Issue 63 â€¢ Summer 2016 ISSN 2049-4912
The maga zine of the UK Council for Psychother apy
Climate change and radical hope
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contents Feature articles Why the psychology of climate change? 4 Hope resides in mending the human heart and mind 7 Radical hope and catastrophe ethics 8 Four worlds and a broken stone 10 Dreaming as radical anticipation 12 Tim ‘Mac’ Macartney: in conversation 13 Let the right one in: talking about climate change in therapy 15 Everything and nothing: radical hope in a time of climate change 17 Policy and practice: developments in UKCP’s Humanistic and Integrative College 19 Discussion The spectrum of mysticism: a personal account 22 Why process is (almost) everything 25 UKCP news A new code of ethics for UKCP 27 UKCP ANNUAL REVIEW 2014/15 between pages 28–29 Third Annual UKCP Members’ Assembly 29 Towards high quality therapy on the NHS 30 My message in a bottle: thinking more collaboratively 32 The wrong side of the line 33 The UKCP Child and Adolescent Proficiency Marker 34 Digital Delivery Project update 35 Learning from complaints 36 Introducing alternative dispute resolution 38 A union for therapists 39 Helping clients deal with commercial disputes 40 Research in UKCP: brief reports 41–43 UKCP members Book reviews 44–46 Welcome to our new UKCP members 47
Diversity and equalities statement The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) promotes an active engagement with difference and therefore seeks to provide a framework for the professions of psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic counselling which allows competing and diverse ideas and perspectives on what it means to be human to be considered, respected and valued. UKCP is committed to addressing issues of prejudice and discrimination in relation to the mental wellbeing, political belief, gender and gender identity, sexual preference or
orientation, disability, marital or partnership status, race, nationality, ethnic origin, heritage identity, religious or spiritual identity, age or socioeconomic class of individuals and groups. UKCP keeps its policies and procedures under review in order to ensure that the realities of discrimination, exclusion, oppression and alienation that may form part of the experience of its members as well as of their clients are addressed appropriately. UKCP seeks to ensure that the practice of psychotherapy is utilised in the service of the celebration of human difference and diversity, and that at no time is psychotherapy used as a means of coercion or oppression of any group or individual.
UKCP's Annual Review 2014/15 is included as a pullout section between pages 28 and 29 Annual Review 2014 / 15
Despair about climate change 15
Developing sustainability policy 19
Editorial policy The Psychotherapist is published for UKCP members, to keep them informed of developments likely to impact on their practice and to provide an opportunity to share information and views on professional practice and topical issues. The contents of The Psychotherapist are provided for general information purposes and do not constitute professional advice of any nature. While every effort is made to ensure the content in The Psychotherapist is accurate and true, on occasion there may be mistakes and readers are advised not to rely on its content. The Editor and UKCP accept no responsibility or liability for any loss which may arise from
for the magazine about his vision for the future.
This latest issue of The Psychotherapist looks at the topical issue of climate change and its wider effects – the psychological impact.
In every issue we include an update on the progress on the Digital Delivery Project. We’re now at a stage of building the customer relationship management (CRM) database, you can read more on page 35.
It’s been a busy few months for events since the last issue, and we catch up with Andy Cottom and Margaret Ramage on the third annual UKCP Members’ Assembly on page 27, and hear from Brian Lindfield on the Learning from Complaints event (page 36).
udith Anderson and Chris Roberson have co-guest edited this issue on climate change. As Tree Staunton writes, discussions about climate change have been happening in UKCP for many years now and a small group of members are keen for UKCP to take things forward. This issue may help us do that.
It’s obviously very interesting thinking about climate change and in the current politically changing environment we find ourselves living in at the moment. We will have to wait and see where the political scene settles. There also has been change within UKCP, in March I stepped down as Chair of UKCP and handed over to Martin Pollecoff. On page 30, Martin pens his first article as UKCP Chair
We have been working hard to launch a new Child and Adolescent Proficiency Marker (page 34) and we are also asking to hear your views on the draft Code of Ethics on page 31. Finally, I hope you read and enjoy all the articles in this current issue.
Janet Weisz is the interim Chief Executive of UKCP and a psychotherapist and psychodynamic counsellor who has worked in the voluntary sector, public sector and private practice for over 20 years. As well as maintaining a private practice, she works in the NHS as part of multidisciplinary teams and has first-hand experience of the demanding pressures for change and evolution in the provision of psychological services – both in the public and private sector. Janet was elected Chair of UKCP in March 2012 and stepped down in March 2016. She was formerly the Chair of UKCP’s Colleges and Faculties Committee (CFC), where she guided the committee to enhance the collaboration between the colleges and faculties by maintaining cross-modality standards, considering approaches to diversity between the colleges, and approving college procedures for assessing organisational members’ re-accreditation processes, among many other activities. Janet was also chair of Council for Psychotherapists and Jungian Analysis (CPJA) for three years.
reliance on the information contained in The Psychotherapist.
Managing editor: Sandra Scott
From time to time The Psychotherapist may publish articles of a controversial nature. The views expressed are those of the author and not of the Editor or of UKCP.
Consulting Editors: Mary MacCallum Sullivan, Rachel Pollard, Karen Demsey
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Why the psychology of climate change? Co-editors of this issue of The Psychotherapist, Judith Anderson and Chris Robertson, encourage psychotherapists to contribute to a holding structure where we can face the threat of climate change and the concomitant loss of meanings together. In this way, they say, fresh meanings may be incubated of what it is to face reality and be human.
f, as a global society, we cannot reduce our carbon emissions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns of a 4°C rise1 in global warming over preindustrial levels by 2100. The UK’s Met Office research is more pessimistic: 4° by 2060. For a psychotherapist under 40 years of age, that means 4° in your lifetime, let alone the lifetime of your children and grandchildren. Neither calculation takes into account current changes in the Arctic: methane release from warming seas in the 361,400
1 For a good summary of the likely effects of global warming degree by degree, see Lynas M (2008). Six degrees. London: Harper Collins.
Judith Anderson chaired Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility for seven years and has been on the management group of the Climate Psychology Alliance since its inception. She is a Jungian analytical psychotherapist who lectures regularly on climate change, for example at the Royal Society of Medicine and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
square mile East Siberian Arctic Shelf and warming land hitherto gripped by permafrost, plus amplifying feedback mechanisms such as the loss of the reflective albedo effect as ice cover shrinks.
Psychological impact of climate change Last year, US psychiatrist and climate activist Lise Van Susteren co-authored a report on the psychological effects of climate change (Coyle and Van Susteren, 2015). This predicts that Americans will suffer ‘depressive and anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorders, substance abuse, suicides, and widespread outbreaks of violence’ in the face of rising temperatures,
Chris Robertson has been a psychotherapist and trainer since 1978 and is co-founder of Re-Vision, an integrative and transpersonal psychotherapy training centre. He contributed the chapter ‘Dangerous margins’ to the ecopsychology anthology Vital Signs, is co-author of Emotions and Needs, and of several articles including ‘The numinous psyche’ (IJP) and ‘Hungry ghosts’ (Self & Society). Chris has previously guestedited an issue of The Psychotherapist celebrating James Hillman.
extreme weather and scarce resources. She also coined the term ‘pre-traumatic stress disorder’ to describe the grief, anger and anxiety that is triggered when individuals are asked to look at the evidence of global warming. She thinks that counsellors and psychotherapists are not even close to recognising the intensity of the psychological impact. It may be the biggest symptom of unconscious process in humankind that psychotherapists could attend to. The hope generated from the intensity of the recent United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris has fallen rather flat since those heady days. For the first time, there is global agreement, an extraordinary achievement in itself, but there is no time for complacency: the ‘grown ups’ have not sorted it out for us. In its aftermath, George Monbiot wrote: ‘By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster’ (The Observer, 2015). There is a visible gap between the euphoria of the politicians and the depression of the activists. Bill McKibben made this clear when he tweeted: ‘This agreement won’t save the planet. It may have saved the chance to save the planet (if we all fight like hell in the years ahead)’. Climate scientists such as James Hansen have been extremely sceptical about actions that will ensue while fossil fuels are the cheapest. Politically, the attention of the world has rapidly moved on to other dramas such as EU migration and the Syrian war (which some argue are intimately connected with local climate crises). Meanwhile, the December 2015 floods in the UK, partly caused by climate change and predicted by the scientific community for years, underline the seriousness of the endeavour close to home.
Underlying cultural and social dynamics What are seldom addressed, and we hope to remedy the lack in this issue of The Psychotherapist, are the underlying cultural and social dynamics that shape and constrain people from acting in what rationally are their best interests. Some of these reasons are straightforward. We live in a world where the time horizon has shrunk dramatically. Politicians work to the short-term ends of their next election. Those surfing the internet have their
Collective denial perpetuated in our culture is a classic example of an unconscious complex at work attention spans measured in seconds. By contrast, climate change, as has been pointed out by George Marshall2 and others, is an apparently distant threat that is difficult to apprehend.
• There is anxiety that the damage is already too great to repair • There is felt to be not enough support and help to bear the anxiety and suffering that the knowledge of reality brings.
More challenging is Naomi Klein’s suggestion3 that the threat of climate crisis is a direct challenge to a consumer society based on a capitalist economic system that has used more natural resources in the past 50 years than in our species’ whole history, and has little concern for the loss of other species, deforestation or the rights of indigenous peoples. From within this system, how can renewables compete with fossil fuels when the former have huge partially hidden subsidies? Really grasping these underlying realities would ‘change everything’, she claims.
Confronting such issues is the subject of climate psychology, which seeks both to support psychotherapists facing clients’ distress clearly not belonging to their personal history and to participate in the urgent need to understand the cultural complexes that are preventing us from taking action to prevent our children, all the world’s children, inheriting an endangered and impoverished world.
Collective denial There are psychological dimensions to the apparent political impasse that require us to recognise unconscious processes in action. Once recognised, the collective denial perpetuated in our culture is a classic example of an unconscious complex at work. It invites psychotherapeutic processes to bring this to awareness on a collective level, rather than simply in the consulting room, although many symptoms of this cultural dysfunction appear in consulting rooms, such as ‘environmental melancholia ‘ researched by Renee Lertzman (2015). One aspect of the difficulties is clearly delineated by Sally Weintrobe who in Engaging with Climate Change (2013) distinguishes between denial and disavowal. Denial as negation occurs when we are still in some relationship to what is denied, a death or other loss, and where denial is part of a process that can travelled with support: ‘Negation denies but does not much distort the shape of what is denied.’ By contrast, disavowal is more pathological – a more fixed state where lies and distortions are present. It happens when: • Reality is too obvious to be simply denied by negation
We believe there is an urgent need for us to go on developing perspectives that include an awareness of the role of identities, emotions, values, conscious and unconscious meanings and defence mechanisms in all the reactions and nonreactions to the reality of climate change and other environmental catastrophes.
Radical Hope and Cultural Tragedy: a conference The articles in this issue of The Psychotherapist are mainly stimulated by, or describe, workshops from the conference Radical Hope and Cultural Tragedy,4 organised by the Climate Psychology Alliance5 (CPA) in 2015. In CPA’s endeavour to attend to the unconscious processes involved in the denial and disavowal of climate matters, we drew on ideas in Jonathan Lear’s book Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation (2008), in which he explores and applies the story of the leader of the indigenous Crow nation. Plenty Coups had a boyhood vision-quest dream of the buffalo disappearing. The dream was interpreted by the tribal elders as foretelling the destruction of their way of life as warrior hunters, leading to a profound loss of meaning and identity as a hunter warrior tribe. This apparently hopeless situation, which could easily have induced
4 www.climatepsychologyalliance.org/events/ our-past-events/17-radical-hope-and-culturaltragedy-report
feature article The ‘grown ups’ have not sorted it out for us despair, was turned around by Plenty Coups, who faced into the abyss of his tribal annihilation while being open to new vistas that included the white man. The hope was ‘radical’ because the Crow needed to be true to themselves and yet a transformation of their culture was required beyond their imaginings. In Lear’s words, ‘radical hope … is aiming for a subjectivity that is at once Crow and does not yet exist’. He adds: ‘Plenty Coups’ story raises profound ethical questions that transcend his time and challenge us all: how should one face the possibility that one’s culture might collapse?’ Facing climate change calls for us to aim for a human subjectivity true to ourselves yet involving a transformation of our culture beyond our imaginings.
Ferocious tenderness Jay Griffiths, the first keynote speaker6 at the conference and author of Wild: An Elemental Journey (2008) opened with an eloquent, impassioned evocation of the richness of indigenous knowledge, often raped and besmirched by colonialist endeavours. Land is, by contrast, mind medicine. She proposed that we behave as if the pseudo-climate of economic policy and profit must remain stable at all costs, instead of the needs of the real climate. In the context of neglecting our kinship with the futures of our children and grandchildren, and all species, she called for kindness, that cannot bear extinction and fights despair with ferocious love. She reminded us that if the world warms by 4°, we lose 85 per cent of the rainforest; even 2°, seen by many as unavoidable, kills off 20 to 40 per cent. Given the crucial role played by the rainforest in regulating our climate (the Amazon forest alone stores half the world’s rainwater), this would contribute to global disaster; such would be the cultural loss, we would ‘kill pity, crack down on kindness, pour mercury over metaphor’. The devastation would, she said, be the equivalent of bulldozing the sculptures of Rodin, burning the entire Oxford English Dictionary, napalming the Berlin Philharmonic.
6 www.youtube.com/channel/ UCWYhT123IX3LdLGiXZ1pSBw
Active hope: cultivating inspired responses to planetary crisis Chris Johnstone, psychiatrist, coach and our second keynote speaker, gave a taster of the ideas in his book Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy, co-authored with Joanna Macey (Macy and Johnstone, 2012). After inviting the 90-strong audience to register the extent of their concern about the state of the Earth (very strong) and how well-developed we perceive the state of our collective response (weak), he suggested that to recover from hopelessness we need to be ‘nourished, energised, empowered and inspired to act for life on Earth’, and led us through a series of moving exercises where we were encouraged to acknowledge our gratitude for what supports us in life, and then speak of what aches or breaks our heart when we consider the condition of the world. Seeing through these eyes of gratitude and compassion, we were then invited to identify what purpose might be acting through us, and what visible expression there could be of this purpose manifesting itself in the next seven days.
Radical hope and working with the end of meaning Meaning-making is very much part of what we do as psychotherapists, and so often this is a painstaking endeavour, especially if it has been absent before in someone’s life. So, when hope is absent and the situation evokes despair – even the complete loss of meaning such as confronted by Plenty Coups when his culture was devastated – there may seem no way to respond. It may be a case of waiting for something that does not yet exist: ‘waiting without hope’, as TS Elliot described in The Waste Land. Rather than hope as an escapist delusion, let us draw on this capacity as psychotherapists to bear the awfulness of a situation and bring a radical hope to the environmental crises we face. And we will need to look through the window/mirror of our consulting room and utilise these tools in a wider collective context. Taking ourselves outside the consulting room is not just ‘outdoor therapy’, but away from our comfort zones into the very many multidisciplinary discourses about climate change.
The articles in this issue of The Psychotherapist exemplify the possibilities of work inside and outside the therapy space. Paul Hoggett writes of social dreaming, Sarah Deco describes the use of story, Sally Weintrobe brings some personal reflections, Chris Robertson and Richard Wainwright describe the experience of practically facing into catastrophe, and Adrian Tait shares his impressions of an interview with Mac Macartney, an inspired and inspiring leader figure in the field. Nick Totton adds to these his reflections on how climate change comes into the consulting room. In addition, Tony Cartwright reflects on the theme of radical hope, bringing a longer, thoughtful transpersonal perspective. Tree Staunton’s article shows how one UKCP college has developed crucial guidelines in this field. All our psychotherapeutic and personal skills are desperately needed to contribute to a containing structure in which we can face the collapse of happenings and a terrifying loss of meanings that is more than personal, where denial and disavowal thrive. Through this holding, fresh meanings may be incubated of what it is to face reality and be human. As Lear says: ‘It is one thing to dance as if nothing has happened; it is another to acknowledge that something singularly awful has happened – the collapse of happenings – and then decide to dance.’
References Coyle KJ and Van Susteren L (2015). The psychological effects of global warming on the United States, and why the US mental health care system is not adequately prepared: www.nwf.org/ pdf/Reports/Psych_Effects_Climate_Change_ Full_3_23.pdf Griffiths J (2008). Wild: an elemental journey. Penguin. Lear J (2008). Radical hope: ethics in the face of cultural devastation. Harvard University Press. Lertzman R (2015). Environmental melancholia: psychoanalytic dimensions of engagement. Routledge. Macy J and Johnstone C (2012). Active hope: how to face the mess we’re in without going crazy. New World Library. The Observer: 13 December 2015. Weintrobe S (2013). ‘The difficult problem of anxiety in thinking about climate change’. In S Weintrobe (ed) Engaging with climate change: psychoanalytic and interdisciplinary perspectives. Routledge.
Hope resides in mending the human heart and mind True hope can overcome personal anger, frustration, despair and grief and become stronger and more resilient, says Sally Weintrobe
enuine hope, unlike false hope, is a trusted steadfast belief, strengthened by the part of us that cares, that we will find a way to face things truthfully. This brings difficult feelings and moral challenges, and we can find ourselves stuck at times. Here is a personal example.
Complacency and disavowal During an enjoyable evening with friends, I said that we had recently lit a bonfire. One friend said, ‘What about the carbon?’ I lost my temper with him. He knows that I struggle to keep my personal emissions down. These friends had just talked of their plans to fly long distance on holiday. I had not lost my temper in this kind of way before. I asked, how come I was required to account for my emissions, even small ones, and not them? I said I never challenged them on their personal carbon choices and that I felt he’d put me under a spotlight they avoided. He said yes, indeed, but he was teasing me. He conveyed that he thought I’d lost my sense of humour. This was true, but I felt that his teasing came from a place embedded in cultural complacency and disavowal about the seriousness of climate change. I asked him what he thought about the current climate situation. He thought the situation was hopeless. Perhaps he was in disavowal, but he would be carrying on with life as usual. Perhaps I was suffering from major disappointment that people were not changing. He asked whether we could
continue the conversation later. Maybe I could face my disappointment more easily and he could become more engaged in climate change.
Facing disappointment He was spot on about the unacknowledged force of my disappointment. It had been slowly building up as a result of many interchanges with different friends. I had hoped they would step up more, fight for change, and be more reflective and responsible about their carbon choices.
Sally Weintrobe works as a psychoanalyst and is a fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society. She writes and talks on our engagement with climate change, including editing and contributing to Engaging with Climate Change: Psychoanalytic and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (2012).
Facing my disappointment brought huge sadness. Was I mourning an illusion that people could change for the better? Had my hopes for change been Pollyannaish? Or was I simply more emotionally in touch with my feelings about our culture of uncare (Weintrobe, 2014)? I did not know. As my anger abated and gave way to sadness and grieving, a sense of hope began to resurface. I felt more open to what would happen, for better or worse, and more aware that I did not know what would happen. I felt a new freedom to talk about climate change in social situations and more open to people’s views, particularly those I disagreed with.
Culture of uncare This and many other interactions with friends led me to reflect on my own disavowal. I think I had been underestimating the force of our culture of uncare to influence how people collectively
feature article think – and this despite my intellectual awareness of its force. Here I felt its force more, and this left me full of grief. I think when I feel without hope I am in the state described by psychoanalyst Hanna Segal (2006): It is when the world within us is destroyed, when it is dead and loveless, when our loved ones are in fragments, and we ourselves in helpless despair – it is then that we must recreate our world anew, reassemble the pieces, infuse life into dead fragments, recreate life. Recreating my inner world, and with it my sense of hope, involved my mourning illusion and accepting reality. It also involved confronting my own disavowal. Had I needed my friends to change so I could feel better? If so, that would be a magical ‘quick fix’ to stave off my need to grieve.
A small stone of hope I had eclipsed a more generous part of me that could let go, grieve, allow people their otherness, give them more credit, and be open to what might happen. This caring part had become a dead and loveless fragment. Hope comes with accepting reality and mourning illusion. In this process, hope itself becomes altered. Martin Luther King (1963) talked of turning a mountain of despair into a small stone of hope. With my anger, frustration and then despair having given way to grief, I and my sense of hope felt harder and flintier, more stone-like, but in a good and serviceable way. My will felt strengthened. Things felt more repaired in a genuine way in my inner world. Hope is fed by keeping faith that we can relate to something good within us. This sustains our will to face reality. This relating involves hard, ongoing, felt work.
References King, ML (1963). ‘I have a dream’. Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, 28 August. Segal H (2006). Psychoanal Psychother, September, 20: 115–121. Weintrobe S (2014). ‘The culture of uncare’. Bob Gosling Memorial Lecture, Bridge Foundation for Psychotherapy and the Arts: www.sallyweintrobe.com/29-nov-2014-theculture-of-uncare-bob-gosling-memoriallecture/
Radical hope and catastrophe ethics Chris Robertson and Richard Wainwright, workshop leaders at CPA’s conference Radical Hope and Cultural Tragedy, describe practically facing into catastrophe
Feeling radical Chris Robertson Preparing for the workshop On the train to Bristol on the morning of the conference, Richard and I were feeling radical. We had sketched out a brief plan of the workshop, but if we were to be true to the nature of life and death decisions at times of crisis, maybe that was a crutch. Perhaps it is easy to be brave when you are not actually in the crisis; maybe we could simply trust something bigger than us, inviting us to be fully in without a life raft. We noted that the scheduled time for the workshop was much too short for the theme. Perhaps that was right. It offered a parallel process with attempting to understand something of the psychology of a pending
Chris Robertson has been a psychotherapist and trainer since 1978 and is co-founder of Re-Vision, an integrative and transpersonal psychotherapy training centre. He contributed the chapter ‘Dangerous margins’ to the ecopsychology anthology Vital Signs, is co-author of Emotions and Needs, and of several articles including ‘The numinous psyche’ (IJP) and ‘Hungry ghosts’ (Self & Society). Chris is on the management committee of the Climate Psychology Alliance and is particularly interested in the integration of ecopsychology in psychotherapy.
crisis. Events around the world – terrorist attacks, violent social upheavals and natural catastrophes such as tsunamis and species extinctions – have left us with an uncanny sense of menace. We seem to be aware of a shared vulnerability that we cannot quite name. Time is short when we are blind to threats that challenge our cultural precepts. Such invisible assumptions guide our everyday thoughts and actions. We may glimpse them if we return home from a radically different culture. I can remember the shock of coming back from India in the early 1970s and going into a gents whose gleaming white tiled floor was cleaner than anything I had eaten off for several months.
Thoughts on collapse Jonathan Lear (2008 ) drew on the Crow chief, Plenty Coups, to imagine the kinds of resources and ethical values that would be needed for the Crow to adapt to a new way of life after their traditional way of life had collapsed. There were many facets of this collapse, most pertinently stated by Plenty Coups as: [W]hen the buffalo went away the hearts of my people fell to the ground, and they could not lift them up again. After this, nothing happened. This is not a literal statement. It reflects the inability to make sense of what is happening while the very vehicles of meaning-making become defunct. Courage, so valued traditionally in fighting other tribes, now threatened their very existence. Adapting required facing into the collapse, despite it going against so many of their values. This facing into the collapse is one thing that our escapist culture is set against. In our case, it is not just the literal collapse of no water and no fuel but the collapse of what fuels our consuming thoughts. There is a strong parallel between societies facing collapse after
feature article Catastrophe ruptures the cycle of destruction and reparation
depleting resources, the limits of planetary sinks and the psyche using old maintaining cycles despite its own failure of resourcing. More simply put, this is denial and a refusal of cultural vulnerability.
obviously playful, we were, especially at the start of the sculpt, inviting play. Winnicott (1971) explores such transitional phenomena in his account of the location of cultural experience. He writes:
Psychotic patients who are all the time hovering between living and not living force us to look at this problem, one that really belongs not to psycho-neurotics but to all human beings. I am claiming that these same phenomena that are life and death to our schizoid or borderline patients appear in our cultural experiences. It is these cultural experiences that provide the continuity in the human race that transcends personal existence.
