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Regulation Rumourtoids

EDITORIAL February 2007

Ipnosis showed up at the February 17 Guild of Psychotherapists event, 'Facing up to State Regulation'. An intriguing title for a very informative event. The three main speakers, James Antrican, chair-elect of the UKCP, Sean Ellis of the Association for Group and Individual Psychotherapy [AGIP], Chair of the AP-PP Section of the UKCP, and Diana Waller of the HPC, vividly personified the respective approaches of their organizations and the meeting/Guild chair, Paul Atkinson opened by stating the Guild's opposition to State Regulation.

Headlines included:
The government White Paper on regulating the psychological therapies is apparently due to be published Wednesday February 21. Indications from informed sources at the meeting were that one or more sectors of the BPS (Applied Psychologists were mentioned) have been targeted and will taken into HPC custody in September.

Evidence emerged of considerable (continuing) tension in the UKCP approach to state regulation between its training interests who want it and know why, and the general body of registrants, many of whom were described as behaving like children looking for a parent—Good or Bad? Either would do it was suggested!

Ipnosis intuition divined that UKCP now believes/knows that state regulation of its registrants is unavoidable and is making plans for a life after regulation. If the training institutions get their wish for 'client-protection' through SR, what else will there be for UKCP to do than look after registrants interests?

In many people at the meeting Ipnosis picked up a sense of blank incomprehension about the SfH taxonomy-harvest of competencies. How could the nuances of the psychoanalytic tradition accommodate themselves to this mapping and measuring? How indeed? SfH, it was strongly hinted, was in part staffed by ex-members of the National Union of Mineworkers!

The DoH apparently sees the detailed work on assimilating the Competencies Consultation into National Occupational Standards [NOS] for the psychological therapies being completed by December 2007. It was claimed that Ros Mead DoH, lead regulation manager, only needed the first part of the competencies to be completed to trigger a DoH decision to move to state regulation, to be announced in September 2008, with implementation in 2010-2011. We'll see but this seemed well-sourced information.

Ipnosis noted a curious lack of consideration in the meeting of the fruit of the recently touted panic partnership between the BPS hydra, BACP and UKCP—the PPC.

However, if you aren't already choking on this diet of abbreviations, the Guild is a psychoanalytic psychotherapy training organization which appears to be an out-law of, or indirect competition with The British Psychoanalytic Council [BPC]. BPC was mentioned several times, not least in connection with some arcane, (and incomprehensible to Ipnosis), taxonomy concerns about who can be, or who controls who can be a training analyst—and also that 60% of BPC membership work in the NHS.

Taxonomy concerns also surfaced in a small group discussion along the lines of 'did you know some of those counsellors are using (our?) Freud in their work'. Ipnosis was again reminded that psychoanalytic communities often seem hermetically sealed, as though the universes of humanistic psychology theory and practice, facilitation, person-centred counselling, birthwork, co-counselling and other 'affective education' approaches to the human condition were somehow alien, or even toxic.

The Treasury has reportedly cut funding for the 'Layard IPT Centres' initiative following a shift of emphasis towards them being run by Primary Care Trusts. This it was suggested, might be to do with the poor results from the pilot, in which despite the application of CBT, only one person had apparently been returned to work.

Ipnosis is edited, maintained and © Denis Postle 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006. 2007
February 19 2007

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