Follow-Up to the British Psychological Society

Two days ago I wrote about the letter that Dr Kirsty Miller posted in the Psychologist, her views and my own interpretations. Last night I noticed that the Psychologist had decided to pull the letter and put out a statement about their decision. I’m relieved that they were flexible and listened to the voices of all those who were hurt, shocked, pained and further traumatised at the handling of this situation.

I wanted to reflect on my own writing around this topic. I found myself attempting to empathise with Miller and avoid making assumptions when I wrote my post. I wanted to remain ‘professional’ and ‘dignified’, and re-wrote the post several times as I felt I was too emotive in many of my statements. What I posted was… wishy washy. I find myself questioning how to challenge things in the political field – will I be seen to be burning bridges? Will I be putting myself in the firing line? Am I being unprofessional?

Yet, staying quiet or remaining ‘professional’ means that I could be being complicit in the message, and that does not sit right with me at all. I must stand up and challenge injustices, as I would hope others would do the same.

I found it interesting that when I tweeted out my open letter response, Miller actually replied and said “I’ll respond later”. I never got that response. I’m not sure why – maybe she just run out of steam responding to all the comments, messages and tweets.

I certainly feel empathy for the editor who has so actively responded to criticism. I’ve seen them responding to many people on twitter, and also encouraging people to engage via email too. I am glad of this, as it shows a willingness to learn and grow. I hope people still feel able to engage with the publication in a constructive manner, as this will enable it to grow. Psychology has a long way to go in regards to difference and diversity (I would argue that they are not alone, the counselling profession is no different…).

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