In the workshop we invited participants to remember a time that had seemed catastrophic and when they had felt unable to think of any helpful solution – a time with no future or an empty future, a potential remembering of a nothing happening. We dropped into the presence of the unspeakable: the dread of the void, the abyss. Strangely, the sharing of these horrors touched into poignant intimacy.1 We witnessed a falling apart together. As leaders, how could we honour this without making it better – without resort to ‘hope for the wrong thing’, as TS Eliot describes escapist hope? An unforeseen group sculpt emerged that allowed an embodied deepening: a melding of the grief and pain at the losses with a transformational sense of being held, a new possibility of meaning. Although not
1 See Richard’s account of how this was mediated through writing below.
maintains personal continuity. In this sense, hope becomes radical because it is contingent on surrender. Plenty Coups’ radical hope had instigated a cultural intervention for his Crow nation. It involved accepting a tragic destruction of their way of life as a means to imagining a new future. This required enormous courage to relinquish the old values and, through a traditional reading of his dream vision, not just imagine a future but enact it. His story offers us an apposite revisioning of an archetype in our own culture, that of the death and rebirth of the hero, but cast at a cultural level rather than that of the individual.
Hope becomes radical This implies that we should not pathologise those who suffer failures of functioning in our manic culture (depression being a paradigm example) but rather regard their symptoms as harbingers of that borderland transition we may be refusing to experience. It is staggering that despite clear evidence that we need to drastically reduce our carbon emissions, we are allowing them to increase. The continuity of the human race may require a surrender of our personal sense of existence – our ego identity, what we know and predict that
An enjoyable and moving experience Richard Wainwright I am offering a modest alternative rendering of our workshop from a different position than that embodied by Chris. My view is limited to the experience of approaching and conducting something that we found both enjoyable and moving.
feature article Recognition of vulnerability to apprehensions and fears we can’t quite name certainly informed our invitation to remember a time that was experienced as catastrophic in the sense of feeling blank to everything else for days, weeks or months: a time when ‘nothing happened’. Each person was given a blank card to remember such a time and was encouraged to write from the sense of what it felt like – to feel free to evoke the experience in words which helped them re-enter it rather than merely report it. In other words, to feel free not to leave themselves linguistically bereaved in the re-encounter with a life-changing experience of bereavement, betrayal, disillusionment or whatever constituted the sense of a catastrophe.
The experience of writing The move from writing to engaging in reflective exchanges with others was carefully considered. Participants were invited to reflect on the experience of the writing rather than disclosing directly what the writing addressed and evoked. Respect for the privacy of self-experience was essential to establishing the conditions of a facilitating environment in which trust could emerge and flourish through shared reflections on acts of writing from experience. The freedom from intrusion could be used, as it was used, to reflect on the wider political and cultural context which actively stifles and desensitises us to our potentials for experience through the subversive agency of life-threatening banality. Such acts of creative collaboration, otherwise known as conversations, offer refreshment to ordinary speech by claiming a holiday (holy day) from the linguistic
Richard Wainwright is a Jungian analyst (AJA) and psychoanalytic psychotherapist (FPC) practising in London. He has been supervising and teaching with the Kiev Developing Group since 2008. Having given many presentations internationally on relationships between theatre and analysis, he is at last preparing a book drawing on his experiences of practice in both.
banality of our collective political and cultural scene and its undoubted power to anaesthetise us to the ubiquity of its threat. In this sense, they can be thought about as countercultural acts. The process of reflection on both parts of the exercise in the whole group allowed for an acknowledgement of vulnerabilities and apprehensions that are difficult to name or articulate without the welcoming atmosphere of conviviality. A number of people spoke of their surprise at discovering that what had been so difficult to name, let alone articulate, could now be not only remembered but spoken about, and spoken about in words, phrases and sentences that could bring both speaker and listener to an unexpected sense of their aliveness.
In-formed and re-formed The move from speech to movement in the form of a sculpt was a move that allowed participants to explore and negotiate non-verbally where to place themselves and, at the same time, allowed them to be placed in relation to a changing structure receptive to the process of being in-formed and re-formed by a changing situation in which they were all players. It felt like a creative answering to the motion in emotion evoked by shared experiences of catastrophe remembered with another and others. One of the participants, a writer, confided that the workshop had enabled her to find an unexpected way into writing her ‘way into climate change’: she could begin to feel her way into it now. Catastrophe ruptures the cycle of destruction and reparation. If destruction continues without redress, reparation is vulnerable to becoming unimaginable. The notion of radical hope, as embodied by Plenty Coups and reflectively elaborated by Jonathan Lear, is surely predicated on the possibility of countercultural acts of finding new and shared ways of reclaiming the human. That is where the new shoots might spring from.
References Lear J (2008). Radical hope: ethics in the face of cultural devastation. Harvard University Press. Winnicott D (1971). Playing and reality. London: Routledge, London, 1991, 100.
Four worlds and a broken stone Sara Deco uses a Hopi creation myth to explore contemporary attitudes and feelings about a changing world The future can’t be predicted but it can be envisioned and brought lovingly into being. Donella Meadows Four worlds and a broken stone is a Hopi Native American creation myth (McCaughrean, 1998). I chose it as a vehicle for exploring ‘radical hope’ in the context of climate change for two reasons. First, because it starts from the beginning – with the ‘invisible creator’ and the first world of ‘endless space’ – and ends, after four imperfect worlds rise and fall, with the image of a perfect fifth world, which is eternal. Placing ourselves within the epic story of our species gives us a broadness of scale and helps us encompass the
Sarah Deco is a group analyst and art therapist with over 30 years’ experience in the NHS and as a freelance consultant, supervisor and therapist. She is also a professional storyteller, and her work as a facilitator and group therapist includes the use of art, creative writing and storytelling. She is a member of the management committee of the CPA and a member of the Institute of Group Analysis and the British Association of Art Therapists. www.sarahdeco.org
feature article enormity of what we now face. The second reason I chose this story is that its imagery is rich, haunting and enigmatic. Whatever will help us think new thoughts about this predicament we as a species find ourselves in, I believe it will be multilayered and multifaceted, poetry rather than prose, story rather than facts.
Shame, reassurance or containment The response to the telling of Four worlds and a broken stone was vivid and varied. For some it provoked a sense of shame at being human; for others the description of an enduring perfect world brought a sense of reassurance; for others the experience of being told a story evoked childhood memories and a sense of containment. Stories like this take each of us where we individually need to go. These ancient stories, well-trodden paths, have lost anything unessential, anything that doesn’t serve their purpose. They are maps of how to live a human life, gently and poetically pointing out the potential wrong turns. They do not give us specific instructions, but leave us to interpret the signs in the way we need and arrive at the thought or destination we personally need to find. Exploring this imagery through poetry and discussion, and through playing with words, as we did in the workshop, makes space for new connections and perhaps gives us new language to describe what before seemed indescribable.
A background of uncertainty and change Jay Griffiths in her talk ‘Ferocious tenderness’,1 talked of the ‘overarching sky’, of the natural world, and how we rely on this as a constant. It is, or has been, the story without end, whose certainty and apparent eternity contains all the smaller stories of our lives and allows them to be lived confident of the ground on which we stand. But this has changed: our individual stories are now being played out against a backdrop of uncertainty and change. To really understand our individual stories, they have to be understood as belonging under the ‘overarching sky’ of the collective story, and we have now not just an environmental crisis but also a ‘story crisis’.
1 www.youtube.com/channel/ UCWYhT123IX3LdLGiXZ1pSBw
Stories like this take each of us where we individually need to go As a species, we sit on a cliff-edge, but our awareness of our perilous position is not uniform. While some are staring straight down the abyss, others are unaware there is any interruption in the road ahead and blithely push on forward, irritated by those who are attempting to hold up the traffic. That cliff could be a point of transformation, as for many individuals an illness, a terminal diagnosis, becomes the turning point when they grasp life and begin to truly live it.
deeply comforting and reassuring. But there is more than that to the reassuring quality of stories. Once we tell a story, of our own lives, we are in a relationship to the events of our lives. It changes everything.
A state close to dreaming
We are beginning haltingly to tell the story of what it means to be alive here and now, in this extraordinary moment in history. Immersing ourselves in our story heritage is another tool to help us steer our way through this perilous time.
Listening to stories, especially myths and folktales, evokes a particular state of mind. It is a state, close to dreaming, in which we link to an inner ‘world wide web’, experiencing a sense of connectedness to each other, our ancestors, the whole network of living beings, and the unfolding of history. We are story-making creatures. Being listeners and tellers of stories is a fundamental part of our humanity. Being told a bedtime story by a loving parent is
As psychotherapists, we are well aware of the unconscious fictions people live by and how destructive these can be. Rebecca Solnit (2013) reminds us: ‘We think we tell stories, but often stories tell us.’
References McCaughrean G (1998). 100 world myths and legends. Orion. Solnit R (2013). The faraway nearby. Viking.
Dreaming as radical anticipation Paul Hoggett suggests that dreams are a helpful way of exploring and navigating our way through the challenge of climate change
reams subvert the binary logic of western culture, opening up new possibilities for understanding. Jonathan Lear examines this use of dreams by the Crow nation when faced with the end of their way of life. In his book, Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation, Lear (2008) shows how Crow society, faced by the onslaught of western civilization, used dreams to struggle with the intelligibility of events that lay on the horizon of their ability to understand.
Putting dreams back on the map Dreams have been used by traditional societies such as the Crow as a source of social intelligence since ancient times. By contrast, modernised societies lost access to their dreamlife, except through the work of poets and artists. While Freud and Jung put dreams back on the map, their understanding of the connection between dreams and society was limited. But their influence has been sufficient to provoke a revived interest in dreams over the past century, one that has also led to an interest in the social nature of dreams. One of the landmarks in this process was the work undertaken by Charlotte Beradt (1985) on the dreamlife of ordinary German citizens in the period from 1933 after the Nazis came to power. Beradt notes the way in which dreams offer the capacity to anticipate aspects of the future; they can act
A form of collective working through of what was beyond the conscious imagination Through their dreams, Beradt’s respondents ‘spoke’ about things that couldn’t easily be thought about, let alone talked about. They were a form of collective working through of what was beyond the conscious imagination of German citizens.
The social dreaming matrix
Beradt’s work had an important influence on Gordon Lawrence (2005) at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations. Lawrence argued that many dreams may be properly thought of as belonging to the group rather than the individual, and that these social dreams can be accessed using methods of collective free association. Lawrence developed a methodology he called the ‘social dreaming matrix’ for doing this.
is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and member of the Severnside Institute for Psychotherapy. Formerly Professor of Social Policy at UWE, his last book was Politics, Identity and Emotion (2009). He is Chair of the Climate Psychology Alliance.
as harbingers. Beradt’s dreamers were able to ‘foresee’ in their dreams phenomena that only became ‘actual’ under Nazism years later – notices saying ‘Jews unwelcome’ in restaurants, mass internal deportations, Kristallnacht, laws regulating Jewish use of shops, restrictions on travel, etc.
So why not deploy this methodology to explore the unconscious resonances of the greatest social issue of our time, the challenge of climate change? With a colleague, Penny Maclellan, we started an initiative we called ‘Haunted by the future’ in Bristol. A total of 12 individuals participated in five monthly social dreaming matrices. Most people contributed dreams and everyone contributed to the streams of free associations that followed the dreams. We hadn’t anticipated how quickly the group would become a source of support and meaning for some individuals. Some participants, including myself, found that once a place had been created to contain dreams about climate change, they seemed to proliferate spontaneously in one’s dreamlife.
Once a place had been created to contain dreams about climate change, they seemed to proliferate spontaneously in one’s dreamlife Certain themes began to appear in the collective dreaming. Abandoned infants, aborted babies, monstrous births and distressed, postmenopausal but pregnant women began to haunt the group’s dreams,
for example, followed by floods of associations. At one level, these dreams seemed to be about our anxieties regarding the vulnerability of life. At a deeper level, they expressed our anxieties about the carrying capacity of ‘Mother Earth’. The various animals in our associations also embodied a vitality, a life force, which seemed to stand alongside this vulnerability.
Sharing our worst imaginations Our dreams made present our anxiety, fear and guilt but also our love and hope. The sometimes terrifying, often visceral, quality to the dreams presented us with the worst our imaginations could summon but also provided us with a means of sharing and bearing this. Sally Gillespie (2013) found something very like this with a similar group she organised in Sydney, Australia; this enabled people to face the worst. At the Radical Hope conference, Penny and I discussed our experience of ‘Haunted by the future’ and then ran an hour-long social dreaming matrix for those attending the workshop.
Our dreams made present our anxiety, fear and guilt, but also our love and hope Returning to the Crow, Lear illustrates how through dreams, and one dream in particular, the Crow found what they needed to navigate their way through what seemed like an impossible situation. Climate change now confronts western civilization in the same way that this civilization once confronted the Crow.
References Beradt C (1985). The Third Reich of Dreams: the nightmares of a nation, 1933-39. Aquarian Press. Gillespie S (2013). ‘Climate change and psyche: conversations with and through dreams’. International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 7(13). Lawrence G (2005). Introduction to social dreaming: transforming thinking. Karnac. Lear J (2008). Radical hope: ethics in the face of cultural devastation. Harvard University Press.
Tim ‘Mac’ Macartney: in conversation Adrian Tait meets Mac Macartney at his base in Embercombe, Devon, where he runs a wide-ranging programme of courses on ecology and sustainability
im, better known as ‘Mac’, Macartney falls into no conventional professional category and lays no claim to being a psychotherapist but, from an ecopsychology perspective, he is doing powerful and groundbreaking work. Ecopsychology cries out to the psychotherapy world for attention, as our anthropocentric culture holds us blindfolded on a sinking ship and anthropocentric therapies rearrange the deckchairs thereon.
The central theme of hope Macartney’s book Finding Earth, Finding Soul (2007) is remarkable in the way it weaves ideas, autobiography and project journal together to provide guidance to those of us who are striving for a way of living in the world as it is, in awareness of the ecocidal process that is going on all around us and in which we’re all implicated. A central theme is that of hope, which made Mac a natural choice for the Climate Psychology Alliance event, Radical Hope and Cultural Tragedy. But
Adrian Tait practised, taught and supervised as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, in the NHS and privately, from 1987 until 2013. He organised and chaired the 2009 UWE conference Facing Climate Change, and is a co-founder and Honorary Secretary of the Climate Psychology Alliance. He also coordinates a Transition initiative in Somerset and is actively involved in collaborative work towards a sustainable future for the Somerset Levels.
the book (like that event) frames hope very much in terms of a question, as illustrated by this quote from Carl Jung’s The Undiscovered Self (1958): [A] mood of universal destruction and renewal … has set its mark on our age. This mood makes itself felt everywhere, politically, socially and philosophically. We are living in what the Greeks called Kairos – the right moment – for a ‘metamorphosis of the gods’, of the fundamental principles and symbols. The peculiarity of our time, which is certainly not of our conscious choosing, is the expression of the unconscious man within us who is changing. Coming generations will have to take account of this momentous transformation if humanity is not to destroy itself through the might of its own technology and science … So much is at stake and so much depends on the psychological constitution of modern man … Does the individual know that [she] he is the makeweight that tips the scales?
I feel a strong resonance between Mac’s idea of authenticity and Winnicott’s notion of true and false self Taking responsibility Macartney clearly views the rhetorical question at the end of this quote as a vital one. He is keenly aware of the pass-theparcel game in our culture when it comes to taking responsibility for the devastating consequences of our high-carbon lifestyles, of the consumerist paradigm of wellbeing, of the dissociation of urban living (in particular) from the cyclical nature of our planetary
feature article systems. The subtitle of his book is ‘The invisible path to authentic leadership’. I have not asked him whether he has had contact with Winnicott’s thinking, but I feel a strong resonance between his idea of authenticity and the latter’s notion of true and false self. Macartney lives his approach to leadership. In preparation for our conversation, I visited him at Embercombe, a 50-acre Devonshire smallholding where he oversees a programme of courses, in a setting where people can engage with nature and the challenge of sustainable living up close and personal. The courses cover a range of needs, objectives and age groups, linking to school and inner city programmes, corporate management, as well as venue provision for NGOs with compatible objectives. Therapy and training interweave in this programme.
Finding the genius One of Mac’s comments about the ethos of Embercombe was: ‘Our work is about helping people across the threshold of grief, and anger, towards effective action’. His approach to leadership is built on a
principle explained in the book, namely that our appointed or elected leaders are bound to fail, for a time, because they have been shaped in a system that is itself failing. He comes up with the radical, subversive and hopeful view that his courses are designed to find the little bit of genius that life has implanted in each of us. There is a connection here with the Transition movement, also with Sara Parkin, founder Director of Forum for the Future and author of The Positive Deviant – Sustainability Leadership in a Perverse World (2010). The conversation ranged widely. Perhaps the subject evoking liveliest engagement was Mac’s corporate consultancy work. He did not dismiss the central role of the business world in creating the predicament in which we find ourselves, but his counterpoints were that there is a high level of responsiveness in that world to changes in public awareness, a genuine desire for responsible leadership and access to high-quality information about global realities.
It was a challenge to devise a conversation around a project that I had experienced as a kind of intricate gestalt. But there was a feeling in the room of a shared experience that would lodge in the minds of those present. Mac’s work is, in my view, a powerful expression of what Chris Johnstone and Joanna Macy call ‘active hope’ (2012), in that he devotes his attributes, energy and resources to ecological and planetary awareness with the utmost commitment. This does not give immunity from pessimism, but in a certain sense it renders both pessimism and optimism irrelevant to how we live our lives.
References Jung CG (1958). The undicovered self. Routledge Classics. Macartney T (2007). Finding earth, finding soul: the invisible path to authentic leadership. Green Books. Macy J and Johnstone C (2012). Active hope: how to face the mess we’re in without going crazy. New World Library. Parkin S (2010). The positive deviant: sustainability leadership in a perverse world. Routledge. Winnicott DW (1965). ‘Ego distortion in terms of true and false self’. In The maturational process and the facilitating environment: studies in the theory of emotional development. New York: International Universities Press.
Embercombe [is] a 50-acre Devonshire smallholding where he oversees a programme of courses, in a setting where people can engage with nature and the challenge of sustainable living up close and personal 14
Let the right one in: talking about climate change in therapy Despair about climate change and the world’s ecology is already with us in the therapy room, says Nick Totton. We need to acknowledge this and welcome it in
n the middle of a quiet session, and apropos of nothing in particular, a client murmurs, ‘After all ... with the world the way it is at the moment’, and lapses back into silence.
Nick Totton is founder of Wild Therapy. He has worked as a therapist, supervisor, trainer and workshop leader since 1981, and developed his own integrative approach to psychotherapy. Nick offers workshops and seminars on a range of themes, including embodiment, ecopsychology and the politics of psychotherapy, and is the founder and a member of the training team for postgraduate training in embodied-relational therapy. He lives and sees clients in St Blazey, Cornwall. www.nicktotton.net
My response will of course depend entirely on the wider context of our work together, and on my intuitive reaction to the client’s cue. But I am pretty sure it is a cue: the client wants to introduce a topic into our work, and is hesitant because of an unsureness as to how welcome this will be. They are hoping for some sign of openness in me. Openness to what? Well, my best chance of finding out is probably to invite them to say more: ‘The world the way it is at the moment ..?’
The way the world is Replies that I have had over the last few years include ‘the financial crisis’, ‘the refugee crisis’, ‘all these wars’, and many more. Quite often, though, what the client wants (and doesn’t want) to talk about is the ecological crisis: the very high probability that our planet will suffer – is already beginning to suffer – major climate change, rising sea levels, mass extinctions, huge population losses. So why on earth might someone think that this is not a topic that would be welcome in the therapy room?
One important reason is that it is effectively taboo in most of daily life. Starting to talk about climate change and ecological crisis in an average social situation is equivalent to emitting a loud and smelly fart. One can make ‘jokes’ about global warming, but talking about it seriously is unacceptable. It’s too much of an interruption, too frightening. This situation is supported by most of the mass media, partly for the same reason and partly because something which keeps happening continuously over a long period is ‘not news’.
Taboo topics welcome But, after all, therapy is (or so therapists claim) a place where otherwise taboo topics are welcome. We can talk about our weirdest sexual fantasies, our murderous impulses, our shameful secrets. Why not climate change? I suggest there are several overlapping answers. To start with, although Andrew Samuels (1993) began arguing in the 1980s that political topics should be part of the therapeutic conversation, this is still by no means universally accepted. There are many practitioners who will automatically, dogmatically, look for the personal material ‘behind’ a client’s political concerns. As I put it in an earlier article (Totton, 2012a):
feature article Most of us are overwhelmed on a daily basis If the client brings material from the wider social and political situations within which the work is happening, the therapist may very often speak in such a way as to strip the material of this context, to reinterpret it as purely personal and autobiographical in meaning. For example, if the client speaks of their opposition to the Iraq invasion, the therapist may respond by speaking of the client’s childhood experience of violence, or their need to oppose authority. The client talks about the government, and the therapist replies about their mother. The client talks about the scars of their working-class upbringing, and the therapist replies – as someone reported to me recently – ‘When are you going to stop letting that define you?’
Reductionist assumptions Sometimes, of course – perhaps frequently – there is a useful element of truth in these connections. But what I think is not at all useful is a reductionist assumption that the personal, familial, infantile resonances are necessarily the most relevant or important. A client who gets treated in this way – as many do – will either leave therapy or learn pretty quickly what they are and are not supposed to talk about. So this is the first reason why a client may be reluctant to introduce their feelings about climate change. Another reason, of course, which applies to a lot of political issues, is that they may not feel confident about the therapist’s own views. Climate change denial is, after all, still seen as intellectually respectable in many circles (and I know at least one therapist who is a denier). Again, this is only one of many issues where client and therapist could potentially clash; and a client may well doubt the therapist’s, or their own, ability to make such a clash into the useful and satisfying experience that it could potentially be.
Sharing the pain I have also had the experience of discovering a client’s wish to protect me from the pain they have experienced around environmental damage. They didn’t know whether I had personally opened myself to this terrifying news, and they didn’t want to be the one to make me do so. I was deeply touched by this, but
also disheartened that I hadn’t managed sufficiently to communicate my robustness. But then, which of us is truly able to withstand the emotional impact of this issue? My client and I ended up feeling that we could share the pain together. But this brings me to what is perhaps the central issue: overwhelm (Totton, 2012b). Most of us in contemporary society are overwhelmed on a daily basis, on the edge of being unable to cope, to do what we have to do and process what we have to process, while also handling our internal emotional states. We are deeply distressed and struggling to cope, and we bring this distress to environmental issues just as we do to everything else. Hence, for large numbers of people, it is not climate change itself that appears a threat, but news of climate change that threatens to break into their fragile bubble of emotional survival. They respond to this news as mammals respond to an overwhelming threat to survival: with dissociation.
Engaging in activism This makes it hard for clients to raise concerns about climate change for two reasons: because they find it overwhelming, and because the therapist also finds it overwhelming. It is all too easy to give out subtle cues to clients that the issue is unwelcome, especially since a large part of them doesn’t want to talk about it anyway. If we are to help clients process their feelings about these issues, we need to process our own feelings: a long, painful and complex business, which is greatly eased by engaging in some sort of activism – not because we expect to change the world, but to try to acknowledge reality and do what we can. In 1980, the International Psychoanalytic Association passed by a large majority a resolution against nuclear war. This was the end result of a long period of internal campaigning and disagreement (Totton, 2000). The Association rejected the idea of a resolution against war in general, which claimed that ‘analysts are pacifists’, but agreed to a clause arguing that ‘as psychoanalysts we have something special to contribute: a statement that we all have a tendency to deny painful realities’ (The eminent analyst Robert Wallerstein commented: ‘If there is ever a nuclear war, there would no longer exist the possibility
for psychoanalysis to ever be practised again.’)
A powerful message For therapy organisations to make equivalent statements about the ecological crisis and climate change would probably not affect the outcome very much. However, it would send a powerful message to both clients and practitioners that the issue, along with our ‘tendency to deny painful realities’, is an appropriate one to discuss in the therapy room – no matter how painful that is and how deep the resistance on both sides. I think that this would be of great value in helping people – both clients and therapists – mobilise on the issue, and also, perhaps even more importantly, start the development of an awareness in practitioners that an important part of our job in the future is likely to be helping our clients and others express and process their grief, rage and terror about what climate change is likely to mean to the world. The American psychoanalyst Susan Bodnar has written a powerful paper, ‘Wasted and bombed: clinical enactments of a changing relationship to the Earth’ (Bodnar, 2008), about what her analysands, especially the younger ones, have said about our ecological crisis when encouraged to do so. She concludes that ‘aspects of obliterative drinking and dissociative materialism may be enactments of a changing relationship between people and their ecosystems’. In other words, despair, both conscious and unconscious, is already with us in the therapy room. We urgently need to welcome it in.
