Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy: Newsletter October 2019

Blog:,  (@Alliance4CP)



REQUEST: Please circulate to relevant contacts and to your current constituency MP, adding your own note. Thank you.


SCoPEd (Scope of Practice & Education) – an update

The BACP, BPC and UKCP (the Big 3) describe SCoPEd as a framework for counselling and psychotherapy which is a ground-breaking project to set out the training requirements and practice standards for counselling and psychotherapy. In fact, it is a naked power grab to control all counselling and psychotherapy training and practice. In so doing they promise the impossible to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all recipients, in reality as an independent legislature. As well as attracting all power and control to the top of their hierarchies, they exclude from practising anyone who does not comply.  

The benefit for them is to secure all government-funded work for their members, and thus keep a large headquarters’ staff in paid jobs. The Big 3 place their premise on being able to provide safe practitioners from their position of mastery and use their membership numbers to bully their way through.

Key points:

The SCoPEd expert reference group. This was balanced in favour of the BPC. Following criticism, four non-BPC psychoanalysts have now been included. Despite this change, it is still not balanced between modalities or within psychoanalysis itself.
The failure of a resolution against SCoPEd to get to the BACP AGM. This needed 5 per cent of the membership to vote in favour, but only got 3.5 per cent.  It is remarkable that so many felt so strongly as to vote, but disappointing that this will not now formally register.
Accountability. There is an absence of accountability with regard to regulation by the Big 3. Once you have gained your certificate, there is no need to engage with your own development, supervision or with colleagues. This is different to processes elsewhere.
Mediation. This is used in IPN for disputes between practitioners and clients. There is provision for its use within the Big 3. Why is it not used, with all cases goingstraight into a legalistic process? Why is mediation not working within the Big 3?
Safeguarding and unsafe spaces. There is continued fear being spread about unsafe practitioners being allowed to continue to practise having been struck off the Big 3’s register. This is a small number of cases – probably six in all – but unless it is tackled it will continue to be the pivotal argument for SR. There is a consistent drip of media coverage – see File on 4, The therapy business – BBC Radio 4 – which uses bad experiences to vilify all practitioners. The Big 3 are using ‘unsafe’ practitioners to force Parliament into legislating that they be sole suppliers. How to address these concerns is a key point in opposing the Big 3’s moves.

This project is still live, see BACP’s chair Andrew Reeves explain the aim of ScoPEdhere –

Also recommended:

Cemil Egeli,  (2019). Counselling and psychotherapy. Hierarchies, epistemicide and bad medicine. Clinical Psychology Forum, 318, 1720; retweeted at #HYPERLINK “”ScrapSCoPEd

Three leading professional regulatory bodies create a new competence framework.

Maps, Languages HYPERLINK “”&HYPERLINK “”Lost Continents: Person-Centred Therapy and the HYPERLINK “”SCoPEdHYPERLINK “” Project

Joint letter to BACP, UKCP and BPC on the HYPERLINK “”SCoPEdHYPERLINK “”consultation results

SCoPEdHYPERLINK “” Consultation: Methodologically Challenged

SCoPEdHYPERLINK “”: Butchering HYPERLINK “”Psychopractice

Against HYPERLINK “”SCoPEdHYPERLINK “”: actions and materials

A Deeper Look at HYPERLINK “”SCoPEdHYPERLINK “”: So, HYPERLINK “”WhatHYPERLINK “” is an ‘Advanced Counsellor’ Anyway?

The Medicalisation of Therapy – What can we infer from the language of HYPERLINK “”SCoPEdHYPERLINK “”?

A New APPG (AllParty Parliamentary Group)

The Alliance has seen documents showing that the Big 3 are actively trying to form an APPG to represent them exclusively within Parliament. The Alliance’s information is that though soundings have been made, it has not been formed as yet. This activity is denied by the Big 3. In forming a new APPG, the Big 3 seek to be the only contact within Parliament. The Big 3 act to exclude everyone else, whether registered with the PSA or not.  

To learn about the kind of influence that APPGs have, see the Mental Health one at Royal College of Psychiatrists/ HYPERLINK “”rcpsychHYPERLINK “”-in-parliament.The APPG on Mental Health is a group of MPs and peers from all political parties who are interested in mental health. Rethink Mental Illness and the Royal College of Psychiatrists provide the secretariat for the APPG. Together, they help to shape the group’s agenda and organise events with government ministers, NHS organisations, health professionals, research bodies and people with experience of mental illness. 

