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Lacap supports the Petition against the State Regulation of Psychotherapy in the UK

Submitted by: LACAP Ltd.

2009-05-23 10:35:16

(OPENPRESS) May 23, 2009 -- The London Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy supports the petition against the proposed state regulation of the talking therapies in the UK, which has been organised by the Coalition Against Over-Regulation of Psychotherapy.

Donald Kirkpatrick, the clinical manager of Lacap, received and actioned an email from Simona Revelli today. This was an alert to an international petition opposing the state regulation of talking therapies in the UK.

Details of Lacap's posting and response can be found at this link:

Lacap's own comments on state regulation of psychotherapy can be found at this link:

The Coalition Against Over-Regulation of Psychotherapy argues that:
"Under new government proposals, psychoanalysis and the talking therapies will be regulated by the State under the Health Professions Council. We the undersigned wish to register our protest and disagreement with this initiative. Psychoanalysis is a private conversation, and the proposed regulations threaten to limit the basic human right to freedom of speech. Each individual should have the freedom to choose the therapist they wish to consult, without the State dictating who is legitimate and who is not. 

The new proposals have shown a serious and bizarre misunderstanding of the nature of talking therapy. They see it as a definable technique to be applied with predictable outcomes. Yet the key to talking therapies is the nature of the relationship between the parties rather than the performance of any particular procedure. Analytic work involves an open-ended relationship, where results may emerge that were never predicted or even thought of beforehand. The proposed regulation leaves no room for the unknown, as if the solution to each person's problems were known in advance: therapist and patient will be expected to adhere to a clear predetermined agenda. Government intervention thus threatens the very foundation of analytic work, compromising both its creativity and authenticity. 

The new regulations proposed for the talking therapies - which include 451 rules for the analytic session - would effectively make it impossible to practise psychoanalysis and many other forms of therapy in the way they have been practised for the last hundred years. The Health Professions Council plans a public campaign to discredit those practitioners whose own practice and ethical code would not allow them to sign up to its market-led vision of therapy and normality.

The main reason given for the regulatory project is protection of the public. Yet all analytic and therapy organisations already have stringent codes of ethics and practice, as well as complaints procedures. Replacing these with an inherently unsuited model of healthcare will destroy the growth and vitality of the field for both therapists and those who consult them. We urge an alternative model, like that adopted in other countries, where government intervention is limited to the requirement that all therapists join a register which is administered by an independent professional body, giving full details of their training and affiliations. This would enable members of the public to make their own informed choice rather than having politicians make it for them.

We urge everyone who cares about the preservation of the talking therapies to register their support by signing the above text and by writing to their MP to call for an end to the HPC initiative.


The Undersigned"

Simona Revelli writes:
"Dear Colleagues,

Re: state regulation through HPC

I am writing to alert you to an international petition opposing the state regulation
of talking therapies in the UK. If you support this struggle, please sign and
circulate as broadly as possible (to friends, colleagues and organisations
world-wide) the following:
You can read arguments against state regulation on the petition's statement.

Again in relation to the same issue, I also take this opportunity to notify you of
an important conference organised by The College of Psychoanalysts-UK with the title
"Are you fit to practise? From ethical framework to model of good behaviour", which
will take place in London on 6th June 2009. If you are interested in this and would
like a flyer with more details, please email me and I will post it to you.

With thanks and best wishes,
Simona Revelli
Alliance, Coalition, Consortium, The College"

The initial signatories to the petion include the following names:
Lisa Appignanesi, Jake Arnott, Homi Bhabha, Christopher Bollas, Susie Boyt, Victor Burgin, Georgia Byng, Martin Creed, Sophie Fiennes, Bella Freud, Esther Freud, Peter Gabriel, Anya Gallaccio, Antony Gormley, John Gray, Lee Hall, Susan Hiller, Oliver James, Anish Kapoor, Beeban Kidron, Hari Kunzru, Hanif Kureishi, Darian Leader, Lucasta Miller, Phil Mollon, Andrew O'Hagan, Joseph O'Neill, Michael Nyman, Cornelia Parker, Adam Phillips, Jocelyn Pook, Marc Quinn, Will Self, Richard Sennett, Jonathan Sklar, Ali Smith, Gavin Turk and Slavoj Zizek.

Donald Kirkpatrick can be contacted for comments on
Further postings and information can be found at

Contact Info

Phone: +44 (0)207 247 9063
10 Cobb Street
London UK
E1 7LB


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