References Bodnar S (2008). ‘Wasted and bombed: clinical enactments of a changing relationship to the Earth’. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 18: 484–512. Laufer M (1982). ‘Report of the 32nd International Psycho-Analytical Congress’. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 63: 101–136. Samuels A (1993). The political psyche. London: Routledge. Totton N (2000). Psychotherapy and politics. London: Sage. Totton N (2012a). ‘In and out of the mainstream: psychotherapy in its political and social context’. In Not a tame lion: writings on therapy in its social and political context. Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books: 115–127. Totton N (2012b). ‘Overwhelm’. In Not a tame lion: writings on therapy in its social and political context. Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books: 150–151.
Everything and nothing: radical hope in a time of climate change Tony Cartwright encourages psychotherapists to see the bigger picture, not just the view from their own specialisms when faced with the potential crisis of climate change. A contemplative mind is an essential complement to analytic thought.
n a longer essay with this title,1 I suggest provocatively that there may be a case for ‘doing nothing’, given that our past track record suggests that we are unlikely to stop the powers that be from extracting and burning fossil fuel reserves well over the 2°C average temperature rise limit, and that scientists now think we are heading for 4°C plus sometime this century. This is despite all the warnings of the Greens and ecologists in the past 50 years. The scientists are now more loudly insisting that we should cut our carbon emissions urgently and completely if we are to avoid global catastrophe this century. Doing nothing would therefore seem not to be an option but, of course, I do not mean literally doing nothing. We should all be climate warriors now.
A different kind of doing nothing But there is a different kind of doing nothing, which is actually very hard to do, though it is core, I think, to ‘radical hope’.
Tony Cartwright is now retired from professional life but worked in mental health, first as a social worker for local government and then in the NHS as a systemic psychotherapist in a psychotherapy service. He was a UKCP-registered psychotherapist. He has been working on a book about climate change and cultural transformation for a number of years. He lives in Lancashire.
As psychotherapists, we know that holding back on our wish to act, just being there when faced with very distressed clients, can sometimes be the most therapeutic intervention because it gives people the space to look at their difficulties and draw on their own inner resources. So it can be with ourselves. As the storms and floods get worse, as the predictions of global warming seem more certain and scientists write with more conviction than ever about the growing possibility of a ‘sixth mass extinction’, our fears and anxieties grow and intensify and the pressure to do something increases. It is hard to resist this. The Climate Psychology Alliance was formed partly to think about why so many people still deny, ignore or disavow climate change.2 It may not be indifference or complacency, but the result of a combination of half-conscious feelings such as helplessness, fear or terror, sadness, or a sense of being wholly inadequate to the crisis. Doing nothing can mean facing and contemplating the reality, whatever feelings it evokes. One is reminded of the amusing Zen injunction: ‘Don’t just do something,
sit there’. But can we act out of something other than fear and anxiety?
What lies ahead? The theme of ‘everything and nothing’ seemed to me to fit with the absolute enormity of what lies ahead for us, a sense captured in the title of Naomi Klein’s recent book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism and the Climate. 3 Klein states: We know that if we continue on our current path of allowing emissions year after year, climate change will change everything about our world. And we don’t have to do anything to bring about this future, all we have to do is nothing. In this article I explore the relationship between everything and nothing philosophically and psychologically. After all, everything comes from nothing. Isn’t that what the Bible says – order out of chaos? And science too? Scientists are now starting to explore the nothing that produced the Big Bang. Could this chaotic nothing be a subtler, more mysterious form of order? Everything and nothing may seem
feature article opposites but they have an affinity we would do well to think about.
war and now the actual alteration of the Earth’s climate and all it portends.
Knowledge of the true self
Ken Wilber has emphasised the crucial importance of reintegrating the core values of ethics, science and aesthetics, known as the Good, the True and the Beautiful in the classical world. But his first book, The Spectrum of Consciousness, 6 may give us the key to restoring the science of mind in our modern, and postmodern, world. The great 19-century Tibetan scholar Jamgon Kongtrul captured the essential insight of Buddhism: ‘Just realising the meaning of mind encompasses all understanding.’7
And as for ‘everything’, didn’t Ken Wilber, who was profiled in this magazine some years ago, write a book in 1996 with the intriguing title A Brief History of Everything?4 This is not everything in a quantitative, material sense but as a psychological and spiritual reality. Wilber is a very lucid exponent of the perennial philosophy and would be familiar with that puzzling question in the Indian Upanishads, those metaphysical dialogues written down some 3,000 years ago: ‘What is that by knowing which all things are known?’5 The answer in the Upanishads is knowledge of the true or original self. Real, absolute knowledge is not about the world so much as the self through which a person experiences the world. UKCP readers might wonder how our professions can begin to address the problem of climate change. It may initially be about understanding the unconscious reasons for our denial. The question then follows: how do we cope with the climate crisis and what it means for us? How do we think about its implications, not just for psychology but also for science, philosophy, ethics, politics, economics, existential and spiritual issues, and everything else? Our modern scientific culture is very fragmented and our specialisms have become extremely disconnected and out of touch with each other. Is it too late to think how we can begin reintegrating them? One answer is to start by looking at ourselves.
Objective and subjective experience Our natural sciences have explored and revealed the outer world, micro- and macroscopically, in ways we could not have dreamt of, such is their empirical and imaginative progress. But equally astounding has been their lack of selfawareness in doing so, a fateful example of the observing self being unaware of itself as observer. So absolute is the gap between objective and subjective experience, and their relative values, in our modern culture that it is difficult not to see this as connected to the fatal consequences of the industrial revolution in the last century, leading to the horrors of mechanised world war in the first half of the century, the development of annihilating nuclear weapons in the cold
This, as Ken Wilber knows, is not just the human mind but the universe itself, and everything in it, as mind, the universe as a ‘spectrum of consciousness’. There is nothing that is not mind. This may be difficult for us to understand, given that we have been educated to believe in a purely material or dualistic world.
An infinitely layered spectrum The spectrum metaphor is taken from the scientific idea of an electromagnetic spectrum, which is a potentially infinite continuum comprising different wavebands of energy. Could not consciousness also be an infinitely layered spectrum with different levels of awareness finding expression on different bands of the continuum, a rainbow of consciousness? Wilber applied this to the whole of human culture but perhaps we could think of it with respect to psychotherapy and the structure of UKCP. The different models of psychotherapy could be seen as forming a continuum, with each of its colleges occupying different strands on the spectrum. Once this principle is understood, the spectrum can be seen to extend beyond the psychotherapeutic arena to the larger world outside. In this way of thinking, different therapy models and modalities within the psychotherapy world could be considered integrally, from body work to transpersonal approaches. It would lessen the sectarian impulse which leads one school, or approach, to claim to have the whole, or right, answer. Rather than being a potential Tower of Babel, with competing voices and languages, every form of therapy would have its place somewhere on the spectrum, providing the opportunity to contribute and learn from each other. For instance, body therapists could remind us we are material flesh and blood; cognitive
approaches that energy follows thought; psychoanalysis that mind is also unconscious; transpersonal psychotherapy that there is a supra-unconscious as well as a sub-conscious; humanistic therapies could emphasise the importance of philosophy and human existential issues; and systemic psychotherapy that the mind is wide as well as deep, and that a person is as much an interdependency as an individual. Conflict and difference are inevitable but they don’t have to be only divisive. They can often connect and enrich.
The possibility of transformation George Marshall, the founder and chair of Climate Outreach, recently wrote an interesting book, Don’t Even Think About it: Why Our Brains Are Wired To Ignore Climate Change, 8 in which he suggested that our brains are wired to ignore climate change. Hard wiring is a metaphor taken from material science but I wonder whether our wiring is changing or whether anything is hard wired. From a Buddhist perspective, which I find helpful when thinking about our own modern culture, western scientific truths, like hard wiring, are always relative, as are boundaries of any sort. Absolute truth, by contrast, is what Buddhism calls ‘shunyata’, which is often translated as emptiness. In emptiness there are no boundaries and therefore relative ‘truths’ can always change. In such openness there is always the possibility of transformation. What the modern world needs is a true science of mind. Climate change may bring much destruction and suffering in this century, even our extinction, but could it be, at the same time, that we have the opportunity of an awakening that transforms us? Science has demonstrated the plasticity of the brain but what could have more potential plasticity than the human mind? Jung and Richard Wilhelm made famous the classic Chinese book of wisdom, The Secret of the Golden Flower, first translated by Wilhelm in 1929.9 The ‘golden flower’ is the original mind and heart, which we all have access to.
The bigger picture In 1991, Thomas Cleary made a further translation from the Chinese and annotated it with notes and commentary informed by his wide reading of Taoist and Chan/Zen principles and practices.10 In his version, he identified the essence of the ‘secret’ as the capacity to ‘turn the light around’. This is the heart of true contemplative practice – open to everyone, whatever their cultural and environmental conditions. The light inside every person is the
feature article same light as lives in the entire universe. Turn the light around in yourself and the universe is transformed. In the Indian Vedanta tradition this is known as ‘you are that’. ‘Turning the light around’ is also the art of stepping outside our familiar perspective and looking from somewhere else. No one discipline on its own can meet the ultimate challenge of climate change and ecological degradation. The systemic principle that the whole is always more than the sum of the parts suggests that it is important to try and see the bigger picture, not just the view from our own specialisms. This is the essence of an integral approach, in psychology as well as in the larger world. ‘Turning’ to a contemplative quality of mind can enable an intuitive grasp of essentials that elude rational or instrumental thinking. In the words of a perennial truth, ‘just as the drop is in the ocean, so the ocean is in the drop’ – the whole mysteriously in the part, as well as the part in the whole. ‘Doing nothing’ is my code for the contemplative mind, or spirit of wonder, not an alternative but a complement to cognitive or analytic thought. We can use it in all our activities, personal and professional. What could be more healing to both therapists and clients than a practice that addresses the therapeutic relationship to the wider needs of the whole Earth and the life of all species on it?
References 1 http://www.climatepsychologyalliance.org/ explorations/papers/70-everything-and-nothingradical-hope-in-a-time-of-climate-change 2 Weintrobe S (ed) (2013). Engaging with climate change: psychoanalytic and interdisciplinary perspectives. Routledge. Also Dodds J (2011). Psychoanalysis and ecology at the edge of chaos: complexity theory: Deleuze/Guattari and psychoanalysis for a climate in crisis. Routledge. Another interesting collection is Rust M-J and Totton N (eds) (2012). Vital signs: psychological responses to ecological crisis. Karnac. 3 Klein N (2014). This changes everything. Capitalism vs the climate. Allen Lane. 4 Wilber K (2000/1996). A brief history of everything. Shambhala. 5 Easwaran E (1988). ‘Mundaka upanishad’. In The Upanishads. Arkana. 6 Wilber K (1993/1977). The spectrum of consciousness. Quest Books. 7 Quoted in Rinpoche K (1997/1993). Luminous mind: the way of the Buddha. Wisdom Publications. 8 Marshall G (2014). Don’t even think about it: why our brains are wired to ignore climate change. Bloomsbury. 9 Wilhelm R and Jung CG (2014/1932). The secret of the golden flower: a Chinese book of life. Martino Publishing. 10 Cleary T (1991). The secret of the golden flower: the classic Chinese book of life. HarperOne.
Policy and practice: developments in UKCP’s Humanistic and Integrative College Tree Staunton explains HIPC’s work developing a policy on sustainability and climate change, an inspiring starting point for future progress on the issue
n 2015, as I stood down from a five-year period acting as Chair for the Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy College (HIPC), the Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Guidelines were formally adopted by the college, distributed to its organisational members and published on HIPC’s website. The document has since been circulated to other organisations in the field and appreciated for its articulation of the psychological principles involved. The guidelines had taken five years to agree! I want to briefly address the possible issues involved and how they may be held in mind going forward.
Tree Staunton is a UKCPregistered body psychotherapist and Editor of Body Psychotherapy: Advancing Theory in Therapy (Routledge, 2002). She has served as Chair of UKCP’s HIPC and is currently Director of Bath Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling. She has a lifetime professional interest in the integration of politics and psychotherapy, and lives in a cohousing community in the Cotswolds.
Proposing a policy In 2011, as a subgroup of UKCP’s Diversity, Equalities and Social Responsibility Committee, Judith Anderson and I worked in consultation with several others to create an Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Policy for UKCP. This was put before the UKCP Board, who offered their support, considering it an interesting consciousnessraising document. A consultation process was set up with stakeholders – chairs of colleges and organisational members, as well as with all individual members – inviting feedback. Although some excellent feedback was received, the document was not widely responded to. This was disappointing, and we felt it did not reflect the real interest in the issue among psychotherapists. It may also represent the general lack of response from the membership to proposals that do not directly affect them and this is worth noting for future consultations. It became clear that there were significant issues inherent in UKCP adopting any such policy. Agreement at this level implies that the policy must be adhered to, but when there are resource implications, UKCP could not require organisations to comply.
Collective consciousness – and unconsciousness Perhaps more significant was a question of political will. Despite going to the Board again in 2014, and subsequent discussions on UKCP’s LinkedIn forum that demonstrated a strong voice from a committed section of the membership, it was still regarded as a minority view,
Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy College (HIPC)
Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Guidelines
o be a psychologically aware human being in our society today means to embrace the ecological interconnectedness of all things and to know with every breath we take that we are dependent on this living system of our environment.
This document serves as guidelines on the complex and pressing issue of climate change and environmental sustainability. It outlines principles that embody a systemic approach to engaging with earth and environmental issues and offers some guidance for ongoing sharing of expertise and knowledge.
Principles Essentially, as humanistic organisations, we see that the ecological crisis stems from one ofÂ consciousnessÂ andÂ relationship. The psychological issue of denial and
disavowal with regard to climate change and environmental sustainability is a deeply shocking and profound issue. The process by which this denial is perpetuated is complex. Psychotherapists have an important role to play in this exploration, enabling a self-reflective dialogue regarding our relationship to the world around us, and our responsibility to it. From this dialogue and reflection, sustainable actions can potentially emerge. As primary principles, we encourage our members to develop an affinity with the natural world and to support its preservation. But also to recognise that climate change and environmental sustainability are seen as systemic issues, where the different parts of the system that create these polarisations live within us.
It is not enough therefore to address these issues within a framework of individual pathology but to see their relationship in a wider context. In this way we come to recognise that our relationship with the Earth is alive, and is one in which we participate in selfreflective relationship. In the same way that a historic dynamic of separation and consumerism with the natural world has led to degradation, our increased relationship to it as both an inner and outer experience can change the solutions and actions that emerge. As psychotherapists, we are well placed to acknowledge and facilitate the direct effects of environmental degradation, and profound loss of biodiversity, as and when this impacts communities and individuals. When we consider the issue systemically, we may bring awareness to other possible
feature article without sufficient grassroots support. This proved to be a tougher issue to address, and the same objections were frequently rehearsed: ‘What does this have to do with psychotherapy? Psychotherapists should not have to adopt any particular worldview … political ideologies have no place in our work.’ We felt that the policy set out a compelling case for our profession to increase dialogue and awareness about matters that affect our collective future – making sense and meaning, something we in the psychotherapeutic community do and have always done on a day-to-day basis. By 2013, many in the West Country were facing devastating loss to their homes and livelihoods due to flooding. How were we to equip our current trainees to face these kinds of environmental impacts on their future clients? However, the lack of will to actively address the issue as a profession remained, and I began to wonder if unconscious resistance and denial were as rife within the profession as within the public at large.
manifestations – such as body symptoms, tensions and community polarisations. In addition, we are aware that those more often impacted by climate change and environmental issues are likely to be marginalised groups who are less likely to be heard when they do speak out.
Guidelines Each organisation has its own unique spirit and is encouraged to find their creative way to engage with this issue. In addition, these guidelines suggest, for example: • Developing direct contact with nature as part of the training, with a willingness to consider engagement in the nonhuman world of experience as a place of relationship and wider spirituality rather than pathology • Exploring concepts, as part of training, which question the idea of an objective universe, one that is separate from us, to ideas which explore an experience
I began to wonder if unconscious resistance and denial were as rife within the profession as within the public at large The development of HIPC guidelines Humanistic approaches have implicitly held assumptions in their philosophy that embrace interconnectedness between self and environment, as well as commenting on social injustice and human rights. It makes sense then that our college would be receptive to the development of thinking in this area. I think it is also true to say that HIPC has been a thought leader in setting standards within the wider organisation of UKCP. While the guidelines express a philosophical and theoretical position in relation to working with environmental relationships, I believe they also offer organisations and individual psychotherapists a place to stand that is neither political/social activism nor solely a witness position. They are inviting
of being part of the living Earth (see systems theory, field theory and indigenous perspectives) • Support for direct expression of feelings with regard to environmental issues, giving opportunities for individuals and communities to express their reaction and to open dialogue around despair, hopelessness and denial (see deep ecology and ecopsychology work) • Facilitation of a self-reflective dialogue on our relationship to the world around us, which encourages a deep level of listening and engagement around this issue (eg recognising eating disorders as reflections of a cultural dis-ease rather than a purely personal issue) • Recognition that responses to environmental degradation manifest in a variety of ways, including through individualised somatised reactions and polarised community tensions
us to engage in the spirit of ‘both-and’ … the ‘one foot in and one foot out’ stance that is the hallmark of a true therapeutic position. I sit with you in this, and I also embrace the other elements and context that have led to this crisis – our neglect, our destructiveness, our selfishness and our fear of dwelling in our own emptiness. We are both the victim and the perpetrator, and the therapeutic relationship may be one of the few places where both may be embraced. HIPC’s approach, to offer guidelines, was a creative response to the issue, yet it was also about timing. It took several years of discussion to gain momentum and for the developing narrative to grasp the ‘psychology of climate change’. We began to find our voice. The result is, I hope you will agree, an inspiring starting point for future developments.
• Recognition that this is a marginalised issue that needs diversity awareness, ie a proactive approach of engagement and awareness of how this impacts diverse sectors of community differently • Research and the building of a positive approach through sharing good practice with regard to this issue. To continue dialogue between different schools and approaches, learning through engagement, discussion and bringing awareness to this issue • To consider looking at how to reduce the carbon footprint of your organisation. This could include using Skype, live streaming and/or other methods for interactive learning online for teaching long distance, using a proforma for working out carbon footprint year on year (specialist organisations can advise on this) and establishing whether your own organisation is investing in fossil fuels – eg via banking – and to consider withdrawing funding.
The spectrum of mysticism: a personal account John Rowan describes his experience of Ken Wilber’s main levels of consciousness and their use in psychotherapy
peaking as a mystic myself, I have been reading up on the mystics of history in books by Underhill and Harmless, as well as in publications by the mystics themselves such as Eckhart. The trouble seems to be that as well as their own experiences they have to take account of the church or other religious setting from which they emerge. So they start to use labels from this background, such as God, Adonai, Vishnu, and so forth. But what would happen if we dropped all that and went just by the experience itself? In doing so, I personally had the help of the Ken Wilber (2000) formulation, based as it is on the analysis of 40 or more different sources. In my own spiritual development, I found myself following the Wilber trail pretty precisely, which was helpful. I did not rely on a teacher, or a tradition (though I was brought up evangelical C of E, and had read many books of philosophy), because I had been through enough of my own private work in therapy and meditation to leave that behind.
The mental ego Wilber does deal with more primitive levels of consciousness, particularly in his
John Rowan is an English author, counselor, psychotherapist and clinical supervisor who has worked in exploring Transpersonal psychology, and has written about the concept of subpersonality.
work on the ‘pre/trans fallacy’ (1983), but it is convenient to start with the ‘mental ego’. This is the level of consciousness that is most common in our own culture, and many people have written about it and described it in detail. Maslow calls it esteem 1; Kohlberg calls it law and order; Loevinger calls it conformist 2; Piaget calls it formal operations substage 1; Beck and Cowan call it orange; Cook-Greuter calls it conscientious; Torbert calls it the achiever; and Kegan calls it level 3-4. People at this stage of development adhere to formal logic in their thinking – what we now call first-tier thinking. They are interested in creating and defending their self-image because they see themselves through other people’s eyes, not their own. Heidegger calls them Das Man and others have labelled this the ‘consensus trance’. The highest achievement at this stage is to acquire a mature ego. There is nothing wrong with this, but that is as far as it goes. This is the level of consciousness at which most legal proceedings are conducted, at which most book reviews are written, most science is pursued (including psychology), most advertising is directed, and so forth. It produces a kind of flattery where we all agree to think the same, be the same and generally to accept the same as reality. Shamefully, academia also adheres to first-tier thinking and has no place for what comes next.
The centaur Wilber labels the next level ‘the centaur’, not to bring in myths and legends, but simply to emphasise that at this stage we move from thinking that body and mind are two different things to thinking that the bodymind is singular. We move from
formal logic to dialectical logic and follow the dictum of Mary Parker Follett (Graham, 1995): ‘Never let yourself be bullied by an either/or!’ Instead of following the logic of A is A, we move to the logic of A is not simply A. This is second-tier thinking. We see through our own eyes instead of through the eyes of others. Again, this has been well studied and described by a number of authors. Maslow calls it esteem 2 and selfactualisation; Kohlberg calls it social contract and individual principles; Loevinger calls it conscientious and autonomous; Piaget calls it formal operations substage 2 and dialectical operations; Beck and Cowan call it green plus yellow plus turquoise; Cook-Greuter calls it pluralist, individualist and autonomous; Torbert calls it individualist and strategist; and Kegan calls it levels 4 and 5. This is the level of the real self, the existential self, the authentic self. This is the self that takes full responsibility for all that it does. So the first thing that happened was that I went from what Wilber calls the mental ego level to what he calls the centaur level. That took me about ten years in what we then called the ‘growth movement’, going through many and various therapy experiences, some of them quite hairy. That was a process where I went from believing in my self-image to becoming acquainted with my real self – my existential self, my authentic self. This was, I realised, what Maslow had been talking about in his idea of self-actualisation. The self which had been actualised was what Wilber called the centaur self. It is interesting to see, as I found out later, that this self was unknown before the 19th century, when it was discovered by people like Hegel, Nietszche, Kierkegaard and Heidegger, and polished later by Sartre and used by Marx and Mao Zedong with great freedom. Recently Slavoj Zizek has used it to stunning effect. You will not find it in Buddhism, for example; I have written about this elsewhere (Rowan, 2007).
The subtle If I wanted to continue on my spiritual journey, what came next? Wilber told me that the next level was ‘the subtle’. This was the level where I had to admit and allow that I was a spiritual being, and that my soul belonged there. It was the level of dreams, and I found that James Hillman was a good guide in this area, as were Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, Jean Houston, Marie-Louise von Franz, and so forth. I was lucky enough to be able to join a Wiccan group, where we explored the world of gods and goddesses, nature spirits,
discussion archetypes and symbols, and all the other denizens of the spiritual realm – the realm of concrete representations of the divine. We used ritual and ceremony to join together in this work. I started a series of diagrams of the divine realm, many, many of them, trying to understand the way it worked. At one point, I had a vision of a series of gardens, one beyond the other, rising upwards, each one more beautiful than the last. I got to seven gardens, and then the vision faded. At another point I saw for myself the truth of what Mark Seelig (2015) says: ‘Really, the deepest thirst of the masculine is to be of service to the feminine, to protect and shield the loved ones, to go out into the world with a powerful vision and be lovingly welcomed back home, to adore and be blown away by the beauty of the feminine, to be fully and completely received and nourished that way. Really, the deepest longing of the feminine is to be protected and held, to be cherished and adored, to support the masculine in its visionary power, to drink the heart-centred strength of the masculine and be nourished that way’ (p188). My own experience of that was quite amazing, very beautiful, taking my breath away. I read about myths and legends, discovering on the way an amazing book by Barbara Walker (1983), which questioned many of the male versions of mythic stories going back further in history. I played with tarot cards, made connections with the kabbalah, asked trees for advice (and got it), and generally explored this huge realm. Of course, shamanism and Native American religions come into this category. Luckily, it is very easy to research this level with the help of psychedelic drugs, as David Jay Brown (2015) makes clear. It has been of great interest to feminists, witness books by Bolen and Estes. There is an interesting question here about existentialism. Sheppard suggests that Heidegger’s concept of heiteres gelassenheit takes us into the causal, but I would now say that it belongs in the subtle, simply because it is an experience and all spiritual experiences belong in the subtle. After ten years of this, I felt ready to move on. Wilber said the next move was to the ‘causal’ level.
