Articles, SCoPEd

CTUK gets some answers from the BACP: Question 2

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 2: How do you intend to address the hierarchy that the proposed framework creates within the profession?

SCoPEd Hierarchy

The BACP state that “SCoPEd does not ‘create’ a hierarchy but the mapping does show differentiation”. I’ve notived a pattern that the BACP et al repeatedly deny the hierarchy by using alternative words, such as “differentiation“. It simply feels like this is the agreed corporate message.

Cemil Egeli put together an excellent analysis of the SCoPEd hierarchy last year, titled ‘Counselling and Psychotherapy – Hierarchies, Epistemicide and Bad Medicine‘. They expertly define SCoPEd clearly as “hierarchical, paternalistic and infantalises counsellors whilst denying their autonomy as practitioners.1 Cemil is not the only person to define the framework as a hierarchy, and a quick google search will find many articles written by individual therapists and organisations (including CTUK).2

I’m yet to be convinced by the BACP et al that they are not developing and creating more of a hierarchy of practitioners. They have removed the names of the titles on columns A, B and C, but will eventually be returning titles to the framework. Language still prioritises psychoanalytic/psychodynamic modalities into the top two columns. I would prefer them to accept and agree that they are creating a hierarchy, but how they are making it more fluid and accessible. Hierarchies aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but denying it exists in the first place is insulting to those of us who have identified it.


Further Reading

  1. Egeli, C., (2019) ‘Counselling and psychotherapy. Hierarchies, epistemicide and bad medicine’, Clinical Psychology Forum, 319, 17-20
  2. CTUK, ‘Initial Response to BACP re: SCoPEd project‘, 04.02.19

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