CTUK gets some answers from the BACP: Question 1

Have you come across Counsellors Together UK (CTUK)? They are a large community of therapists that have been created to challenge and put an end to the culture and prevelance of unpaid work within our profession.

I’ve been very lucky to get to know several of the leaders within CTUK and the community as a whole. They are incredibly well organised and are keen to challenge unfair treatment of therapists by their membership bodies. They support over 7000 therapists in the UK.

Counsellors Together UK - The UK's largest Counsellors' campaign group.

BACP – SCoPEd questions:

The CTUK community sent a series of questions to the BACP (and I believe also the UKCP, BPC etc) to get some clarity on the issues that will impact on us. On 15th December they published the answers that they received from the BACP. I’m very surprised that they heard something back before Christmas! Their published answers have not been analysed by CTUK, so I thought I’d look at the issues and highlight some of the key parts that I picked up.

Question 1: The basic premise for the SCoPEd framework was to present an answer to some “issues within the profession”
1a) What research was conducted? If no research exists, please present how you came to these conclusions?

I suppose this was one of the most important questions for me – #ShowUsTheResearch has been a hashtag on twitter that I have been part of. The BACP claims to be an ethical organisation that bases their decisions and policies on research. So the fact that we have yet to hear their evidence several years into the project is incredibly disappointing.

Academy for Healthcare Science Register accredited by PSA

The BACP mentions that “terms such as ‘accredited’ and ‘registered’ means different things in different organisations – but I would argue that the BACP is the biggest culprit, leading to even the PSA actually questioning the use of the term “accredited”.

What concerns me is the sentence “in this respect a formal research project was not needed to identify the issues.” The BACP claims that they know there are barriers to paid employment for their members, and so there’s no need to do any research. If any individual took that attitude in the profession, they’d be deemed to be working unethically. Research forms developments in a profession. What the BACP, UKCP and BPC have done is made a lot of assumptions with no research to prove whether they are right or wrong. This might all explain why, whenever they are asked, they can’t give an answer of how the SCoPEd framework will impact on members.

1b) Can you please demonstrate how you came to the conclusion that this project was the best response to the research or the issues?

This is where a lot of the confusion comes in. The BACP claims that the aim of the three organisations was to “map the existing training and practice standards”. They state that it seemsed manageable – and I agree. If that was all that they did. But the project appears to have spawned into defining how the profession will look going forwards. That is very different to the original motivations.

I suppose that is the reason that the project feels very disingenous. Had they done a proper research project to map the issues within the profession and the current training and practice standards, it would have made more sense. This would have allowed the BACP et al to highlight the current practices and any issues.

Published by Budding Therapy

Person-Centred Counsellor

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