The causal At that time (1990 or so) I was in therapy with Ian Gordon-Brown, whose experience I respected. I asked him for instructions on how to make this next move. He said, ‘You just do it!’ This did not seem very helpful,
I played with tarot cards, made connections with the kabbalah, asked trees for advice – and got it but I thought I would try to follow the instruction. I had been meditating every morning since 1982 (which I still do today), and in my morning meditation I tried to turn away from the subtle and into the causal. This worked very well, and suddenly I found myself in quite a different realm. In my diary for December 1991, I am still talking about symbols; then in January 1992 it changes completely, and the first entry reads: ‘The One! The One without a second! The pure substance of Being!’ It was a world where there were none of the exciting phenomena I had been enjoying so much. It was a place where there were no signposts, no handrails, no landmarks and no words at all. I had to laugh. It was such a relief to not have to bother about all this panoply of experiences, not to need any support, any acknowledgement, any confirmation. I was alone, so to speak, with the all, the one, the none – it did not seem to matter very much which of these labels I used. Later, I added to the list – what I was aware of could be described with many names: spirit, divine spark, void, ‘O’, essence, transpersonal self 2, God within, no-self, the ineffable, the absolute, the one without a
second, universal mind, overmind, Kether, emptiness, gnosis, nirvikalpa, one mind, cosmic consciousness, all-self and big mind, big heart. All the great mystics speak about this level, but one of the clearest I found was Shankara (Deutsch, 1968), whose basic insight is ‘everything is one’. Wilber (1999) says at one point: ‘When Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a great (though controversial) Tibetan master, first came to this country, he was renowned for always saying, when asked the meaning of Vajrayana, ‘There is only Ati’’ (p32). I explored this realm for the next ten years with the help of many great writers and thinkers, including Meister Eckhart, who was really my favourite. More recently, I have discovered the Jewish mystics, such as Gabirol, which have given an important insight. At first, it seemed that one could not use this level in therapy, but I found in practice that it was possible, and discovered that at that level there is no empathy. There is just a penetrating perception of what is. There is love, somehow, but not in an empathic way.
discussion Seeker to non-seeker I have since discovered that there is a very simple way of putting the difference between the subtle and the causal. At the subtle stage one is a seeker; at the causal stage one becomes a non-seeker. In other words, at the subtle stage, one has to have some support for one’s mystical experiences: this may be a particular setting, a particular occasion, a particular preparation, a place or a procedure or ritual which leads to the mystical experience. At the causal level, none of this is necessary: one can enter the causal level without any preparation of any kind, just by turning into it, so to speak. At the subtle level, one has all kinds of mystical experiences, some of which may be extraordinary or revelatory or supernal. At the causal level, there are no experiences, just a single simple realisation: everything is one. In my book Personification (Rowan, 2010a), I explain how it is possible to work in therapy using all of these levels, because it turns out that the theory of the dialogical self enables us to tackle all of these very different levels, even the most tricky.
The nondual So, at the end of the ten years or so, I was ready to go on to the next level, which Wilber names ‘the nondual’. Actually, he has made some contradictory statements about this. At one point he said that all the previous levels were on a continuum and formed a sort of hierarchy, while the nondual was, as it were, the paper on which the continuum was written or drawn, not on the continuum at all. Elsewhere in his writing it was firmly at the end of the same continuum, taking pride of place. In his (2000) book, he gives his fullest statements on this. In any case, what I did was the same as before, namely to go to the latest point in my exploration of the causal and then lay myself open to what might lie beyond. In my morning meditation I did that, and in the early part of the millennium the nondual opened up to me. It was quite similar to the causal but there was one big difference: ‘Everything is One’, it now appeared to me, was a statement, a belief, an assumption. Now the whole process of spiritual development (as in a different way is the process of personal therapy) consists in giving up false assumptions, one after the other, until there are none left. Entering the nondual simply meant seeing through the assumption that everything is one, and giving it up. This was the final step. And I
found it funny – incredibly laughable! Here were all these great people, these earnest seekers, making these great discoveries, and it was all a waste of time! It was all quite ridiculous. I sort of died laughing. There is no great discovery. There is no final enlightenment. We came to the final field at the end of the universe and there was nothing there. What liberation! The clarity and the mystery are one and the same: not this, not that – and not not either! One of the interesting discoveries I made later was that it is only at the level of the nondual that one can ‘get’ a Zen koan. I have written about this in some detail (Rowan, 2010).
Transcend and include The question then arises, of course, as to what to do then. Having reached the ultimate insight, what next? There is in fact a book entitled After the ecstasy, the laundry. But I prefer the answer given in the ‘Ten oxherding pictures’ of Zen Buddhism, where the final picture is called ‘Entering the marketplace with helping hands’. Another answer is the bodhisattva vow, but I feel this is a bit ridiculous, too much to ask. But here I think Wilber is extremely helpful. He says that every previous level of consciousness that anyone has experienced is still there: ‘transcend and include’ is the summary statement. This means that we do not have to stay at any one level and be stuck there forever. We can simply go to any level we have previously experienced, and which is pertinent to the task in hand. For shopping, the mental ego level is quite appropriate; for a counsellor, the centaur level is best; for having exciting spiritual experiences, the subtle level is best (this is the level tapped into in many psychedelic experiences); for speaking wisely about spiritual peaks, the causal level is best; and the nondual is the one to go to when nothing else will do. None has to rule the roost or be clung on to as the answer to everything. For therapy, it seems to me that it is the centaur level of consciousness that is the most valuable. Its characteristics fit extremely well with recent thinking on the relationship, where the prime value is being present with the other – a real possibility with the centaur but much harder elsewhere. But therapy is also possible at the subtle level, as I have argued elsewhere (Rowan, 2014): here it is possible sometimes to lower the barriers between therapist and client to the point where they disappear altogether. I have also experimented with
doing therapy at the causal level, but the loss of empathy here requires the therapist, it seems to me, to specifically ask permission from the client before embarking on such a course. Nowadays there is a lot of talk about the nondual. Books appear, such as the one edited by Jerry Katz (2007), purporting to give us the complete lowdown; by Paula Marvelly (2002), purporting to give personal conversations about it; even books on psychotherapy claiming to be working at a nondual level! There is a website (www.conscious.tv) where you can find interviews on the subject with eminent thinkers. Very few of these, however, make a clear distinction between the nondual and the causal (and even sometimes the subtle), leaving the poor reader at a loss to really understand the differences. I hope this article, brief though it is, may remedy some of these defects and be clear enough to understand.
References Brown DJ (2015). ‘Transcending the medical frontiers: exploring the future of psychedelic drug research’. In G Hancock (ed) The divine spark. London: Hay House. Deutsch EA (1968). Advaita Vedanta: a philosophical reconstruction. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Graham P (1995). Mary Parker Follett: prophet of management. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. Katz J (ed) (2007). One: essential writings on nondualit. Boulder: Sentient Publications. Marvelly P (2002). The teachers of one: living Advaita – conversations on the nature of nonduality. London: Watkins. Rowan J (2007). ‘The mental ego is not the centaur: the causal is not the nondual’. BPS Transpersonal Psychology Review, 11(1): 19-28. Rowan J (2010). ‘Koans and levels of consciousness’. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 29(1): 12-16. Rowan, J (2010a). Personification: using the dialogical self in counselling and psychotherapy. Hove: Routledge. Rowan J (2014). ‘The transpersonal in individual therapy’. In W Dryden and A Reeves (eds) The handbook of individual therapy (6th edn). London: Sage. Seelig M (2015). ‘Communion with the goddess: three weeks of Ayahuasca in Brazil’. In G Hancock (ed) The divine spark. London: Hay House. Walker B (1983). The women’s encyclopaedia of myths and secrets. San Francisco: Harper & Row. Wilber K (1983). Eye to eye: the quest for the new paradigm, chapter 7. New York: Anchor Books. Wilber K (1999). One taste: the journals of Ken Wilber. Boston: Shambhala. Wilber K (2000). Integral psychology. Boston: Shambhala. www.johnrowan.org.uk
Why process is (almost) everything While narrative and content are clearly useful, Manu Bazzano encourages psychotherapists to place greater emphasis on process and affect Space reaches out from us and translates the world. (Rilke, ‘The one birds plunge through’)
Narrative and content Whenever Flaubert describes an amorous moment in Madame Bovary, he shifts his attention to the description of a painting. At first I thought this had to do with modesty, even prudishness, as in oldfashioned movies when the focus politely drifts to clothes scattered on the floor, on the curtains, or on a glimpse of outdoor scenery through the window. This is in itself more alluring (and sexier, in my view) than depictions of sweaty, emoting film stars reaching climaxes unknown to common mortals. I suspect something more important is at play here, found not only in Flaubert’s writings but in great realist literature too. One way of describing this is as a shift from the domain of narrative to that of affect (Jameson, 2014). When this
Manu Bazzano is a writer, psychotherapist and supervisor in private practice, a tutor at the Metanoia Institute, and a visiting lecturer at Roehampton University and various other schools and colleges. He facilitates workshops and seminars internationally. His books include: Buddha is Dead: Nietzsche and the Dawn of European Zen (2006); Spectre of the Stranger: Towards a Phenomenology of Hospitality (2012); After Mindfulness: New Perspectives on Psychology and Meditation (2014); and the forthcoming Therapy and the Counter-tradition: the Edge of Philosophy, co-edited with Julie Webb and published by Routledge www.manubazzano.com
happens, narrative is interrupted and the writing takes flight. In Flaubert’s case, with the storyline lapsing into description and depiction of paintings taking over, we almost partake of the intensity and ineffability of what is coming to pass. Tenderness, passion, the ecstatic and bewildering feelings experienced by the fated heroin – all carry her into a different dimension where straightforward narrative is simply inadequate.
A sign of respect Yet narrative is clearly useful: it takes us from A to B; it relies on cause and effect; it gives us the frame, the subject matter; it provides us with information; it tells us the context, informing us of the functional reference points we need to have in order to follow what is going on. Narrative is important, even though, overused by politicians and commentators, the term itself has nowadays become a cliché. In therapy, narrative is also known as content. Naturally, it is not a bad idea for a therapist to pay attention to content: at the very least, it is a sign of respect towards clients, a way of attending to and taking seriously the presenting issues and the concerns they bring. At the same time, do I really have to remember the maiden name of my client’s cousin’s second wife? A supervisor once asked me, in response to my consternation at being unable to
remember such details, ‘What if the client’s content is fiction?’ He had a point. There is more to human experience than the story; there is a lot more to life than a sequence of facts and events. This ‘something more’ is commonly known in therapy as process.
Content refers to the ‘what’ of therapy, process to the ‘how’ Content refers to the ‘what’ of therapy. It tells us what the client and the therapist talk about. It addresses the nature of the ‘problem’; it includes valuable information. It is undoubtedly an essential aspect of the whole endeavour. Yet most practitioners would agree that to stop at content would be incomplete – something else needs to be taken into account.
Affect and process Going back to Emma Bovary’s romantic interludes with her idealised Rodolphe, Flaubert’s lapse from narrative to description signals the upsurge of affect, a domain of experience not adequately represented by narrative and plot. It may well be that affect is beyond representation; hence we can only evoke, suggest or, by a leap in style and expression, register a
discussion Openness to affect assists the therapeutic relationship because when we are attuned to affect we are not enmeshed in the relational change in perception, the quickening of our heartbeat, a change in body temperature. Recent research and theory (Gregg and Seigworth, 2010; Massumi, 1995; Bazzano, 2013) suggest that affect may denote a level of intensity not measurable until it gets summarily translated (and diluted) as subjective emotion (Massumi, 1995).
relationship. Openness to affect (another word for openness would be ‘objectivity’) assists the therapeutic relationship precisely because when we are attuned to affect we are not enmeshed in the relational – hence we can perceive the relationship more openly or objectively.
It appears that the troubadours of the high Middle Ages knew about this, for their love songs were marked by tempo rubato, a music signature literally meaning ‘stolen tempo’, as well as ‘stolen time’, encouraging expressive and rhythmic freedom, speeding up or slowing down according to how the singer was affected and impacted. The tempo (as well as time itself) expands or contracts in such moments: that is to say, the experience of rapture escapes a linear sequence.
Being attuned to affect and going ‘beyond’ the relational is not as mystical as it may sound at first. A famous passage from realist literature may help illustrate this. At one point in his novel, The Belly of Paris, Emile Zola describes the Parisian market of Les Halles, the narrative exploding in a multiplicity of smells, sounds, textures that are truly disorienting and take the reader into an altogether different dimension. The vast quantity of vegetables described in the long passage, then the meats and blood, the dairy products, the feverish variety of seafood and their strange, even monstrous shapes carry the reader into a space that is also wholly independent of narrative. Rather than being provided with an allegory, or a cluster of symbols placed there just in order to represent and explain something else, the fantastic richness of the description – particularly the bewildering variety of cheeses described, a veritable ‘symphony of cheeses’, their smells and flavours – makes readers dizzy and presents us with an opening into affect – a space that is different from the narrative dimension of cause and effect. For a moment, we almost feel what it was really like to be there in the food market at Les Halles in 19th-century century Paris.
A diffuse awareness Affect is then a realm of experience not readily accessible through discourse, facts and reason but one that may be approached by means of a more diffuse awareness. There is in affect a different logic at play, one that does not rely on cause and effect. For instance, the relational element, intrinsic in any encounter, is certainly part of affect. Client and therapist co-create the counselling environment, ideally through mutual endeavour and cooperation. But affect also comprises another element, a more impersonal dimension, which is then inhabited by the relationship. Marcel (1965) similarly spoke of a given that precedes encounter, the mystery of being, which for him is blind knowledge, a sort of blindfold knowledge of being inferred in all particular knowledge. One could say this has to do with the general atmosphere, with the tonality and texture that permeates the therapeutic encounter. Gaining an insight into, or at least an inkling of, affect, however tentatively, may give us a sense of the general ‘feeling’ of our meeting with another. And this in turn may provide us with a deeper understanding of process beyond the relational, which in turn can become useful to the therapeutic
Symphony in the market square
When process is all The other important component of affect is multiplicity: many factors, many characters come together to create this moment. The client walking into the room is a complex assemblage of diverse relations and connections, a relational field that would be missed by too narrow a focus on content. Perhaps if process can be understood as part and parcel of affect, we may gain greater insights into ‘what is going on’. Process refers to the ‘how’ of therapy, but it seems to me that this how is not entirely covered by the relationship. It includes the
relationship between therapist and client; it also describes the flow of activities and interactions between the two, the full meaning of which is often beyond the reach of conscious thought. What this requires of us therapists is fine attunement and openness – what Diana Voller fittingly calls ‘listening to the music behind the words’ (personal communication, 2015). By paying attention to process, I attend to the impersonal as well as to the personal and relational elements at play. I listen to the general ‘feeling’ of the meeting with another while attending to the client’s process and to my own process. A simple and direct way to access process is via the body, as we learned from the great phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty: direct, uncluttered awareness of our sensations, body posture, feelings, and emotions – a way of being-in-the-world that reminds us of our inescapable limitations (as embodied beings) as well as of our potential for openness (Merleau-Ponty, 1969, 1983). There is another important aspect to this, one that is articulated by Jan Hawkins . Relating her experience of counselling people with learning disabilities, she wonders whether clients or patients who do not conform to the conventional parameters of the talking therapies effectively challenge us to reconsider our boundaries as practitioners and even whether we need to focus almost exclusively on process (Pearce and Sommerbeck, 2014).
References Bazzano M (2013). ‘Back to the future: from behaviourism and cognitive psychology to motivation and emotion’. Self & Society: An International Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 2(40), winter 2012/13: 42-46. Gregg M and Seigworth J (eds) (2010). The affect theory reader. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Jameson F (2014). The antinomies of realism. London: Verso. Marcel G (1965). Being and having. New York: Harper & Row. Massumi B (1995). The autonomy of affect. Retrieved 2 April 2012: http://www.brianmassumi. com/textes/Autonomy%20of%20Affect.PDF). Merleau-Ponty M (1969). The visible and the invisible. Evanston: Northwestern University Press. Merleau-Ponty M (1983). The structure of behaviour. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press. Pearce and Sommerbeck [initials?] (eds) (2014). Person-centred practice at the difficult edge. Rosson-Wye, PCCS Books. Zola E (2009). The belly of Paris. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
A new code of ethics for UKCP Marcus Page and Stephen Pattison explain how UKCP is ensuring that its new code of ethics is fit for purpose
ur current code of ethics – UKCP Ethical Principles and Code of Professional Practice – is now over six years old. UKCP’s Ethics Committee has been tasked with reviewing and updating it to ensure that it’s fit for purpose and has spent the past year drafting a new code.
professional therapists at the heart of UKCP professional practice. The five lay members have backgrounds in psychology, law, ethics, management, research, medicine and religion. The UKCP registrants come from different colleges.
A clear, decisive ethos
Ethics is a complex area of philosophy and different approaches to ethics can inform professional codes. The new Ethics Committee began by researching the codes of ethics of other psychotherapy organisations and other professions, as well as analysing UKCP’s existing Ethical Principles and Code of Professional Conduct. We debated the type of ethics that would best fit the practice of psychotherapy and diversity of modalities within UKCP. We agreed that we wanted a code that would be a living document that would encourage engagement with ethics and stimulate an active, ongoing dialogue between professionals, those who use their services and other stakeholders about ethically informed decision-making.
We decided to begin afresh to ensure there was clarity about the underpinning values of the new code and coherence to its structure and content. The draft code attempts to create a clear, decisive ethos, or character, for psychotherapy and its practitioners, rather than being a list of separate principles, commands and prohibitions. We are now in the consultation phase for the new code. We have already involved the ethics committees of organisational members and colleges, and other internal committees within UKCP. Now, we need all members to consider what the new code means for their practice and supervision and to provide feedback to the Ethics Committee. You can find the proposed new code of ethics, further information, timeframes and a survey link on UKCP’s website (http://bit.ly/29b630b). The deadline for receiving feedback, which can be given through the survey link, is 30 September 2016. Here we want to introduce you to the Ethics Committee and the radical thinking that has led to the creation of a completely new code of ethics.
Who serves on the Ethics Committee? In 2014, UKCP took the bold step of recruiting a completely new Ethics Committee composed of eight members. Half are ‘lay’ members, including the chair, half are UKCP registrants. This unique, progressive initiative puts active dialogue between users and lay people with
What are the ethics that underpin the new code?
There are many ways of approaching the term ethics. It can mean: • What people do (descriptive) • What people should do (prescriptive) • What people will be punished for (legislative/punitive)
Marcus Page Marcus Page is a group analyst and a member of the Institute of Group Analysis in London. He has more than twenty years experience in providing therapy for individuals who experience difficulties in their personal life and relationships.
• Principles for working out what to do (normative) • The process of working out what to do (deliberative) • The future and purpose of life and universe (purposive) We decided to base the code on the virtue ethics or the ethics of character approach traditionally associated with Aristotle. This identifies a ‘good end’ or outcome and is normative in that it sets out principles for working out what psychotherapists need to do and be in order to consistently achieve this end. To attain the good, a certain kind of character has to be developed, a person who will habitually think and behave in certain ways as a matter of course –they will therefore need to be deliberative. The underpinning belief is that if the right habits of mind and practice (virtues) are developed, the good end is attained. This approach has the advantage of minimising rules and detailed regulations, while requiring the highest standards of accountability, reflection and growth from professionals as they engage with the particularities of practice. We want to enhance ethical awareness and practice for the great majority of conscientious practitioners rather than propose a code that is principally directed at preventing wrong-doing by a tiny minority. The virtue-focused approach allows scope
Stephen Pattison is a practical theologian and ethicist. One of his principal roles in Birmingham is to direct the Doctor of Practical Theology programme, a part-time degree for researching professionals from a variety of practice backgrounds, religious and other.
ukcp news for trusting individual professionals to make complex judgments in very diverse situations and, when applied in practice, different conclusions may be reached in similar-seeming scenarios.
What’s new in the draft code? The new draft code creates a clear ethos, or character, for psychotherapy and its practitioners, rather than being a list of separate principles, commands and prohibitions. It is trust-based, not controlbased, as we believe that the vast majority of professionals are generally doing, and wish to do, their best for clients and improve their skills. One major feature of the code is its dialogical and interrogative form. This should stimulate and enhance critical thinking and reflective discussion between therapists and between therapists and their clients, supervisors and UKCP. The code is written in such a way as to allow all UKCP practitioners to identify with it whatever their practice orientation or organisational context.
How is the new draft code of ethics structured? The draft new code can be found on the UKCP website at http://bit.ly/1UAyn9V. A short introduction explains its purpose, shape and use. Part A outlines a vision of psychotherapy and the characteristics or ‘virtues’ of ethically aware practitioners. Part B sets out seven principles that support virtuous practice with examples: honesty, candour, competence, human rights and social justice, beneficence, and personal accountability. Not all the principles may be equally relevant at all times. Furthermore, some of the principles may clash in some situations, hence the need to develop subtle ethical awareness and judgment. In line with the thrust of virtue theory and its implicit trust in the critical, accountable individual professional, therapists are expected to take an inclusive and expansive view of the principles, so their spirit is observed and engaged with. Part C will link to web pages that will contain series of questions on specific issues, identified and reviewed on an ongoing basis by UKCP, its colleges and faculties, the Ethics Committee and individual registrants themselves. The web pages are
We need all members to consider what the new code means for their practice and supervision and to provide feedback to the Ethics Committee intended to assist practitioners to engage critically with ethical issues and to be illustrative of the complexity of applying principles in different situations. There are few immediate or simple ‘right’ answers when dealing with human encounters and subjective versions of ‘reality’. Why questions? The Ethics Committee believes that one of the best ways of creating ethical awareness, education and dialogue is to have good questions available for people to engage with, rather than specific ethical exhortation or prohibition. Virtuous practitioners will be expected to research, consult and then to take responsibility for their decisions in their own specific situations.
Will the new code be sufficient on its own to guide professional conduct and behaviour? The simple answer to this is no. The Professional Standards Authority requires professions to be guided by a range of documents assessing and evaluating professional conduct in serving the interests of the public, for example in the case of complaints. These documents might include codes of conduct, codes of competence and standards of training. The new code provides an ethical framework for practice – and is thus necessary but not sufficient. The Ethics Committee recognises that other documents may need to be formulated in due course. Each college and member organisation will also have a responsibility to set standards in line with new code in order to address conduct issues relevant to specific modalities.
Will the new code protect the public users of psychotherapy and enhance their experience? We believe that the new code will do this better than its predecessor. In aiming to foster critical professional practice, the code will also protect the public. Users of psychotherapy services and concerned members of relevant organisations and
the public will be able to use the code to complain against therapists’ specific attitudes and behaviours. Psychotherapists are required to exemplify virtues and engagement with the seven principles that demonstrate a clear striving to act in the best interests of clients at all times. If they are not found to conform to the principles and spirit of the code, and their reasons for this breach are not adequate, particularly in relation to a failure to evidence active, regular engagement with the code, there are clear grounds for complaint to UKCP.
Does the proposed new code have any ‘teeth’? The Ethics Committee has deliberately moved to start with a normative and positive vision of the profession and its members, but it is not ‘soft’ in its requirements of registrants. First, the code is very demanding in requiring professionals to develop their ethical awareness and practice. To follow the spirit of the code and enhance public trust, it will be necessary for professionals to actively engage with the proposed new code. Second, registrants are expected to evidence engagement with the fixed and changing elements of the code (particularly part C) on a regular basis. This may be done in various ways, for example through CPD and in supervision notes. Third, active engagement with the principles must be evidenced in any situation of real ethical dilemma. If a registrant has clearly failed to engage with and live by the spirit and letter of one or more of the principles outlined, they may find it difficult to defend themselves in the case of complaint or litigation. The Ethics Committee wants to begin the dialogue about ethics. This consultation is your opportunity to help shape the ethical framework for your practice. Please take time to read the new code and give us your comments and challenges so we can improve it.
