eIpnosis is edited, maintained and © Denis Postle 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007

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The British Psychological Society Signs Up to State Regulation
- One Down, Three to Go?


As eIpnosis has noted on these pages, there was something weird about the September 18 Psychological Therapies Reference Group meeting. It turns out eIpnosis was picking up a huge silence in the group dynamic. Yes it was being held in the British Psychological Society [BPS] City premises. No, the BPS didn't show up and didn't indicate why not (and Ipnosis didn't ask).

Why the BPS didn't show up now seems directly traceable to the news that they had capitulated to the DoH over signing up to SR. This failure by their erstwhile buddy the BPS to 'stick together' generated a content hole in the meeting apparent in its tone of anxious despondency but concealed from the rest of us by the Significant Others present. This dynamic and it its origin goes some way to account for the huge distress emanating from them over eIpnosis' reporting of the meeting - 'perverted, raped', 'annihilating'.

The 18th October BPS newsletter lets the news sink in gently. There is now a:

Health Professions Council Professional Liaison Group (HPC PLG)

who will:

write the Standards of Proficiency (SoP) for psychologists (i.e. what a regulated psychologist will be expected to do).

This standards of proficiency consultation is one of three later in the year:

one from [eIpnosis emphasis] the HPC on 'threshold levels'

and, of course, the actual new Statutory Instrument (the Section 60 Order) that will be the legislation to regulate psychologists

And then there are the inter organization administrative issues that capture of the BPS by the state entails:

Chief Executive, Tim Cornford, met his opposite number at the HPC, Marc Seale. The object of the meeting was to begin looking at the HPC's operational processes as our two organisations will have to work closely together on a whole range of issues from data transfer of the Register of Chartered Psychologists, to course accreditation details, to disciplinary processes and previous cases. Despite the fact, as yet, we do not have the legislation it was felt essential that this operational matters should be assessed.

Pam Maras President

That the President of the BPS presently does the BPS newsletter might be thought to be in itself of some note.

eIpnosis imagines that the BPS leadership have persuaded themselves, and hope to persuade their members, that this capitulation is a huge success (as opposed to a huge mistake). Colouring it in a success might be helped, as eIpnosis has elsewhere reported, by the sellout 'science as decoration' conference on the NHS and the Psychological Therapies which is dominated by clinical psychologists.

We might, as some colleagues have already suggested, infer from this NHS/CBT/BPS conference hug-in that a sweetener deal has been done between the BPS and the DoH that installs clinical psychologists as the gate keepers for the roll out and maintenance of IAPT. Or, from a less paranoid position, that this appetising gatekeeper role is denied to psychotherapists and counsellors since they are not yet an arm of the state.

A sad day. Practitioners with claims to have insight into the human condition fight for market share and pole position in the psychopractice pecking order and invite the state to define their ethical and occupational obligations. Who next? The psychotherapists? Then the counsellors? And lastly if ever, the psychoanalysts?

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