The PCP (Partners for Counselling and Psychotherapy)

The Alliance has joined forces with seven other progressive counselling and psychotherapy organisations, seeking to challenge the dominant discourse from the BACP, BPC and UKCP. The PCP has together in excess of 18,000 members. They areasking for a meeting with these three membership bodies to discuss their proposed APPG, championing the values the PCP espouse and aiming to gain a seat at the table. As yet, the Big 3 have not agreed to meet with representatives of the PCP organisations. 

The eight organisations represented in the PCP are:

1  The National Counselling Society (NCS):

2  Psychotherapy and Counselling Union (PCU):

3  Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility(PCSR):

4  Counsellors Together UK:

5  The Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy:

6  The Person Centred Association (TPCA):

7  The College of Psychoanalysts:

8  UK Person-Centred Experiential (UKPCE):


Conference – for your diary:

People Not Pathology: Humanising Counselling and Psychotherapy

A Two Day Conference, 9–10 May 2020 in Birmingham

Organised by Psychotherapy and Counselling for Social Responsibility and the Free Psychotherapy Network

Psychotherapy and counselling in the UK are alive and well. The demand for therapy and the supply of therapists have been growing steadily for decades. At the same time, for the last two decades at least, the heart and soul of the profession have been under attack from the neoliberal policies of the state and our own professional bodies.

It’s time to take a stand and start to turn the tide. How do we stand together to humanise our profession and play our part in transforming neoliberal narratives about mental health into a vision of society organised around people’s needs?

We want the conference to be as participatory and bottom up as possible, prioritising smallgroup discussion in workshops. Some themes:

Conference Day 1: The Problem

Medical model of mental health (MH) and its treatment via CBT and psychotropic drugs; individual responsibility and the denial of the politico-social model of MH; colonisation by short-term evidence-based therapy; IAPT; professional bodies as state regulators of therapy, gatekeepers of training and employability; SCoPEd; Dept Work and Pensions’ use of psycho-compulsion; unpaid work by counsellors, psychotherapists, art therapists and group therapists; underpaid, overworked, deskilled gig economy for psy workers.

Conference Day 2: What Are We Going To Do about It?

How do we campaign for the social model of MH?; what kinds of collective political action will challenge neoliberal attacks on relational therapy?; how do we build alliances with service users, and support user-led initiatives?; campaigning against unpaid work; boycotting DWP psy work; organising our own bottom-up democratic professional organisations and trainings; working as therapists in communities; respecting and facilitating the psycommons; open-ended relational therapy for everyone, not just the well off.



And a conference jointly organised and presented by the

Association for Humanistic Psychology in Britain (AHPb) & Self HYPERLINK “”&HYPERLINK “” Society

with the Association for Humanistic Psychology Practitioners (AHPP)

and the HYPERLINK “”Independent Practitioners Network (IPN)


Engaging Our Hearts in Dangerous Times:

Contributions and Perspectives from Humanistic Psychology

Saturday 23rd November 2019 – 9.30am to 5.30pm

COST: full price £70; AHP, AHPP, IPN and Study Society members: £55; other usual concessions: £45


Professor Andrew Samuels:

“Embracing Risk in Psychotherapy and in Politics: We Are up against the Wall”

Lucy Scurfield:

“From Roots to Shoots: A Personal and Professional Journey with Heart”

Elena Manafi, PsychD:
“Riding the Wave of Someone Else’s Breakdown: The Unbearable Relatedness of Being”

Skeena Finebaum-Rathor:

“The Key Place of the Heart in Extinction Rebellion”

John Fletcher:

“Humanistic Psychotherapy for All – Wishful Thinking or a Realistic Ambition?”

Tim Broughton:

“Freeing the Body, Opening the Heart, and Clearing the Mind: The Five Rhythms movement practice of Gabrielle Roth”

Richard House, PhD: Conference Chair

Zohar Dina Glouberman, PhD: Conference Facilitator

Venue: We meet in the West Room, Colet House, home of The Study Society, a London-
based charity that offers practical, inclusive ways to find rest, stillness and meaning through Advaita Meditation, member discussion groups, Mevlevi Turning (whirling
dervishes), Poetry, Kirtan and Vedic chanting: address is: 151 Talgarth Rd, Hammersmith, London W14 9DA. The nearest tube station is Barons Court on the District and Piccadilly lines. See the map.

For booking links and further information, see the website:  

Booking on Eventbrite is here:



Newsletter compiled by Julia Evans ( )