Annual Review 2014 / 15
rs te is g re r u o t u o b /a re a Who we
The UK Council for Psychotherapy UKCP exists to promote and maintain high standards in the practice of psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic counselling for the benefit of the public, throughout the United Kingdom. Our membership includes over 7,800 individual therapists and more than 70 training and accrediting organisations. Our individual members work privately, in public health or third sector organisations offering a wide variety of psychotherapeutic approaches.
About our registers We hold the national register of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors which only include practitioners who meet our exacting standards and training requirements and who agree to abide by our ethical guidelines. We also hold a specialist register of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors working with children and young people. Practitioners on this register have specific skills, training and experience to work with children and families. And we hold a directory of supervisors. We regard the regulation of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors, and the accountability of their practice as being of paramount importance. This is in order to ensure public protection and to inspire public confidence in our registrants. Our register is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority under their Accredited Registers scheme.
ir Welcome from our Cha I am very pleased to introduce UKCP’s first annual review. It is a new initiative for UKCP, and one that I hope will contribute to improving communication within our organisation and give a flavour of the work we have done in the past year as well as details of our finances. This document, which sits alongside our annual report, has given me a valuable opportunity to look back over the past year and review what we as an organisation have achieved, both on behalf of and with our members. I hope you’ll find that this review provides an insight into the work we do to hold the standards for the profession, both in terms of our individual practice as well as the place of psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic counselling in society. We can be rightly proud of what we’ve achieved over the past year and you can read about our achievements in this report. But the year has not been without its challenges. Our Chief Executive, David Pink, moved on to new opportunities after six years at UKCP – and we are currently recruiting for a new Chief Executive. Also an issue with the reaccreditation of our register with the Professional Standards Authority caused concern for many members (see page 7). Looking forward to 2016 and beyond, we must get better at communications and we are drawing up a plan to improve the way we engage with members and the wider world this year. A key project for the coming year – which we will need your continued input on – is our Digital Development Project (see page 6). We have learned important lessons from our current website and have changed our way of working on large projects. We now establish project boards to bring together a range of relevant skills and experience to oversee large pieces of work. I am aware of members’ frustrations regarding our website and the Find a Therapist function. We have been very slow on this, but we must to take whatever time is needed to get this right.
Looking further ahead, we are establishing a centrepiece annual professional conference which we will launch in 2017. We aim for this to be a must-attend event in the psychotherapy calendar, which will help cement UKCP’s position as a centre of excellence, and allow us to communicate our views as a profession to a wider audience. But in the more immediate future, I will be handing over to a new Chair. They will bring with them enthusiasm and new ideas on how to take UKCP forward. I am immensely proud to have had the privilege to have been your Chair for the last four years and I wish my successor well in their new role. Janet Weisz Chair, UKCP
014/201 2 s re u g fi d n a s t c fa in UKCP
Registrants who completed and passed their audit
Party conference roundtables
Issues of The Psychotherapist published
Complaints and Conduct Process cases received
Twitter followers 3
New organisational members
hothera c y s p to s s e c c a g in v ro How weâ€™re imp
We are committed to ensuring that the highest quality and range of psychotherapies is made available to all sections of society, regardless of background or status.
To do this, we campaign to improve access to psychological therapies. And to increase the effectiveness of our campaigns, we work with other organisations that share our aims. For example, weâ€™re part of the We Need to Talk coalition which includes Mind, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
In September 2015, we launched an official collaboration between BACP, BPC and UKCP. This formalises our aim to work more collaboratively while retaining our distinct identities. Our aim is to ensure that the value of therapy is fully recognised in 21st century Britain.
As part of We Need to Talk, we took the lead role in campaigning for greater public investment in psychological therapies. We are making the case that investment should go beyond Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) so that the NHS is able to provide the broadest range of therapy possible. During the year, we campaigned for government to increase research into psychological therapies. And because of lobbying by UKCP and other professional bodies, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recognised counsellors and psychotherapists as eligible to apply to join its guideline development group on depression.
How we’re engaging m
We are committed to working with our members to improve communication and participation, and to provide a valued service. We do this by consulting members and finding ways to involve them in our work.
Some of the changes made during the Shape Review were technical ones that our lawyers advised us to make to bring our constitution in line with the Companies Act. Others were more significant governance improvements, including:
We worked for over a year on a review of UKCP’s constitution and governance – the Shape Review. Our aim was to ensure members had an organisation fit for the 21st Century.
giving members a stronger voice through a Members’ Forum which is able to make clear recommendations on the future direction of UKCP
We held a call for ideas and a number of consultation meetings, including three regional meetings, to maximise opportunities for members to contribute.
creating a more ‘executive’ Executive Committee and a smaller, more strategic Board of Trustees providing proper connections between the UKCP complaints system, the therapists’ register and membership of UKCP the number of vice-chairs was changed from two to one, and the new vice-chair position was changed to being a trustee position. This created a role to work more closely with the Chair, providing the Chair with more support and deputising for them when necessary.
Going digital Our Digital Development Project will replace our existing website and membership database. This will enable us to deliver more member benefits, promote psychotherapy more effectively and improve communication. We are consulting with members throughout this project. Not surprisingly, members identified the Find a Therapist tool as one of the absolutely critical things to get right. We have learned important lessons from our current website and are working hard to get this project right.
l excellen a n io s s fe ro p g in in a t in How weâ€™re ma
Our primary purpose is to ensure therapists on our registers meet appropriate standards of education, training and practice. And our register must meet relevant national accreditation standards. A core element of our service to the public is dealing with concerns and complaints relating to therapistsâ€™ fitness to practise or their behaviour. We do this through our Complaints and Conduct Process. In 2015, we improved our complaints process by establishing an independent advisory group to review feedback from a consultation held in the previous year, and to offer recommendations to our Board of Trustees. This work was completed in November 2015 when we launched our new Complaints and Conduct Process rules. After each Complaints and Conduct Process case, we undertake detailed analysis, identifying the issues causing difficulties for our registrants and their clients. We share our insights in our member magazine to provide insight into how the circumstances that tend to lead to a complaint can be avoided.
Being accredited by the Professional Standards Authority Our register is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. The Accredited Registers Programme is for organisations, such as UKCP, that hold voluntary registers for people in professions not regulated by statute. We first applied for PSA accreditation in 2013 and were successfully reaccredited in November 2014. Our reaccreditation in November 2015 did not go as smoothly. The Authority raised a number of concerns and we worked with them to address the issues. During this process our accreditation was suspended for two months although UKCP and our registrants were still able to use the accreditation logo during this time. Our reaccreditation was confirmed in January 2016.
recognise is y p ra e th o h c y s p t a How we’re ensuring th
We take our responsibilities to protect the public and professional standards seriously. So it is vital that we work to improve society’s understanding of psychotherapy. We have campaigned for some years to protect lesbian, gay and bisexual people seeking therapy from harmful ‘gay cures’. During the year, we worked on an initiative which effectively ends the possibility of conversion therapy being provided on the NHS. With support from the Department of Health, we brought together 14 organisations to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy in the UK. The signatory organisations include NHS England, NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government, the Royal College of GPs, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and professional therapy bodies. The Memorandum is an agreement on actions to end the practice of conversion therapy in the UK, to bolster psychological professionals’ training and improve the emotional support available to LGB clients who seek therapeutic help. Following the launch, an internal UKCP working group put forward recommendations about including gender dysphoria and transgender in the Memorandum. This is subject to active discussion among the Memorandum’s signatory organisations.
UKCP representatives discussed conversion therapy with the then Health Minister, Norman Lamb, in spring 2015
Responding to members’ concerns – DWP campaign We responded to concerns from members and others that the government would seek to sanction benefit claimants with mental health problems if they did not enter treatment. Alongside other therapy organisations, we engaged with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and secured reassurance that compulsion will not go ahead. We are working with the DWP to ensure that benefit claimants with mental health problems are able to access the therapy they need in a timely and effective manner without any threat of sanction.
Summar y accounts Our expenditure for the year ended 30 September 2015
Improving access £140,145 Culture and a well-run organisation £333,033 Maintaining professional excellence £438,485 Engaging our members £196,183 Recognition of psychotherapy £4,885
Trustee’s statement This is a summary of the information published in the Annual Trustees Report and Financial Statement, which were approved by the trustees and signed on their behalf. This summary information is presented to provide financial highlights from the year, and may not contain sufficient information to gain a complete understanding of the financial affairs of the organisation. The full trustees’ report, statutory financial statements and auditors’ report may be obtained from the UKCP website.
Our trustees The Board of Trustees is responsible to members and the Charity Commission. The Board oversees the fulfilment of the charityâ€™s objectives. These are the trustees at the time this review was published. For a full list of trustees who served during the year, please see our annual report available on our website. Janet Weisz, Chair
Janet is a psychotherapist and psychodynamic counsellor who has worked in the voluntary sector, public sector and private practice for over 20 years.
Sian is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and has also spent many years as a training and management consultant across educational services within both the public and private sectors.
Patricia Hunt, Vice Chair Patricia is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist who also spent 10 years working for the University of Nottingham as head of its counselling service. Neil Robertson, Treasurer Neil has been a chartered accountant for over 30 years with substantial experience in corporate finance and the charity sector. He is also a psychotherapeutic counsellor in private practice. Keith Carlton Keith is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist working in private practice and is an accredited sexual diversity therapist. Previously he had a career in marketing communications and research. James Caspian
Jacqui McCouat As well as her work as a humanistic integrative psychotherapist working in organisations and in private practice, Jacqui has a strong business background and is on the advisory board for Kingston Business School. David Fitzgerald, lay trustee David is in his tenth year as director of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland having formerly had several senior management roles with global nutrition company Glanbia. John Loughrey, lay trustee
James is a hypno-psychotherapist in private practice. Much of his work is in the field of transvestism, transgenderism and transsexualism. He is a trustee of the Beaumont Trust.
John is responsible for providing legal, governance and compliance advice at IRIS Business Software. He previously worked in a similar capacity for another software service, CryptoLogic.
Emma Williams, lay trustee
Andy is a psychodynamic psychotherapist and trauma counsellor, working primarily with those suffering from depression, anxiety and other emotional difficulties, as well as trauma.
Along with her current post at the charity and membership organisation PTA UK, Emma has previously held director roles at Camden Arts Centre and the Roundhouse.
Categories of members Organisational membership
For organisations relevant to psychotherapy or psychotherapeutic counselling, which have a code of ethics and practice compatible with our requirements and which support our aims and objectives.
Student member For students who are on a training course with one of our organisational members leading to a recognised qualification. Membership offers reductions on the cost of events, plus access to professional networks, groups and other resources.
Trainee therapist member Student membership benefits plus listing as a trainee on our website. Ten per cent discount on becoming a full UKCP member in the first year following qualification.
Retired member For former full individual members who have retired from all clinical or non-clinical work. For individuals who want to keep in touch with developments in their professional body but who no longer appear on our register.
Full clinical individual member A full range of membership benefits including: Inclusion in the national register of psychotherapists and/or national register of psychotherapeutic counsellors A professional membership certificate Permission to use the UKCP members’ logo on your website, in print or under the logo in Yellow Pages The opportunity to apply for a European Certificate for Psychotherapy from the European Association for Psychotherapy.
Full non-clinical individual member For those who have been a fullclinical member and who are now not currently engaged in any clinical practice (e.g. full or parttime academics or researchers).
Benefits of membersh Benefits of membership
Professional recognition, regulation and support
A student or trainee must apply via the UKCP organisational member that is responsible for their training
Members’ voices are heard nationally through our campaigning, policy and political work Superb networking opportunities including a dedicated LinkedIn group Range of membership grades to suit different career stages Details included on our website (full clinical individual members and trainee therapists) Professional conferences which can contribute to your CPD Regional events, members forums, and special interest groups
To apply for full-clinical membership, applicants must, in the first instance, belong to one of our organisational members and their application be accredited through this member Individuals who have trained with an organisation which is not a UKCP organisational member must apply for full clinical membership through a UKCP accrediting organisation Holders of the European Certificate in Psychotherapy (ECP) may apply directly to a UKCP College
Free subscription to The Psychotherapist magazine Email bulletins for professional news, campaign updates and developments within UKCP Discounts on books in the UKCP series Discounts on professional indemnity insurance for UKCP members
Visit www.ukcp.org.uk/join for lists of organisational and accrediting organisations, further details on membership grades and fees along with downloadable application forms.
UK Council for Psychotherapy, 2nd Floor Edward House, 2 Wakley Street, London EC1V 7LT Telephone 020 7014 9955 Website www.ukcp.org.uk Registered Charity No 1058545 Company No 3258939 Registered in England
For further advice or information, please contact: UK Council for Psychotherapy 2nd Floor Edward House 2 Wakley Street London EC1V 7LT Telephone: 020 7014 9955 option 1 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
12 March 2016
Third Annual UKCP Members’ Assembly Margaret Ramage and Andy Cottom give their experiences of the Members’ Assembly in March
was pleased to represent the College for Sexual and Relationship Psychotherapy at this meeting. I have enjoyed working with colleagues at UKCP, and wanted to say a personal “Goodbye” to Janet Weisz, now standing down from Chair. She was very supportive to me when I was learning about UKCP in 2012, and came to early meetings of the College as it became established.
Margaret Ramage is a sexual and relationship psychotherapist who worked for over 19 years in the NHS as a psychosexual therapist.
The programme for the day was fairly loosely structured, beginning with Chair’s Report, where Janet Weisz formally announced the result of the election, and that Martin Pollecoff would take up the post from 17 March. She summarised the changes to UKCP which have been implemented over her time as Chair, including revisions to Complaints and Conduct Process (CCP); Financial Management now outsourced, drawing up a new Ethical Framework; the Shape Review and subsequent structural changes; new appointments in the office; and collaboration with other bodies, to name just a few. I met the new Treasurer, Ian Robertson, who seems happy with his role, and his Committee. Head of Communications, Richard Hunt, who has been in post since October, gave a presentation. His intention is to engage with members and establish
a meaningful connection with them, seeking ways in which his department can support their careers. He has many plans, including targeted newsletters containing information about regional and other events that members might be interested in. He wants a member survey to find out what we want, he wants marketing to new members and a welcome pack for them, and he wants to raise the benefits of UKCP for members, bringing our work to life in the media by publishing our stories, all identities protected. An ambitious set of aspirations! And he plans new guidelines for use of social media. The team developing the Digital Delivery Project, (DDP) were present and eager to engage with members to clarify what we wanted them to make for us. The website needs to regain members’ confidence, it is UKCP’s shop window and it is taking longer to bring to fruition than anybody wants.
Towards high quality therapy on the NHS I The Therapist Listing element is to be called Customer Relationship Management (CRM). There has been increased Collaboration with Organisations, (Mind, BABCP, BACP, BCP, Royal College of Psychiatrists) to organise a campaign to increase access to psychotherapy. There is also a three Chairs Meeting, every 4–6 weeks, between UKCP, BACP and BCP, to support these aims. There is no question that while the three bodies are working closer, they will still retain separate identities. UKCP leads on Public Policy, BACP leads on Complaints, and BCP leads in relating to PSA. I felt this was a really positive and exciting development, and a long way from where UKCP started many years ago.
The afternoon sessions were firstly small groups to gather ‘What we want from UKCP’, and secondly a Chair’s Farewell and the new Chair’s Introduction. The looseness of the programme allowed enough time for general discussions as well as personal views, and was much better than I expected.
Finale This was a drinks and canapes session, at which Honorary Fellowships were awarded to Del Loewenthal, Fiona Biddle and Inger Gordon, all very richly deserving of such an honour, and a cheerful end to an enjoyable day. Good food, interesting company, friendly atmosphere and warm ambiance.
hat struck me about this year’s Members’ Assembly was how many staff members had given up their Saturday to be there. In the past it was all too easy to think of the office staff as something separate from the members, working on their own agenda rather than what we psychotherapists want. It is obvious to me how far from the truth this is these days – it feels so much more like a team working towards a common goal. With a new Chair, a new CEO soon to be decided upon, a new Treasurer and other new trustees, the continuity that the office staff offer is going to be invaluable. And with that ‘end of an era’ feel to the day, it was reassuring to hear the contributions from Andrew Samuels and Heward Wilkinson, showing us that whilst UKCP continues to evolve through various metamorphoses, it still holds onto its core purpose. I was thinking as Martin
was introducing himself by speaking of the need for promotion of high quality psychotherapy in all the modalities that UKCP represents, that we can – largely due to Janet’s endeavours – have the assurance that we now regulate ourselves appropriately. Through our complaints procedure, our training standards and through the monitoring of our professionalism, we can have the confidence to speak with pride about what we offer our clients. Maybe we can be encouraged to speak a bit louder.
Andy Cottom is Vice Chair of the Professional Regulatory Committee of the Colleges and Faculties (PRCCF) and an experienced psychoanalytic psychotherapist.
n some ways, this is an exciting time for psychotherapy on the NHS. In March 2015, the Government pledged an extra £1.25 Billion spending on mental health. A further pledge of £600 million was made in November 2015, following a UKCP-led campaign. Psychological therapies have been singled out as a prime recipient of this money, which could mean a significant boost for both therapists and clients.
However, more money for psychological therapy does not automatically mean more jobs for highly qualified therapists like UKCP members. In 2012, a survey of therapists working on the NHS, conducted jointly by UKCP and the British Psychoanalytic Council, revealed that 63% had observed a cut in psychotherapy posts in the service they worked in. Importantly, these losses had occurred despite no obvious reduction in mental health budgets. In the same year as the aforementioned survey, evidence from NHS trusts showed that mental health funding had remained broadly static. What had happened, however, was that within those budgets, the funding for IAPT (the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme) had increased, at the expense of other mental health services. Given that 25% of UKCP members work on the NHS, but only 7% on IAPT, it should come as no surprise that, in general, UKCP members were on the raw end of the deal. With the new money for mental health due to start following in the next financial year, our task is to ensure that it goes towards providing a range of high quality therapy on the NHS, rather than a simple expansion of IAPT. However, in order to do that, we need to know more about why NHS commissioners are choosing IAPT over other possible models of psychotherapy provision.
There are a range of possible factors here, some or all of which may be playing a role. Firstly, there is the waiting time target. At present NHS commissioners are required to ensure that 75 per cent of patients with depression or anxiety disorders can access therapy within 6 weeks and 95% within 18 weeks. However, this target applies only to those referred to IAPT – not any other NHS psychotherapy service. It is easy to see how an IAPT-only target could force commissioners’ hands into spending money on IAPT even if they genuinely wanted invest in non-IAPT services. Perhaps pushing to invest for mental health targets that could be met by any NHS psychotherapy service would help solve this. Secondly, there is NICE guidance. At present, many of the therapies that UKCP members
Peter Kunzmann is Policy & Parliamentary Affairs Manager at UKCP. He joined UKCP in September 2015 after 10 years working for MPs in a variety of policy, campaigning and constituency roles.
offer are not on the approved list, mainly due to the lack of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that have been conducted into their efficacy. If NICE guidance is a major factor underlying commissioning decisions, then it will either require the difficult task of changing the approval standards– or to undertake the equally difficult task of ensuring that sufficient RCTs are conducted to demonstrate our therapies meet the current standard. This may require pushing for major funders, like the Medical Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research, or the Wellcome Trust to invest in the studies we think need to be done. Thirdly, there is a simple lack of awareness. IAPT is relatively well known, and simple to understand. It is possible that commissioners, burdened with a multitude of different health conditions, are simply unaware of alternative models of delivery. If this is true, maybe an awareness raising exercise is in order. Fourthly, there are the views of Mental Health Trusts. Anecdotally, we have heard that CCGs lack the specialist knowledge to make informed decisions about mental health spending – which leads them to rely heavily on advice from MHTs. Maybe, therefore, we need to take a step back from the views of commissioners themselves, and
look at why MHTs are recommending IAPT rather than other services. Fifthly, is the category of everything else: The factors that we have identified, but don’t have enough space to write about here, but also the factors that might be playing a role, but we haven’t even thought of yet. In order to determine which factors are genuinely at play, we are considering surveying commissioners and perhaps mental health trusts. We will also be seeking discussions with senior officials with NHS England, the Department of Health, and key players within the wider mental health community. However, we also need to hear from you. If you have any experience of NHS commissioning, or any insight into how commissioning decisions are made, we want your thoughts. However, big or small your insight may be, send us an email at email@example.com as it may just be the piece of the jigsaw that we need. Combining our wider survey work with the insight of members will hopefully allow us effectively push for the high quality psychotherapy service on the NHS that therapists want and clients deserve.
My message in a bottle: thinking more collaboratively The new Chair of UK Council for Psychotherapy, Martin Pollecoff, calls for more sharing of experience and communications Dear friends, This is my first column as Chair and I feel clumsy writing this because, by the time you get to read it, everything will have moved on. So please treat like it some message in a bottle. Speed of communication and transparency are the main reasons that I want to move more and more of our communications online because, if I write online then you can comment and make suggestions. The tasks here then become collaborative. As someone who has emphasised the promotion of UKCP Psychotherapy, I am pleased to that say that for the first time, we have been a presence in Mental Health Awareness Week. And if you go online you can see six short films and a podcast made by Sandra Scott and Claire Walsh: www.psychotherapy.org.uk/news/ or go to our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/TheUKCP I am delighted with these because it’s our first forays into using video to make our presence felt in a national campaign. Richard Hunt’s new communications team is getting into gear and the past two months UKCP has had mentions in The Times, The Sunday Times, Daily Star, The
Martin Pollecoff is a psychotherapist and supervisor in private practice with extensive management and marketing experience. Martin was elected Chair of UKCP in March 2016. He was previously a member of the UKCP Executive Team and the Editorial Board. From 2012–2015 Martin was a trustee of UKCP representing Individual Members.
Huffington Post, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph. And here’s where I need your help. We need to make news, not just respond to it. Research moves civil servants but it is personal stories that affect the rest of us. We need stories about people and projects where your work is making a difference. And we will tell them in simple plain English. If you have a story, let us know and our team will do the work and arrange interviews. Simply point us in the direction of people who wish to share their experience and get in contact with Claire Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org I would like to ask for something else. There are so many psychotherapy books and websites, I am going to list a couple of websites and the books I am enjoying, but I want your suggestions as well. Send me details of what you are reading and viewing online and we’ll publish them. Let’s start with the books: Peter Kinderman (2014) A prescription for Psychiatry, Palgrave Macmillan London (a radical reformulation of psychiatry from the elected Chair of the BPS) James Davies (2013) Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm Than Good, Faber and Faber London John Lee editor (2016) The Future of Psychological Therapy, From Managed Care to Transformational Practice’, Routledge London. (Some wonderful chapters here – including Del Loewenthal’s description of when UKCP went to NICE and how that ended up and Richard House’s wonderful writing in ‘Beyond the Measurable,’) Del Loewenthal, Ed (2015) Critical Psychotherapy Psychoanalysis and Counselling, Implications for Practice,
Palgrove, London. (Again a terrific read despite the heavy title) Peter Lomas (1999) Doing Good – Psychotherapy out of its depth. Oxford University Press. A wonderful book on ‘Real psychotherapy’ as opposed to the State’s offerings. In terms of online I regularly listen to www.madnessradio.net. This is a psychiatric survivors radio show out of Portland, Oregon. You will find an archive of hundreds of great programmes. Check out March 2016 ‘New Vision for Psychotherapy’ by Jon Van Os. It’s the best. I would also recommend peterkinderman.blogspot.com – it may give you a fresh view on the British Psychological Society. So please, send me your recommendations at email@example.com. Best wishes Martin Pollecoff Chair
The wrong side of the line Shaun Goodwin gives an account of a powerful UKCP conference that reached into the hearts and minds of professionals working with children and adolescents In my dreams and visions, I seemed to see a line, and on the other side of that line were green fields and lovely flowers … but I couldn’t reach them no-how. Harriet Tubman
he Wrong Side of the Line was the third conference in the series ‘Listen to my Story’, held by UKCP’s Faculty for the Psychological Health of Children. Taking place on 16 April in London, it was open to all professionals working with children, in accordance with the faculty aim of reaching out and exchanging experience and ideas with all child and adolescent workers.
