and © Denis Postle 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

HPC Professional Liaison Group [PLG] meeting October 19th 2010