Inspiring and empowering In a world of social and economic divisions, rules, regulations, judgments and thresholds can create insurmountable barriers, where young people may find themselves stranded on the ‘wrong side of the line’, either by birth into disadvantaged environments or through circumstances outside their control. This conference provided an opportunity to present and hear stories from the wrong side of the line and examples of how young people had been empowered to create a different story. This proved to be inspiring and empowering from start to finish, and imparted hope in an area where it is all too easy for professionals to feel overwhelmed and helpless.
Shaun Goodwin is an integrative child and adult psychotherapist trained in the transpersonal tradition at CCPE. Shaun particularly enjoys working creatively with older children and adolescents, with his passion being art and sandplay. Shaun is a supervisor for Kids company and Mind.He also facilitates and lectures on integrative psychotherapy.
The power of storytelling Dexter Dias, an award-winning human rights barrister, began by looking at the emancipatory power of storytelling in two fields that at first sight appear quite distant from each other: modern England and sub-Saharan Africa. However, on closer examination, there are significant connections. Dexter’s work has involved campaigning and researching in the areas of the physical restraint of children in England, mainly boys, and female genital mutilation in Africa. Both involve the infliction of pain as a form of suppression, creating compliance. He pointed out that when people are confronted with statistics, as horrifying as they are, they tend to glaze over and become immune to emotion, even when he shares the fact that there are 200 million mutilated women in the world and that this is increasing by three million a year. Dexter has found that when he uses specific stories and humanises the issue, people ‘get it’. When negotiating with government to get something done, the most powerful point he has been able to make is that every 11 seconds a young woman is mutilated somewhere in the world. This, along with the specific stories of women willing to share their experience, brings the statistics to life.
Collective abandonment Dexter issued a plea to all of us not to get sucked into the collective abandonment that has happened in the past. He reminded
us of Edmund Burke’s comment, ‘All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing’. There are 65,000 girls at risk in the UK. He pleaded with us to look out for any signs such as unexpected holidays in Africa or a child seemingly being prepared for ceremony, and to make sure that child safeguarding policies were fully up to date, with specific plans of action in place for when suspicions arise. He said we shouldn’t assume that we would be going against the parents. He had experienced many cases where the parents were under pressure from wider family in Africa and were relieved to have the decision taken away from them. Pertinently, I have my own story to tell in my role as clinical supervisor only a couple of days after the conference. It came to our notice that two young girls were being prepared by their father for a holiday to Africa. We decided to raise a cause for concern. This created an ‘aha’ moment for the professionals involved with the children, who had not thought of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a possibility until we raised it. I can think of no better example of how awareness needs to be increased.
The F word In his talk, one of the stories Dexter shared was that of a prison officer who had been profoundly affected by having to use the prison system’s restraint policy on children. Marina Cantacuzino continued this theme,
ukcp news sharing her work on how perpetrator narratives can be a key part of a restorative narrative . This is doubly important for young people, who potentially have most of their life ahead of them if they can escape the chains of their experience. She pointed out that the ‘F’ word, forgiveness, is a highly contentious subject but is proven to be transformative. Astonishingly, she has had psychoanalysts who have refused even to read her book on the subject but emphasised that she is not trying to ‘sugar-coat’ forgiveness. She argued that sharing stories of forgiveness was therapeutic, but not therapy. It is about people becoming the author of their own lives by avoiding moral absolutes. As Solzhenitsyn wrote, ‘The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?’
Sharing stories of forgiveness is therapeutic but not therapy Harrowing but uplifting A specific narrative of our conferences is bearing witness to young people who have overcome the odds. Kev Curran and Shereece Foster shared harrowing but ultimately uplifting stories of their journey from care to helping young people today – Kev through his filmmaking company, Inspired Youth, and Shereece , a young mum herself, by supporting the Best Beginnings baby app. Allison Baum, CEO and founder of Best Beginnings, described her mission to try to give every child a best start in life by supporting and campaigning for young mums and felt that during the day she had ‘found her home’ among attendees of the conference. A thought-provoking and heartwarming day, which left us all feeling informed and enriched. If you would like to help the faculty in its work, please contact us at http://bit.ly/29dOMEr
The UKCP Child and Adolescent Proficiency Marker Jennie McNamara, Chair of the College of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapies, explains the purpose of the Child and Adolescent Proficiency Marker (CPM) and how to apply What is the CPM and who needs it? Since January 2012, UKCP has operated a specialist register for child psychotherapists and child psychotherapeutic counsellors, as defined by UKCP’s Standards of Education and Training (SETs).1 UKCP recognises that a large number of registrants who work primarily with adult clients may, on occasion, also work with, or wish to work with, children or young people. Although not all of these registrants will have trained specifically as child psychotherapists or child psychotherapeutic counsellors, some may have participated in further training to gain additional knowledge and skills, if not to the level required by the UKCP Child Register. We therefore decided to introduce a way of recognising those people who have carried out further relevant training through the introduction of a Child and Adolescent Proficiency Marker (CPM).
Minimum standard The CPM is the means whereby UKCP signals to the public that registered 1 www.psychotherapy.org.uk/resources-andpublications/standards
Jennie McNamara is an honorary fellow of UKCP and is President of the European Association for Counselling & Chair of the UKCP College for Child & Adolescent Psychotherapies.
practitioners have met a minimum standard of proficiency in relation to therapeutic work with children and young people. UKCP defines a child or young person as someone under the age of 18 years. ‘Minimum standard’ is defined as a level of knowledge and skill that can enhance the safety of our child and young person clients, and ensure that the therapy provided meets their human right to access appropriate services. Should members wish to ‘advertise’ their work with children or young people, or market themselves in such a way that they’re claiming experience of or expertise in working with
ukcp news children or young people, they must be on the UKCP Register for Child Psychotherapists and Child Psychotherapeutic Counsellors or have successfully applied for the marker. Registrants need to be aware whether or not these changes apply to them. Until April 2017, acquiring the CPM is through supported self-certification by the Registrant. If you are interested in applying for the CPM through C-CAP, please request an application form at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7014 9955 for further information.
C-CAP The College of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapies (C-CAP) is a vibrant body of registrants of various modalities who are qualified to work with children and young people. We aim to bring together our experience and expertise, and to contribute towards wider professional recognition of UKCP child psychotherapy and child psychotherapeutic counselling. Our work, apart from practice in many contexts, includes research and monitoring developments at government level in relation to children and young people, organising conferences, collaborating with other organisations in the field, and forming a clear professional identity for UKCP registrants’ work with children and young people. We have worked over many years to develop UKCP Standards of Education and Training (SETS) for work with children, which were first published in 2008. Currently these SETS are being revised and we expect them to be reissued in 2017. Our latest work has been to develop the Child and Adolescent Proficiency Marker (CPM). Although we recognise that implementation of the CPM may present challenges to some of our members, we hope that it will give greater recognition to UKCP’s stance on services to children and young people. C-CAP wishes to recognise and to thank UKCP officers, staff, college chairs, our members and those who have worked tirelessly since 1998 to bring this work to fruition.
Digital Delivery Project update Richard Williams, Digital Delivery Project Manager
ou may remember in the spring issue of the magazine that I said we had chosen a supplier for the new website. Since then, the web company has been busy assessing and reviewing the needs of the members for a new website.
The company conducted interviews with members, the public and members of staff to understand how the website is used and what people want from a new website. We shared our member survey data and the company came along to the Members Assembly on 12 March to meet some of you face to face to talk about your needs in more depth. This feedback will inform the next stages of the website development including a review of all content, the design of the website as well as technical specifications.
The system behind the website Over the past few months, the Project Team has examined in detail over 150 functions of the new customer relationship management (CRM) system. We did this to ensure that the new CRM will be fit for purpose. We also wanted to ensure that all costs have been justified, and reduced where possible while still maintaining our commitment to quality. This extensive review process has laid the foundations for a successful implementation as it reduces the likelihood of costly and timeconsuming changes during the build phase.
In April we celebrated a significant milestone in the project – we started to create the CRM. This has been quite a lengthy process, but the suppliers are now busy setting up and configuring our new CRM. The new CRM will power many of the functions of our website, including Find a Therapist and the Register. Having completed the discovery phase, where the CRM supplier gathered information from members and others about what UKCP needs from a database, they have now designed a solution and costed our requirements. While we can’t please everyone, we have tried to take into account as much of the feedback as possible in the design.
Moving the data We have appointed a data migration partner with 20 years’ experience in data migration. The chosen supplier has demonstrated a good understanding of our needs and has previously worked with our CRM partner. The CRM system, website and data migration companies will now need to work together with us as we put together a timeline for a ‘go-live’ date for the new CRM and website.
Richard Williams is the Digital Delivery Project Manager leading the implementation of the new UKCP website and database (CRM). He has been developing websites and databases since the late 1990s, and has a keen interest in helping companies to maximise their potential through the adoption of virtualisation and a digital culture. Richard read a Master’s degree in Management, following which he has led and implemented business change programmes in the arts and culture sectors, most recently at the Royal Opera House. 35
Learning from complaints Brian Lindfield, Chair of the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC), outlines the proceedings of the first Learning from Complaints event and the ongoing work to improve UKCP’s complaints process
would like to start by saying thank you to all the UKCP members who turned up to the event and made it such a success. Feedback has been very positive, so much so that we are planning to repeat it, probably in September 2016, outside London. A big thank you to Janet Weisz, who was instrumental in helping me put on the
Brian Linfield MBE is Lay Chair of the Professional Conduct Committee and comes from a 15-year background of statutory regulation within water industry and as a regional lay chairman for complaints within the NHS. He sits as a magistrate in both family and criminal jurisdictions and also sits as a disability-qualified panel member of the First-tier Tribunal Service of the Social Entitlement Chamber. He works as a civil servant for the Office for National Statistics.
event, and to the office staff who did much of the organising.
PCC report The day started with the presentation of the PCC report. Feedback on the day and post-event indicates that members found this very enlightening: ‘now it makes sense’, ‘you’re not the scary committee anymore’, ‘now I’ve seen the figures, I’m more confident in the process’ were just a few of the comments at morning break. The root cause analysis of complaints appeared to be an area of interest, along with information on how an adjudication panel decides whether a sanction needs to be imposed. The information from the analysis, along with other presentation slides, is available on the complaints section of the UKCP website.
Highlights The presentation started off by outlining to members the job description of the Chair of the Professional Conduct Committee: • To maintain public confidence in the UKCP register • To maintain public confidence in the application of psychotherapy
• To ensure that UKCP’s complaints process is applied correctly • To maintain member confidence that complaints will be dealt with in a fair, professional, independent and expedient manner • To share good practice with the membership • To advise UKCP and the membership on conduct issues. We went on to detail the outcomes of the adjudication panels held over the past two years. When looking at the figures, please remember that UKCP has nearly 8,000 members.
Outcomes of complaints over last two years Number of adjudication panels
Apology required to client
Removal from the UKCP register
Reflective report required from member 1 Additional or altered supervision
Further training to be undertaken
Member to undertake therapy
Temporary suspension from UKCP register 3 No case to answer
ukcp news No case to answer I drew attention to the three ‘no case to answer’ outcomes and reiterated the point that the complaints team makes no findings of fact on complaints, just whether a complaint should be looked at by an adjudication panel. The ‘no case to answer’ decisions are a clear indication of the independence of the panels and that they make their decisions purely on the evidence put before them. It is important to note that the panels invariably have more evidence put before them, both written and verbal, than the case managers have at the time of referral. Figures for the last 12 months were also encouraging:
Professional knowledge, skills or expertise Failure to disclose qualifications on request Failure to seek supervision (for those members required to have supervision) Lack of expertise in area of practice Failure to refer on when in the best interest of client to do so False qualifications claimed
Confidentiality Protection of client information Accidental disclosure of client information to a third party
Failure to seek advice
Enquires into complaints team
Dual party conflict Publications
Formal complaints received
Adjudication panels held
No case to answer
Best interests of client Sexual relationship with client Length of therapy No supervision in place Behaviour of therapist in sessions
No contract/agreement on place
So, what were the triggers for complaints? We use four categories: Conduct, Professional knowledge, skills or expertise, Confidentiality, and Best interests of the client. Of course, the same triggers can appear in each category. When looking at the following triggers you will see ‘supervision’ mentioned. We are aware of the differing requirements for supervision and peer review. I gave an undertaking on the day to ask UKCP to look at how supervision works, and whether there is a need to update advice to members. I have started this conversation with UKCP.
Failure to seek advice
Extending excessive financial credit to client Giving and receiving of inappropriate gifts Dual relationships Client confidentiality Client autonomy Termination of therapy Failure to obtain consent Lack of expertise Asking client for money loans So what are the recurring themes across all types of complaints?
Non-disclosure of criminal convictions
Length of therapy
Non-disclosure of disciplinary proceedings by another professional body
Lack of supervision
Failure to have proper, if any, supervision
Dual relationship with client
Termination of therapy
Sexual relationship with client
Sexual relationship with client
Failure to refer on when in best interest of client to do so
Financial exploitation of client
Financial exploitation of client Failure to terminate therapy in an appropriate manner
Failure to terminate therapy appropriately
Disclosing client information to a third party without consent to do so
Complaints processed in the last 12 months
It was also important to inform attendees of the types of complaints that have been rejected by the case managers. Here are a few:
Unhappy with the cost of therapy My therapist took me to the small claims court I don’t like the way my therapist talks to me My appointment was cancelled at the last minute Length of therapy (this is modality specific) My therapist supported my partner’s view not mine My therapist was texting during the session (the therapist was actually turning the phone off)
Learning from complaints Samantha Lind, one of UKCP’s case managers, then took attendees through a session on learning from complaints. Sam covered boundary issues, confidentiality, and client autonomy/best interests. It was great to sit in, listening to the different groups discussing these issues and then feeding back their thoughts. Attendees were then informed about what actually happens at each stage of a complaint; thanks must go to Sunita Thakore for her insight into how the case managers work. Sandra Marcantonio went on to explain to members the role of the lay chair appointed to chair the hearing, while Whiz Collis, one of our professional panel members, explained her role on the panel.
Mediation and dispute resolution The last session focused on how mediation and alternative dispute resolution can be better used. It was good to hear your views and UKCP has asked Sam to take this project forward. I would like to finish off with saying a big thank you again to all the members who attended. You really did make it an excellent event and you sent me away with a lot of positive feedback as well as some areas I really need to work on with UKCP going forward. For those who couldn’t attend, please keep your eyes open for our September workshop.
Introducing alternative dispute resolution Samantha Lind explains the work in progress to establish a partner to UKCP’s complaints process, alternative dispute resolution
ver the past two years, we’ve worked hard to develop a fair and robust process that allows us to deal with complaints and maintain the integrity of our register. The introduction of the revised Complaints and Conduct Process (CPP) 2015 last November gives us the confidence that any serious matters brought to UKCP that might impact on public safety or the reputation of the profession will be carefully and appropriately addressed in a fair and transparent manner.
With the foundation in place, we are now free to begin work on a process that we see as an imperative partner to the formal CCP – I’m talking, of course, about alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Last year our team received 42 complaints about UKCP-registered psychotherapists. Of these, only eight were deemed to meet the threshold for referral to an adjudication panel. For the other 34 cases, no further action was taken. The CCP consultation clearly showed us that both registrants and service users wanted a process that could be used to help find a resolution for situations where the CCP wasn’t appropriate. A recommendation was therefore put to the Board of Trustees that a new, standalone ADR process be developed to sit alongside the CCP. Removing ADR from the CCP would allow more flexibility and enable a
Samantha Lind works as a Case Manager in the Complaints and Conduct Team. She has almost ten years’ experience working in complaints and customer experience roles, both in corporate environments and the third sector, and has a keen interest in policy and process development.
more robust, fully developed process to exist. We have now started work on that process. The project will run in three stages:
1 Information gathering This stage is about understanding: we want to find out how other organisations, both statutory and non-statutory, address this issue. Most importantly, however, we want to understand what is currently happening within UKCP, both in the colleges and in relation to organisational members (OMs). By understanding how many informal grievances are currently being received and the techniques and systems in place to help resolve or diffuse these issues, we hope to create a consultation tailored to the specific issues currently faced by our OMs and colleges.
2 Public consultation A series of questions will be put to the public, our registrants, our internal committees, our OMs and colleges, and any other external parties, seeking their advice and experiences regarding local resolution. This information will then be collated and assessed, and used to shape the discussions and eventual drafting of the policy.
3 Policy The final stage will produce the final policy. We envisage a working group of six to ten
representatives from the colleges or OMs to work through the responses to the consultation and formulate the shape of the policy. The policy will then be drafted by UKCP and our lawyers and passed on to the Board of Trustees for their approval. We are currently in the first stage of the process, with the public consultation due to be launched in autumn. It is important to generate as much discussion as possible about this project. We want a process that is fair to all parties, but most importantly we want a process that is practical, that people have faith in and want to use. Informal resolution will only ever work if there is confidence in the process and people are willing to participate. By giving people the opportunity to help us shape this policy, we hope that we’ll be able to produce something that will be beneficial to all. Further information about this project will be published in future issues of The Psychotherapist, on our website, and communicated through bulletins, but if you have any questions or would like any further information, please contact Samantha Lind at email@example.com or on 020 7014 9978.
A union for therapists Former UKCP Chair Andrew Samuels explains to The Psychotherapist how a union can help if you are faced with a complaint
The Psychotherapist: Why a union? Why now? Aren’t there enough organisations and bodies in the therapy field already? Andrew Samuels: Well, people have been talking about a union for years so it isn’t a new thing. In February 2016, the Psychotherapy and Counselling Union (PCU) was formally constituted. Up until now, there has been no organisation whose prime function is simply to offer specialised support of various kinds to practitioners who are its members. PCU has got off to a good start and now has several hundred members. TP: What do you mean by ‘support’? Doesn’t UKCP offer support to its members? AS: Bodies like UKCP (and BACP and BPC) certainly offer many kinds of valuable services to their members. However, let’s remember that they also take on the important role of policing the profession, administering registers as well as managing and adjudicating complaints against members. It’s very difficult to offer support to members at the same time as instituting
Andrew Samuels is a psychotherapist (Jungian analyst), professor, writer and activist. He was Chair of UKCP from 2009 to 2012 and one of the two founders of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility. Andrew’s ‘rants’ (spontaneous talks straight to camera) may be heard at www.andrewsamuels.com
Since PCU is not in the business of registering and policing practitioners, we can be singleminded in our support for our members proceedings against them. The union has now met with all the psychotherapy and counselling accredited voluntary registers, and with the Professional Standards Authority, which accredits them. There is a universal recognition of the problems in both prosecuting complaints – and also in supporting or representing members required to respond to those complaints. Since PCU is not in the business of registering and policing practitioners, we can be single-minded in our support for our members. TP: So this is about support at a time when a client complains? What kind of support? AS: The legal aspects of defending against a complaint are generally handled by lawyers paid for through insurance. However, many of those complained against find that the hardest thing to deal with is the psychological impact, the sense of isolation and blame, the feeling that no one understands their position. PCU has no intention of competing with the lawyers, but it can provide what lawyers can’t – support from peers, experienced practitioners who appreciate what actually happens in a therapy room and who can help the person complained against to articulate their side of the story and consider their
options in a psychologically informed way. TP: So this is a service the union offers to a member when there is a complaint against him or her? AS: Yes. But there is more to the matter of support. The union also intends to act in workplace disciplinary hearings and grievance processes, in conflicts and complaints that arise around therapy trainings, and in all situations where practitioners experience bullying and harassment, including where they have acted as whistle-blowers. Hence we are expanding the range of therapy organisations and agencies that recognise PCU as an appropriate body to support and represent our members within those organisations. TP: Why don’t therapists just join a large existing union, like Unison? AS: It’s possible we might end up going in this direction, but it feels important to start by staking out a clear separate identity as a union of psychotherapists and counsellors. This is indicated by PCU’s motto, ‘Standing up for therapists and therapy’. More widely, PCU brings the values of therapy into the field of workplace and political organisation – and the union tradition of solidarity and mutual aid into the world of therapy.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. The PCU website is at http://pandcunion.ning.com
Helping clients deal with commercial disputes Mediation is worth considering if a client has a commercial dispute that might be expensive, embarrassing or time-consuming, explains Andrew Hildebrand. Arranging to mediate is easy and cases usually settle on the day.
hat do you do when a client needs help dealing with a problem that involves commercial or legal issues and personal ones? For example, a dispute with a business partner, a family member over financial or probate issues, or with another business?
An effective alternative For some clients, litigation may be the right way forward but what about when it isn’t? A client may not want to be seen to be backing down or going to war. They may be worried about the costs involved, the stress of having to live with it for another couple of years or what it might do to an underlying relationship. Maybe emotions are clouding their ability to work out what they really need and the best way of getting it. Well, there is an effective alternative and one that usually gets a dispute settled there and then. It is called mediation and because
Andrew Hildebrand is a leading commercial mediator and a member of the Civil Mediation Council. In September, Andrew will be running a seminar about using mediation to resolve client disputes. Please call 020 7286 0272 for further details. http://hildebrandmediation.com.
of some of the similarities involved, clients who respond well to psychotherapy are likely to find it an appealing option. So, what is commercial mediation and how does it differ from litigation and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options?1
What is commercial mediation? Commercial mediation is a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties. The process is confidential and usually takes just a day. The mediator – who is impartial and independent – helps the parties negotiate their own settlement which, once signed, is binding and can be enforced at court. 1 As opposed to either family mediation or as part of UKCP’s complaints process
Commercial mediation is very effective. Ninety per cent of UK commercial mediations settle and at a fraction of the cost that litigation would involve. Mediations are also simple to set up.
Typical disputes where mediation works well Mediation is particularly useful where there is a relationship involved, where interpersonal dynamics are getting in the way or where there is an unresolved emotional angle. For example, where someone doesn’t feel they have been properly respected or treated fairly or where they want an apology. And you don’t need to wait until damage has been done. Mediating can be like marriage guidance, with the mediator testing whether a business relationship
Case study A widower was contemplating making a will and was concerned about how his children might react. Instead, he decided to mediate, hoping that it might also enable him to correct financial imbalances between them during his lifetime. Ahead of the mediation, I met family members separately and confidentially to establish their aspirations, needs and concerns. On the day, the father explained his finances and intentions, and the children, their respective needs. We discussed what they wanted to achieve as a family and considered the available options and associated property transactions. By 6pm, we had created a road map, which also identified additional information they needed to obtain or discuss with professional advisors, potential problems and fallback solutions. Inevitably, it wasn’t a linear process. We also had to manage some difficult family ructions, which, to their credit, the family used as an opportunity to design and agree rules that would improve dialogue between them and make future conversations more effective and less damaging.
ukcp news is salvageable and, if it is, helping the parties work out what needs to change to get it back on a constructive footing. Or, if it isn’t, helping them achieve the best way of divorcing safely and inexpensively without destroying themselves or the business.
How does mediation differ from litigation and arbitration? Cost-effective: It costs more to file a claim at court than it does to hire a mediator to settle it. Speed: Disputes get resolved in weeks, not months or years. Flexible: You can raise whatever issues you like (non-legal ones too) without compromising your legal position and agree whatever outcome suits you best. Confidential and risk-free: Discussions and settlement terms stay confidential. If you don’t want to settle, no one can force you, eliminating any danger of being saddled with an unwelcome legal ruling.
Why does it work? Most legal disputes are, at their heart, disputes between people. A termination dispute, for example, may be about legal concepts like ‘rescission’ and ‘repudiation’ and the commercial ramifications, but it is also invariably about how the people involved have been impacted. The first thing a mediator does is create a temporary ceasefire and engage with people so that, no matter how bruised they are by what they’ve been through, they trust the mediator enough to let him or her help them. Unlike a judge or a litigator, a mediator looks for what unites people, not what separates them. In a sense, a mediator often operates in a sort of ‘no-go zone’, one that can feel too directive or commercial for a therapist to undertake, yet too ‘touchy feely’ for a lawyer.
A standard and growing part of the litigation landscape The judiciary are strong supporters of mediation and parties involved in claims for under £100,000 will probably soon be required to consider mediation before litigating. © Andrew Hildebrand, 2016
Research in UKCP: brief reports
This article is the first of what the Research Faculty Committee (RFC) hopes will develop into an occasional series, comprising brief reports of completed research carried out by UKCP members. In particular, we intend that the series offers a forum for dissemination of the research of students on UKCP accredited training programmes.
uture articles may include summaries of clinical research, such as case studies and small scale projects or larger ones, such as Practice Research Networks (PRNs). We would like some issues to focus on specified topics. The RFC would like to make this an ongoing part of the Psychotherapist and is keen to receive contributions either from individuals or members of training organisations. If you are interested in submitting a summary or developing an article, please contact us initially at email@example.com. In this first article are three summaries of MA dissertations undertaken at the Minster Centre, London. The Minster is developing reflexive, creative approaches to research, using a range of methods. These summary reports outline projects conducted using different qualitative methods and each has been written up in a way that could be seen as mirroring the method used. Angela Cotter (Issue Editor & RFC Member) and Carol Martin (Chair, RFC)
Angela Cotter is a psychotherapist in private practice and a lecturer at Regent’s University. She is co-vice chair of the RFC. Angela’s specific research interests are: action research; intersubjectivity of therapeutic relationships; the ‘wounded healer’.
Carol Martin is Chair of the RFC. She is a lecturer and director of the doctoral programme in Clinical Psychology at the University of Leeds. Previously she also worked in the NHS.
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ukcp news Aftermath: How does the loss of a parent during adolescence impact on identity as an adult?
Resilience and stories: a journey of discovery
Nancy Bell MA, Ad Dip, UKCP Reg · www.nancybellcounselling.com
Anne Robin MA, MBACP, UKCP Reg
uch has been written about grief, mourning and loss but much less on the longer term impact of loss on sense of self, identity and ways of ‘being-in-the-world’. Bereaved adolescents have been referred to as the ‘forgotten ones’ (Kubler-Ross 1969). To explore this, I chose a qualitative approach, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) (Smith, Flowers & Larkin 2009). Researchers using IPA accept Heidegger’s argument that one cannot interpret something without bringing one’s own preconceptions, experiences and assumptions into the analysis. I was mindful of the effect of my own personal adolescent experience of loss on the research. I interviewed six psychotherapists; all were bereaved between 11 and 39 years ago, choosing psychotherapists for their reflective focus, and the ability to manage their feelings would help me to meet the ethical criterion ‘do no harm’ (Finlay, 2011). Multiple variables, like family context, nature of death and personality, relevant to a sense of self (Erikson 1968), made it important to give room for participants to reflect on their experience from before the parent’s death to the present day. I carried out a meticulous line by line analysis of the data to enter and make sense of the experiential worlds of the participants.
Findings Despite the variables, coherent themes emerged including: • • • • •
Vivid recollection of the death Cutting off feeling Delayed grief A ‘shattered’ world view Complex on-going feelings such as blame, responsibility and ambivalence • Changed feelings and understanding of their dead parent over time All participants described an effect on their adult relationships, whether with partners, children or therapists: ‘Relationships that break down are bad for everybody. However, for me, it brings out that horrible traumatic sense of abandonment.’ Another overarching theme was longing for an adult relationship with their dead parent;
as an adolescent how can you fully comprehend what you have lost? ‘...to know a parent. Different to have an adult relationship with your parents, in an intimate way, this is something that I really wanted and didn’t get.’ The youngest participants at the time of the death were left with feelings of resentment at not ‘being looked after’ or ‘shown what to do’: ‘You carry it with you, deep disappointment. And not knowing why the disappointment is there.’ Older participants showed an increased integration of their loss with their sense of identity and ability to engage with the world: ‘It’s enabled me to engage with the world on a deeper level and with people. Life is deeper.’
Final thought This study shows the extent of the effects of adolescent loss, even for this sample of adults experienced with exploration and processing of feelings. An aim for psychotherapists with bereaved young people is to help facilitate the integration of their loss with their sense of self.
References Erikson E.H (1968): Identity, youth and crisis, W.W Norton, Inc., New York Finlay L (2011) Phenomenology for Therapists: Researching the Lived World. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell Kübler-Ross E. (1969) On Death and Dying. London: Routledge Smith J.A., Flowers P. & Larkin M. (2009): Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis; Theory, Method and Research. London: Sage.
arrative inquiry has to be one of the most subjective, subversive research methods (Clandinin, Connelly, 2000): it is intensely personal, involving the researcher closely with the topic, blurring the lines between research and life, turning research into an artistic form. Allowing extensive freedom and creativity, it suited my project perfectly: one researcher, me; one subject of observation, my grandmother; one topic, the resilience she displayed throughout her life. At the end of it, no absolute truth; rather, possibilities and the ability to evoke responses and resonance in readers. Over the years, many unhappy people struggling with life, relationships, themselves, have crossed my path. I came to believe that nearly everyone suffers from some form of anguish: trauma, neglect, abuse; who could claim immunity? Yet, here was my grandmother who had endured terrible ordeals and thrived. What was it that made her so robust; could I discover what it was about her personality and history that made her so? Could that be extrapolated and applied to psychotherapeutic work so that, as well as healing, clients might develop resources to increase their resilience? Would the narrative inquiry method deliver tangible, credible results? I was ready for anything, including failure. The initial literature review led to a thought-provoking finding: resilience is the norm, pathology the exception (Masten, 2001); it also provided the foundation from which to launch into data analysis. I transcribed hours of interviews with my grand-mother, built a genogram, collected photographs and mementoes. Then, I established lists of characters, their interactions and relationships; drew out a precise chronology of events and noted significant locations; dissected the plot in narrative terms, identifying problems, resources, decisive actions and resolutions, if any; and finally turned to the themes related to resilience: death and loss; intelligence and education (enhancing communication skills, adaptability and understanding); making a story into a testimony (creating meaning from confusing events and transmitting it to an audience); agency and mastery (an ability to
ukcp news No place to hide: an exploration of therapists’ embodied countertransference responses and their impact on the therapeutic relationship Justyna Sulowska, MA, UKCP Reg · firstname.lastname@example.org make decisions and act on them, a belief that one’s actions matter and can make a difference, a source of confidence and pleasure). These findings are invaluable in my practice, reinforcing my belief in the power of talking therapies, the telling of, and listening to, people’s stories. They led me to integrate models such as mentalisation (Fonagy, Gergely, Jurist, Target, 2004), recognising that both emotion and cognition have a role, and that awareness and understanding intertwine to support healing and build resilience. I considered more creative interventions beyond the walls of ‘the room’, a more embodied engagement, especially with nature, something nourishing to my grand-mother as a conveyor of a sense of mastery. Narrative inquiry is a delicate method to employ: the masses of data demand exacting organisation; it needs time to collect and analyse the data; the risks of collusion and subjective bias are high. Even so, the rewards are worth the struggle. My verdict on Narrative Inquiry? A resounding yes! The method paints infinitely rich, intricate, complex and unique pictures, just as would the individual walking through the door of your practice.
References Clandinin, D.J, Connelly, F.M. (2000). Narrative Inquiry: Experience and Story in Qualitative Research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Fonagy, P., Gergely, G., Jurist, E.L., Target, M., (2004). Affect Regulation, mentalization, and the Development of the Self. London: Karnac. Masten, A.S. (2001). Ordinary Magic: Resilience Processes in Development. American Psychologist, 56, 227-238.
Context I entered psychotherapy training holding an unconscious perception of therapy as an intellectual process of liberation through insight – ‘opting for a quiet, reflective, contemplative life in the head’ (Miller, 2000). When I started working clinically, I found that my body refused to comply with the script. I was suddenly confronted with a multitude of powerful and unsettling physical responses. Intrigued, I decided to pursue a seemingly impossible dissertation goal – producing an academic paper about physical aspects of the therapeutic process with the therapist’s body as the central focus. Embodiment is one of the ‘buzzwords’ of current discourse in psychotherapy. Yet a closer look reveals our tendency to hide. We prefer to talk about the client’s symptomatic body and bring ours into the consulting room mostly as a vehicle for the mind.
Research focus and method My research focus was ‘the exploration of therapists’ experiences of embodied countertransference and their impact on the therapeutic relationship’. I chose hermeneutic phenomenology as a method of inquiry. Its core philosophical assumptions include seeing meaning as co-created within an intersubjective context (Heidegger, 1985) and embodiment as essential to knowledge and understanding (Merleau-Ponty, 1962). I followed Van Manen’s (1990) approach but drew on the aspects of the relational-centered approach of Finlay (2005). I conducted semi-structured interviews with four integrative psychotherapists: two female and two male, aged between 45-65 years and with post-qualifying experience of between 5-20 years. Embracing the interpretive principle of my method and its reliance on researcher reflexivity, I decided to include my own experiences as data. In analysis, I combined narrative, thematic and creative methods to bring out the depth and complexity of the data.
dynamic, ‘charged’ current at the core of therapeutic encounter. There is a felt sense of therapy as a meeting of two active, resonant and responsive body-minds sharing the same energetic field. Within that dyad the therapist’s body emerges as an alive, sensitive, vulnerable and compassionately involved participant. These brief excerpts from my interviews might help evoke the meaning: ‘Language becomes difficult in describing this, but it is physical resonance – in the same way a tuning fork would resonate to a note being struck’ ‘We touch our clients with our voice, with our eyes, with our being, when we are involved in an embodied way’. My results also call for a specific type of self-care for therapists – a care of their body through movement, physical practice, exercise and attunement. They evoke an understanding of psychotherapy as a craft demanding the engagement of the entirety of our being. It is in our minds that we are ever separate. By staying attuned to our bodies, we access the healing power of therapeutic relationship.
References Finlay, L. (2005) Reflexive embodied empathy: a Phenomenology of Participant-Researcher Intersubjectivity. The Humanistic Psychologist, 33(4), 271-292 Heidegger, M. (1927/1985) Understanding and Interpretation. In: K. Mueller-Vollmer (ed.) The Hermeneutics Reader, 215-227, Oxford: Basil Blakwell Merleau-Ponty, M. (1962). Phenomenology of perception. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Miller, J. A. (2000) The Fear of the Body in Psychotherapy. Psychodynamic Counselling, 6(4), 437-450 Van Manen, M. (1990) Researching Lived Experience: Human Science for Action Sensitive Pedagogy. New York: State University of New York Press
Findings My results expand the traditional understanding of countertransference to include an embodied process – a vibrant,
ukcp members Book review by Caroline Cairns Clery
Fostering Good Relationships: Partnership Work in Therapy with Looked After and Adopted Children By Miriam Richardson and Fiona Peacock et all · UKCP Karnac Series 2016
n reviewing Fostering Good Relationships I have to declare an interest: I took on it as a member of the UKCP/Karnac Book Series Book Editorial Board at the proposal stage to assess whether to recommend it for publication expecting and hoping for a worthy contribution to a field, which had as yet been unaddressed in the series, but no more than that. How wrong I was. This book reminds you all the time not just of the vulnerability of the human condition and the randomness of circumstance, but also of our dependency on each other, on the systems around us, for care, for nurture, for communication, for our very being. And it does so with utter respect for both the personal circumstances that those children and young people who require fostering or adoption have to endure, and for the familial and professional contexts they find themselves in. With direct, unpatronising practice-based evidence as well as current demographical information and findings from evidence-based practice across involved disciplines, this book is none-the-less no academic exercise in bland generalisations. Indeed it eschews any kind of over-reliance upon dry demographics at all to speak from the heart of the therapeutic perspective to the situational realities involved in being ‘assessed’ as in ‘need’ of alternative care or to provide or relinquish full parental responsibility. Treading the fine line between the various interagency organisational constraints and the personal needs of families and children who find themselves caught up in the system, this book is packed with understanding and pragmatic suggestions for
Caroline Cairns Clery is a consultant systemic & family psychotherapist and author of Engenderings, Chipmunka 2013)
the provision of the best possible reparative experience for children being ‘looked after’. You might think then that this is a specialist subject geared to those who have a personal or professional interest in these issues. Whilst that is certainly true it only tells half the story because it is also the case that in addressing the family, relationship, personal and emotional issues, the authors discuss issues which affect all of us in a way that clarifies the otherwise oxymoronic interactional conundrum between the uniqueness of each person and situation and the wider collective (legal, psychiatric and social mores) in which they find themselves being swept up by. Focusing on the cases of some of our most disadvantaged families, children and young people this book does not flinch from the traumatic realities of their interactions with the world. Children whose existential circumstances have sundered, or are actually in the process of sundering, their psychobiological, bloodborn expectation to be loved by their parents or family; birth families whose capacity to provide safety and love have been deemed, or who deem themselves, inadequate, and adoptive families whose good intentions have, of necessity, to come up against the realities of what is involved in the process of making them real, are all addressed with a deeply impressive humanity. Think for a moment about the needs of children who are often if not always utterly vulnerable and more hurt than they can articulate. Imagine experiencing what it would do to you. Would you feel emotionally raw, hungry and yearning for love? Or would you find yourself dissociating from your feelings in the horror of your unloving, unsafe circumstances in these your first and most formative years on planet earth? Perhaps you would be desperate to cling to any port in a storm or to lock yourself into a prison of despair at all the loss you were experiencing? Or maybe you would experience a roller-coaster, bumpercar fairground hell of all these things at once. What it would feel like to be ‘received into foster
care’ or to be ‘put up for’ adoption is actually almost impossible for most of us to imagine. Instead we empathise or rationalise what it would be like. This book does not flinch from the realities of what is involved. It embraces them and not only does it tell as it is, it also comes up with imaginative yet pragmatic ways and means of soothing the awfulness of what is going on for such children and presents different therapeutic strategies which enable emotional development to occur despite it. Realities that even those neither fostered nor adopted nor working professionally in the field can learn from. Taken in isolation the terms ‘fostering’ and ‘adoption’, conjure up images of societal kindness, of empathy, of agapeic, philanthropic attention by well-intentioned foster carers, highly assessed and motivated adopters and assiduously professional, if financially constrained, welfare and child mental health agencies. The semantics of these words implicitly ask us to feel less anguished about the objectified subjects of these good intentions; that is, the children in receipt of them. They also implicitly redirect our emotional attention away from the hugely complex ‘problem’ they have of being directly disconnected from their family circumstances into what could be characterised as a conceptually idealised, milk-and-honey land of actual or potential solutions in which the need for alternative adults to provide them with care respectably derives, in the spirit of Coram, from more than a century of alms-giving and charity specifically geared to their needs. If only it were so simple. The editors and contributors to this book know just how complex it actually is and they make it simpler for the rest of us with an interactional, ‘partnership’ approach. The book addresses how to approach helping such children in the fullest etymological sense of the word ‘respect’. By taking account of the impact and effect of the systems fostered and/or adopted children find themselves in, it looks again and again from a wide cross section of theoretical and practice approaches. Each chapter bringing its own perception and narrative slant on the twilight world of children
ukcp members who too often are or have been betwixt and between predictable, safe care, containment and love and, equally all to often have actual, usually traumatic experience of one kind or another of the very opposite of that. Explicitly and implicitly the authors and contributors, all recognise that if parental love is a human birth right, behaving lovingly towards our children is an action which not all parents are able to provide, not all the time and sometimes never. Their chapter on working with birth parents is just one example evidencing this holistic approach. And it is never judgemental despite the sad fact that for babies, children and young people who are being considered for fostering or adoption, the actual experience of being unloved, deloved, neglected or abused by their parents of origin, although it is important to state that it not always about these things by any means – the birth family decision to ask for foster care can often be a loving one – whilst it has been or continues to be a real one, remains in their biological memory, affecting their subsequent self-esteem, confidence and life chances.
This book offers explanations and ideas to mitigate the possible long-term adverse consequences. It does not blame. It takes a multi-modal approach to helping co-create new developmental stories which do not demonise or scapegoat those of the past but which also allow for different perspectives of both understanding and treatment. But it does not preach. Metaphorically speaking it rolls its sleeves up and addresses the realities with a lightness of touch, a profundity of insight and absence of certainty which is wholly helpful in terms of helping such children to develop new narratives. Its co-constructionist ethos is above all relational. Promoting affectregulating interventions which, crucially and empoweringly, are always also, wherever possible, enabled and authorised by the nonprofessionals involved, means that the essence of the book is genuinely about partnership with families and children. It epitomises the spirit of therapeutic alliance like no other book I have read on the subject. If I have any one criticism to level, it would not be about what is actually in the book – each
Book review by Martin Pollecoff
When the Sun Bursts: The Enigma of Schizophrenia Christopher Bollas · 2016 Yale University Press
oday, Californian born analyst and author, Christopher Bollas, lives off highway 94, south of the Red River in the unincorporated community of Peak, North Dakota, but five day a week, 10 hours a day, for almost 20 years he worked out of an Edwardian House in North London, quietly treating psychosis. Over time he developed his own analytic approach to helping patients avoid immanent breakdown. In an ideal world this is the kind of work that might go on in an enlightened hospital, but it does not, and so he set his own home up to be able to provide this early intervention service. For these patients, sessions might last 9-6 and go on for three days. Patients might see him everyday for hours on end, or work 90 minutes a day seven days a week. Bollas established his own team of psychiatrists, social workers, and a mini-cab service that is pre-paid and instructed
not to engage their passengers in conversation. To allay the patient’s already strained anxiety he did not even charge for the extra sessions. In his previous book Catch them before they fall, The Psychoanalysis of Breakdown (2012) Bollas goes into detail in describing his set up, technique and approach. It’s an instruction manual. When the Sun Burst is different, it’s his observations of the experience of schizophrenia and we follows his learnings from a first job of looking after psychotic and autistic children in Oakland California, through his training days at the Institute and the Tavi to the establishment of this unique London practice, one that builds on the work of Wilfred Bion, R.D. Laing, Hanna Segal, Winnicott and many other British analysts before him.
chapter is self-contained and enlightening even for those who have worked exhaustively within the domain of fostering and adoption and child and adolescent mental health services – but with what could not be sufficiently included given the limitations of space. Serendipitous spontaneous post-adoptive healing processes, for example, might have benefitted from more attention. Equally, as far as the carefully delivered therapeutic interventions and strategies which are shared with the reader, those based not on insight or expertise but on finding the liminal line between sharing expertise but never knowing best is a wonderfully respectful and exciting position to take. Had space allowed, it could have benefitted from even more expansion. In a bigger book I would also have liked a chapter devoted to the epistemological, even spiritual dilemmas birth families, adoptive families, children and carers may feel they have to address but are unsure as to how, in order to make sense of their place in the world. But as I say, these things in themselves would more than fill another whole book. This one is brilliant.
Bollas gives us detail after detail about the inner world of psychosis and the stages of breakdown and recovery. Like his colleagues, I am unsure whether this approach is an act of courage or foolhardiness, but his example is inspiring. You become aware of a man whose career stretches from the open and exploratory 1970s to today highly medicalised, regulated, politically spiteful and litigious world, you see a career that increasingly becomes like a successful high-wire act. Bollas understands the risky journey he has made, but let me tell you something, if I was falling apart, if my sun was to burst, this is the kind of treatment I would choose, even if it meant fording the Red River to find it. To watch an interview with Christopher Bollas talking about ‘When the Sun Burst’ go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy9LAyhwNZo or search online for Prairie Pulse 1313
Apart from the great writing, the strength of this book, and why it is so important, is that
ukcp members Book review by Janet Love
The snake in the clinic: psychotherapy’s role in medicine and healing By Guy Dargert · Karnac Series 2016 · ISBN-13: 978-1-78220-374-2
his book is a true gift to the world of psychotherapy of all modalities and a ‘must read’. It leads us to recognise how ‘symptoms’ of illness in the body show themselves, and by their very nature indicate to us ‘something’ that does not show itself. This is, of course, in stark contrast to the standard medical and pharmacological model of suppression and stifling of somatic symptoms. The book directs us instead towards becoming aware that it is the medical model that often stifles the cries of the human soul for attention and reminds us that the real meaning of psychotherapy is ‘to attend to the psyche
or soul’. It starts by recognising that illness is a part of health, and that to ‘heal’ is to ‘make whole or healthy’. A ‘whole’ approach is exactly what this book gives in terms of understanding illness as an intrinsic part of our lives. Illness disrupts by its very nature our habitual behaviour patterns and forces new adaptations. From Guy’s 35 years of therapeutic experience, the book offers an outstanding range of approaches to understand what illness might mean for us. We are encouraged not just to look inwards to our unconscious and emotional processes for wholeness but also to look outwards to our family systems, ancestors, spirit of place
Book review by Jana Burger
The Training Patient By Gail May · Karnac Series 2015 ISBN-13: 978-1-78220-220-2
he Training Patient is a brave novel. The protagonist, a psychotherapy trainee, Gail May, is about to start to work with her training patient. We quickly become aware of how nerveracking such an undertaking can be: for a start, her patient, an eastern European woman who believes she is being stalked, is reluctant to speak or even attend her sessions. Yet, in order to qualify, Gail is dependent on her staying the full course. She also needs to quickly develop her own, so far only theoretical, technique. And, of course, maintain her own mental and emotional stability. There is also the need to satisfy her supervisor who, as a member of her training institute, is in a position to decide about her suitability to qualify.
Daring to demystify I call this novel brave because the writer dares to show the reader the complexity of
this situation and by so doing demystify the process. Gail has to be something for her patient, yet at the same time she is painfully aware of her own shortcomings. In her supervision too she struggles against wanting to demonstrate her capabilities while hiding her weaknesses and blind spots. After all, the therapy happens behind closed doors. She takes her work with her patient extremely seriously, and on purely personal terms her actions towards her seem to be logical, even protective. But as Gail’s own private life begins falling apart, and her personal circumstances and trauma get enmeshed with those of her patient’s, she starts crossing professional boundaries.
Moments of suspense and passion Gail’s journey to Prague on the trail of her patient’s secret is one of many examples of acting out a fantasy. But this is a work of fiction – and as such is gently humorous, beautifully written and a
and our place in the universe in our quest to heal on our soul’s journey of self-realisation, self-actualisation or individuation.
Janet Love is author of Psychosis in the Family which describes her journey of how and why she became a constellation therapist. Janet is the Founder Member of the UKCP Transpersonal Special Interest Group.
page-turner. There are many moments of suspense, desire and passion that lead us to the unconscious of both Gail and her patient. The novel shows the intricacies of therapeutic work and how the ‘talking cure’ involves continuous reflection on our own thoughts, instincts and emotions. In this way, the writer demonstrates not only the power of psychotherapy but also her own readiness to examine the process. It shows that a trainee psychotherapist – in fact any psychotherapist – is as dependent on their patients as they are on them. Ultimately, this novel is as much about the complications of relationships as about someone at the beginning of their training wanting to do the right thing and getting it wrong.
Jana Burger has a diploma in psychology and works as a psychoanalyst in private practice. She is a member of MAP (Munich Psychoanalyst Society) and DGPT (German Society for Psychoanalysis). Jana is the author of several articles and two chapters about lost and rediscovered language in On the Road to a Foreign Country, published by Psychosocial-Verlag in 2015. www.ukcp.org.uk
Welcome to our new UKCP members Psychotherapists Patricia Elvire Goretta V Agossou-Aguenou SEA Caroline Mamood Ahmad NCHP Fiona David Anderson SEA Suzanne Sara Anton CCPE Stephen Alistair Appleton MC Kate Sally Atkinson SPTI Judy Parveen Bains AOMP Catherine Ilana Bakal FPC Susie Ursula Barnes AFTSP Sarah Alina Barrowcliffe SEA Kate John Barton MET Elizabeth Dawn Batcup ADMP UK Mark Cassie Beattie TER Benjamin Liz Bennett GP Kathryn Anne Benson ACAT Karen Jeffery Bentley SCPTI Emma Sondra Beres AFTSP Tracy Sharon Bergin FPC Elie Heather Bolton GPTI Lucy Dan Bracken GP Emma Duncan Branley COSRT Rebecca Francesco Buccheri AFTSP Pia Jane Elizabeth Bull CCPE Francesca Caitlin Buon BPA Lorraine Teresa Cannon SEA Manisha Matt Cantor RSPP Sharon Ulisse Enrico Alessandro Casartelli MET Parveen Patricia Chalmers KI Gill Catherine Noelle Chapman AFTSP Rachel Chia-Lin Chen BPA Sonia Elizabeth Cohen CFET Jane Denise Cooper MET Paul Justine Corrie KI Sue Maria Corrigan AFTSP Kerrie Ann Nigel Crossan CCPE Silke Rose Croxford COSRT Joanna Clare Danks SPTI Rachela Claire Davey AFTSP Joanne Sophie Demuth MET Jane Harrinder Singh Dhillon IGA Patricia Kirsty Don AFTSP Jason Terence Duffin AFTSP Andrew Stefan Eckardt AFTSP Alice Sabine Fairbairn SEA Sandra Quintus Farrell IP Fiona Karen Fisher BC Simon Annie Foley CCPE Judith Sally Ann French SPTI Mark Elizabeth Frings BC Nicholas John Caroline Frizell ADMP UK Sheena Lorraine Carole Gallagher MET Maxine Shireen Gaur IGA Lynn Helen Gidley CFET Lindsay Constanze Catharina Gilbert MC Marc Vivien Glasser IATE Natalie Claudia Marya Goga SEA Linda Karen Gold FIP James Robert Montserrat Gomez Presedo AFTSP Melanie
Grey MC Felicity Mary Grindrod AFTSP Seth Halgoa AFTSP Susan Hall AFTSP Jen Hanscomb RSPP Glenda Hardenberg BCPC Foteini Harrison UKAHPP Richard Hayes IGA Nina Hewitt BI Sam Hirsh Draper RSPP Eva Holcombe MET Gloria Houghton BICP Goran Huhnen AFTSP Martin Isaacs CCPE Theresa Jackson RSPP Rita Jackson SCP Nechama Jackson SEA Angela Jarvis ASOOP Sandra Jesner PA Silvana Johnson MC Sheila Jones AFTSP Esther Jones AFTSP Mary Jones IATE Louise Joseph SCP Sarah Kaka AFTSP Paula Kale AFTSP Michele Kaplansky MC Theresa Kaur AFTSP Rubi Kaye MC Roselyne Keetley SPTI Nicola Khan RSPP Charlotte Kibblewhite UKATA Paula Kimber AFTSP Miranda Rebecca Sally Allmark Kinder MC Netalie Knight CCPE Raksha Kuball BCPC Clare Law AFTSP Kakali Rumi Leonello CCPE Jane Levitt AFTSP Beverley Lewis IATE Hayley Lyon BI Ondine Maldonado-Page AFTSP Lucy Mallett IGA Ari Mallorie IATE Ben Manning IATE Georgina Marshall AFTSP Urszula Mathias UKATA Donna McCormack NLPCA Andrew McDonnell MET Linda Mercer PA Richard Money BPA Dorinda Moody CCPE Rebecca Mossie-Cox FPC Joanna Murcott AFTSP Amy Murray MET Manuel Newton SPTI Ronald O'Hern UKATA Susan O'Shea ST Elizabeth Oliver CCPE
Robert Tyrer AFTSP Oppe AFTSP Rosemary Van Miert CCPE Osborne UPCA Tristan Voice PA Ostmo GP Jennifer Von Baudissin FPC Owen BCPC Miranda Voyle-Wilkinson RSPP Page MET Sarah Wagnall SEA Palyvou MET Jean Walsh AFTSP Pannett IGA Elizabeth Wareing AFTSP Papadopoulos ADMP UK Louise Warner RSPOP Parker AFTSP Kirsten Wassermann RSPOP Pastor AFTSP Gordon Webster NCHP Pepe IGAP Heather Wignall PT Petronic AFTSP Susan Wilkinson AFTSP Phillips BCPC Shirley Wilks SCPTI Plewman FPC Karen Williams CCPE Pohoomal CCPE Maria Williams-Alvarez MET Polak LSBP Paul Wilson AFTSP Pope CCPE David Wood IGA Reeve ADMP UK Michael Wood MET Reynolds ADMP UK Psychotherapeutic Counsellors Rice BPA Lucille Allen CFET Robertson AFTSP Melissa Barkan UPCA Robson BCPC Constance Bedingfield CFET Rocks AFTSP Jayne Booth MCCP Rogers AFTSP Jean Burke UPCA Rushby AFTSP Jeannie Davison NGPC Ryan AFTSP Elysia Depledge CFET Ryan AFTSP Darren Dewing CFET Salam-Ahmed AFTSP Pam Evans MCCP Savidge CCOPPP Fiona Goodwin-Lynch TACT Schlesinger FPC Gayle Grainger MCCP Scull AFTSP Katherine Grogan MCCP Seth UPCA Dónal Hannon CFET Seymour Smith GP Shamash MC Susan Holdsworth NGPC Shloim BPA Victoria Humphrey CFET Sidhu GCL Emma Hunt NGPC Simmonds FPC Neil Keenan UKAHPP Sinha-Roy RSPP Charles Andrew Lamb CFET Sinkins FPC Andrea Lamb CFET Smith AFTSP Suzanne Lyn-Cook IP Smith AFTSP Raffaella Mase MCCP Smulders SEA Daniel Lloyd Neale CFET Solymar SEA Catherine Nottingham MCCP Sotiriou FPC Ryan James Pheasey CFET Spray SEA David Pound CFET Spurrier IATE Penny Price MCCP Sroda MET Bianca Raabe NGPC Stenton-Groves SPTI Giovanna Reitano UPCA Stephenson AFTSP Craig Gerald Reynolds CFET Stephenson RSPP Helen Richardson CFET Swann SEA Joanne Rubbi NGPC Talbot KI Deborah Shaer IATE Taylor UPCA Paula Webber CFET Taylor NLPCA Kerri White CFET Temple SEA Alan Wildsmith NGPC Toren RSPP Gary Yexley CFET Tumelty FPC Darlington Zvionere MCCP Tupling NLPCA Turner RSPP
ACAT Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy · ACOMP Accrediting Organisation for Medical Psychotherapy · ADMP UK Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK · AFT Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice · ARBS Arbours Association · AWAKEN Awaken School of Outcome Oriented Psychotherapies · BCPC Bath Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling · BC The Bowlby Centre · BEELEAF Beeleaf Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy · BI The Berne Institute · BPA British Psychodrama Association · CAP Confederation for Analytical Psychology · CCOPPP Canterbury Consortium of Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Psychotherapists · CCPE Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education · CFET Caspari Foundation · CHF Childhood First · CPJAC Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis College · CPPC Counsellors and Psychotherapists in Primary Care · FIP Forum for Independent Psychotherapists · FPC Foundation for Psychotherapy and Counselling · GAPS The Guild of Analytical Psychologists · GCL Gestalt Centre London · GPTI Gestalt Psychotherapy Training Institute · GUILD Guild of Psychotherapists · HIP Hallam Institute of Psychotherapy · IATE Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education · IFT Institute of Family Therapy · IGA Institute of Group Analysis · IGAP Independent Group Analytical Psychologists · IPS Institute of Psychosynthesis · IPSS Institute of Psychotherapy and Social Studies · ITA United Kingdom Association for Transactional Analysis · KI Karuna Institute · LSBP London School of Biodynamic Psychotherapy · MCCP Matrix College of Counselling and Psychotherapy · MC Minster Centre · MET Metanoia Institute · NCHP National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy · NGP Northern Guild for Psychotherapy and Counselling · NLPtCA Neuro Linguistic Psychotherapy Counselling Association · NRHP National Register of Hypnotherapists and Psychotherapists · PA Philadelphia Association · PCP PCP Education and Training · PET Psychosynthesis and Education Trust · RSPP Regent’s School of Psychotherapy and Psychology · SCPTI Scarborough Counselling and Psychotherapy Training Institute · SEA Society for Existential Analysis · SITE Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis · SPCRC The Regent’s School of Psychotherapy and Psychology · SPTI Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute · ST South Trent · TACT Therapy And Counselling Teesside · TER Terapia · UKAHPP UK Association of Humanistic Psychology Practitioners · UPCA Universities Psychotherapy and Counselling Association · WMIP West Midlands Institute of Psychotherapy · WPP Welsh Psychotherapy Partnership
continuing professional development Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis
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If you are not a member of UKCP and would like to receive a regular copy of The Psychotherapist, send this completed form, along with your payment to: Subscriptions, UKCP, 2nd Floor Edward House, 2 Wakley Street, London EC1V 7LT. I would like to subscribe to The Psychotherapist for 12 months New Renewal (three issues). Subscription type: Subscription amount: £50 £25 (Students, educational establishments or libraries) If you are claiming the student discount, please give details of the educational institution, and the name and dates of your course:
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in Europe and the UK: the State(s) we’re in 15 October 2016 · 9.30am-2.45pm followed by the CPJA AGM 3-4 pm The Waterloo Action Centre 14 Baylis Road,London SE1 7AA Tickets (includes lunch and refreshments): £35 (CPJA members); £45 (non CPJA members); £25 for trainees of CPJA Organisational Members or student counsellors Speakers The keynote speaker will be Barbara Fitzgerald, who was the President of the European Confederation of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies last year and is also a registered member of the Irish Council of Psychotherapy. Dr Rosemary Rizq, Principal Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton, is a well-known researcher, writer and a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist in both the NHS and private practice. All enquiries to email@example.com
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7 Endymion Road London N4 1EE 020 8341 2277 firstname.lastname@example.org www.spectrumtherapy.co.uk @therapyspectrum
Central London Therapy Rooms Contemporary, affordable, well-designed therapy rooms. A thriving & vibrant community Regular networking & CPD events. King’s Cross / Waterloo / Gower St.
Psychotherapy, professional training and continued professional development in London
therapyrooms.co.uk / email@example.com / 07956 891110
Please invoice: Name
continuing professional development
Applications are open for these psychotherapy coursesâ€Ś Transactional Analysis (TA) courses available in Exeter & Poole
Foundation Year in TA Psychotherapy
Our popular 1-year, entry level course runs one weekend per month, over 9 months. Starts 12th Nov, Exeter.
Advanced TA Psychotherapy Programme Completion of a Foundation Year in TA allows progression onto this 3-year, part-time course. Starts 10th Sept, Exeter.
TA 101 Workshops The Official Introduction to Transactional Analysis - a 2-day workshop. 10th-11th Sept, Poole OR 24th-25th Sept, Exeter.
For more information and to apply: 01392 219200 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Post-Qualification Doctoral Programmes
continuing professional development LY ! PP A OW N
Relationships Matter. Become a Couple Therapist
Certificate in Counselling and Therapy for Adolescents Do you want to expand your practice by working with adolescents? Or build rigour into your existing work with adolescents? This course will help you build meaningful connections with adolescents and understand how to intervene therapeutically.
• ADDRESS YOUR CLIENTS’ DEVELOPMENTAL DILEMMAS. • PROVEN PROGRAMME, DELIVERED OVER MANY YEARS.
Tavistock Relationships offers 3 Advanced Standing pathways to enable you to become fully trained professionally in couple work:
• LEARN A RELATIONAL APPROACH TO INTERVENING. • WORK WITH THE IMPACT OF SHAME. • BUILD CONFIDENCE IN WORKING WITH PARENTS. • TWO FOUR-DAY INTENSIVES. • DATES: 22-25 November 2016 & 14-17 March 2017.
Advanced Standing MA in Couple & Individual Psychodynamic Counselling & Psychotherapy (2 yrs P/T): Qualifies you to practice as a psychodynamic couple and individual counsellor and psychotherapist. Advanced Standing MA in Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (2 yrs P/T): Qualifies you to practice as a couple psychoanalytic psychotherapist with professional membership of the psychoanalytic section of the BPC. Advanced Standing MSc in Psychosexual and Relationship Therapy (2 yrs P/T): Qualifies you to become an accredited Psychosexual Therapist at Masters level. Starting September 2016 Applications close soon www.TavistockRelationships.ac.uk
Led by Bronagh Starrs. Bronagh is Director of Blackfort Adolescent Gestalt Institute and principal faculty for the 2-Year Advanced Post-Qualifying Diploma in Gestalt Adolescent Psychotherapy, which has been offered in Ireland since 2012.
She maintains a private practice in Omagh, Northern Ireland, as a psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, writer and trainer, specialising in working with children, adolescents and their families.
INVEST IN YOUR PRACTICE Certificate in Couples Work Bu ild y o u r c o n fid e n c e a n d s k ills in p ro v id in g c oupl es c o u n s e llin g a n d p s y c h o th e ra p y. Wo rk in g with c oupl es c a n b e h ig h ly c h a lle n g in g a n d h ig h ly re wa rd in g - t hi s c o u rs e a ims to re fle c t th is . L e d b y Gle n n Nic hol l s .
• WORK WITH INTIMACY AND WITH CONFLICT. • JOIN A SUPPORTIVE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT GROUP. • DATES: 17-18 October 2016, 5-6 December 2016, 9-10 January 2017; 6-7 February 2017.
Certificate in Supervision
Bu ild y o u r c o n fid e n c e in p ro v id in g s u p e rv is ion t o p e e rs , c o lle a g u e s , tra in e e s a n d s u p e rv is e e s , bas ed o n re la tio n a l p rin c ip le s . P a rtic u la r a tte n tio n w i l l be g iv e n to u s in g b o d y p ro c e s s , to wo rk in g with s ham e a n d to mo me n t-b y -mo me n t re la tio n a l d y n a mics . Led b y Da v e Ma n n .
• DEEPEN RELATIONAL CONNECTION. • EXTEND YOUR PRACTICE, JOIN A SUPPORTIVE GROUP, FULFIL RECOGNITION REQUIREMENTS. • DATES: 27-28 October 2016, 1-2 December 2016, 16-17 January 2017, 23-24 February 2017, 6-7 April 2017.
MORE INFO: Web: www.TheRelationalAcademy.org
70 Warren Street, London W1T 5PB email@example.com 020 7380 8288
E-mail: admin@TheRelationalAcademy.org Phone: +44 (0) 1223 967 971 Location: Cambridge, UK (50 min London) Bursaries available
continuing professional development We help individuals, couples, families, teams, organisations and communities find improved outcomes through better relationships. Supervision Certificate/Diploma: A Relational Change Process
This course is suitable for psychotherapists, counsellors and organisational practitioners, wishing to be accredited to supervise others and is based upon our new matrix model of a relational approach to supervision. Date: Starts 8-9-10 September 2016, Kingston-Upon-Thames, London.
Relational Change Gathering: Presence, Passion and Purpose
This low cost day (£40) will explore the interlinking of Presence, Passion and Purpose from an individual perspective and also from an organisational or community lens. How do we create and clarify what inspires and energises us? Date: 19th October 2016, Central London.
REGISTER TODAy FOR OUR 2016 & 2017 COURSES
Exploring the Erotic in our Personal and Professional Lives
This series of workshops, with international trainer Leanne O’Shea, explores the impact of creativity, sexuality and the erotic in our lives personally and at work. Workshops can be booked together or separately. - Introductory Day – 4 February 2017, London - Supervision Day – 6 February 2017, Oxford - Masterclass – 7-10 February 2017, Oxford
For more information and to JOIN US visit
Phenomenal Experience Since 1980, The Gestalt Centre has helped hundreds of practitioners to develop their skills and practice. Our programmes are led by highly experienced staff with proven expertise and creative teaching approaches. Our training guarantees in-depth experiential learning, strong support and plenty of opportunity to share ideas.
Develop your skills
Large Group Event
Our one-year Diploma in Professional Development is ideal to develop your skills and understanding of Gestalt. The Diploma is awarded by LondonMet University.
We invite you to participate in our unique five-day Large Group Experience in January 2017. This demanding and rewarding learning experience will enhance your understanding of the dynamics affecting you and your clients and improve your leadership capacities.
We run a wide variety of CPD courses throughout the year, including the popular Groupwork Facilitation, Gestalt in OD, Diploma in Supervision and Working with Children and Adolescents programmes.
Hire a therapy room Our comfortable, well-equipped therapy rooms are available for hire by the hour. Contact us today for rates and availability.
Learn more. Call 020 7383 5610 or visit gestaltcentre.org.uk/spring
continuing professional development
VITAL PRACTICAL TOOLS, TECHNIQUES AND INTERVENTIONS Conference: Fri 7 October 2016 (10.00-16.30). Cost: £174
A day with DR BESSEL VAN DER KOLK
(world-leading expert). Healing the Traumatised Mind, Brain and Body - Effective Evidence-Based Interventions • Learn to recognise signs and symptoms of trauma • Gain a working knowledge about how and why people move from trauma to violence • Learn how to recognise when people are re-enacting key aspects of their traumatic experience • Learn how theatre, bodywork, imagination have enabled traumatised people to work through and heal • Know how to respond when trauma has resulted in chronic hyperarousal or dissociative states • Understand how trauma can lead to conduct disorder or psychopathic behaviour
Conference Sat 29 October 2016 (10.00-17.00). Cost: £174
Day One. MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AND COMMON DISTRESS STATES IN CHILDREN/TEENAGERS: ACCURATE ASSESSMENT TO EFFECTIVE INTERVENTION (Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Depression and Eating Disorders)
Conference Sun 30 October 2016 (10.00-17.00). Cost: £174
020 7354 2913
Day Two. MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AND COMMON DISTRESS STATES IN CHILDREN/TEENAGERS: ACCURATE ASSESSMENT TO EFFECTIVE INTERVENTION (communication difficulties (Asperger’s), sexuality issues, trauma disorders, understanding and preventing self-harm)
The Centre for Child Mental Health 2-18 Britannia Row, London N1 8PA
More information/to book: www.childmentalhealthcentre.org
ABERDEEN · BRIGHTON · EDINBURGH · LONDON · MANCHESTER · MIDLANDS · NORTH EAST OXFORD · TURVEY (BEDS) · YORK
Training and Development in Group Analysis Providing
Graduates of the IGA Qualifying Course in Group Analysis are eligible
• Foundation Courses
UK, the Institute of Group Analysis is the premier provider of group analytic and
to become full members of the IGA and to gain professional registration with
• Introductory Week-ends • Professional training (UKCP
group work training in the UK.
Relevant to anyone with an interest in the dynamic relationship between the individual and the group, the IGA
Suitably qualified and experienced therapists (including from non group trainings) can continue their learning
• Short Courses • Personal development and CPD workshops
Foundation Course in Group Analysis introduces students to an exploration of our essentially social nature and the
and development with an IGA Qualifying Training in Group Supervision or our new Qualifying Training in Reflective Practice
• Bespoke Training and Consultancy • Group and individual therapy referrals
wide range of applications of group analytic theory.
in Organisations which lead to IGA associate membership (subject to terms
• Supervisor and TGA referrals
Group analytic training will equip students to understand and to participate
and conditions). If you would like to know more about
more fully in a range of group settings including: work, family, social, learning and therapeutic.
group analysis and group therapy, or how to continue your learning journey, join one of our free events or courses.
Institute Of Group Analysis
The IGA provides:
individuals every year throughout the
1 Daleham Gardens London NW3 5BY
020 7431 2693
020 7431 2693 www.groupanalysis.org
The IGA is a charity registered in England and Wales (280942), and in Scotland (SC040468); and is a company registered in England and Wales 01499655
continuing professional development
NORTHERN GUILD Newcastle & Teesside
Accredited Diploma & MSc Courses
• • • • • • •
The Home of Existential Therapy
Child Marker Certiﬁcate Post Qualifying Diploma
Applications throughout the year
Child / Adolescent
MA in Existential Coaching* MSc in Psychotherapy Studies* + MSc in Typical and Atypical Development through the Lifespan* + DProf in Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling** DCPsych in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy** Prof. Certificate Existential Supervision and Group Leadership Foundation certificate in Psychotherapy, Counselling and Coaching * Validated by Middlesex University ** Joint courses with Middlesex University + This course is taught entirely online In partnership with
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION Existential Academy 61– 63 Fortune Green Road London NW6 1DR
T 0845 557 7752
0207 435 8067 E firstname.lastname@example.org www.nspc.org.uk
Psychotherapy or Counselling Individual Learning Plans
Professional Training www.northernguild.org Email: email@example.com Tel: 0191 209 8383
continuing professional development Trauma Dialogues Conference
A World in Conflict Saturday 1st October 2016 9.30am-5pm M Shed Bristol Man-made and natural disasters are increasing in frequency and seem inevitable, due to political instability, soaring populations and climate change. This conference sets out to bring together those who work with people traumatised by these disasters: those who suffer another form of ‘collateral damage’ perhaps? We will explore how we can help people to recover from or live with such severely traumatising experiences, as well as the effects of vicarious trauma on professionals.
Speakers Dr Donna Orange: relational, intersubjective psychotherapist Dr Judy Ryde: integrative humanistic psychotherapist Others with experience in this field
Chair Dr Peter Hawkins:
Your advert here The Psychotherapist, UKCP’s flagship publication, is sent to over 8,000 psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors and to more than 70 organisations, placing it at the heart of the psychotherapy profession and making it a great place to advertise training, events and other services for the psychotherapy community. For details email firstname.lastname@example.org
Qualified Accountant available to assist fellow
counsellors and psychotherapists
£110 (a few bursaries available)
with tax returns, accounts and
Booking www.tfsw.co.uk /email: email@example.com/tel: 01225 444911 Trauma Foundation South West @Traumafsw
other financial needs. Please contact Paul Silver-Myer FCCA, UKCP [Reg.] 020 7486 0541 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Diploma in ISAT Sex Addiction Counselling
The Institute for Sex Addiction Training
CPCAB Accredited (Level 5) Course Directors: Paula Hall & Nick Turner
The Diploma in Sex Addiction Counselling has been developed to provide counsellors, psychotherapists and addiction specialists with the tools to assess and treat sex addiction. Delegates will also gain the necessary skills to work with partners and support couples in recovery. Module 1: Introduction to Working with Sex Addiction Module 2: Working with Complex Cases and Partners Module 3: Advanced Skills for Working with Sex Addiction
Available in London & Leamington Spa For full details, please email email@example.com or call London: 0207 965 7302 • Leamington Spa: 01926 339 594
continuing professional development
CCPE Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education
M.A. in Transpersonal Counselling and Psychotherapy Two-year part-time, depending on entry level and previous experience/training. Professionally (UKCP and BACP) and academically accredited.
Diploma in Transpersonal Couples Counselling & Psychotherapy This one-year p/t post-graduate course offers a holistic and integrative approach to working with couples and takes place over nine weekends.
Advanced Diploma in Transpersonal Psychotherapy This two-year part-time course aims to explore the transpersonal perspective in greater depth. The course includes a study of the symbolism of alchemy, the role of the creative imagination, intuition and spiritual guidance in psychotherapy. A group retreat and an individual retreat are integral parts of the course. CCPE is seeking to create a professional doctorate qualification from the below courses.
Post-Graduate Trainings in Dreamwork under the auspices of CCPE's Dream Research Institute One-year Dreamwork Certificate (Essentials and Advanced) and one-year Lucid Dreaming Certificate
Diploma in Transpersonal Supervision This course covers individual and group supervision from an integrative and transpersonal perspective. This is a one-year p/t course, held over 30 weeks with four weekend seminars. Supervised practicum work is an integral part of the training. All the above courses are part-time and commencing January 2017.
Weekend Seminars 2016 24/25 September 22/ 23 October 12/13 November
Life Crisis Facilitating Spiritual Growth in therapy Alchemy of Relationships
Cost: £190 per workshop (nonrefundable deposit £100) Times: Sat / Sun 10am – 5pm
CCPE, Beauchamp Lodge, 2 Warwick Crescent, London, W2 6NE firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ccpe.org.uk,Tel: 020 7266 3006 The Psychotherapist
UKCP- The Psychotherapist – June Issue 2016
Announcing the UKCP Conference 2017 The leading body for psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic counselling
Saturday, 11 March 2017 London
of Psychotherapy: Science, Politics and Best Practice
Hear from researchers and psychotherapists at the cutting edge
Contribute to the political debate with key decision makers
Share your insights into the direction of the profession
Choose from a wide range of workshops Keynote Speakers
Iain McGilchrist Richard Erskine
Find out more Book your place www.psychotherapy.org.uk/ukcpconference2017 UKCP, 2nd Floor Edward House, 2 Wakley Street, London EC1V 7LT Registered Charity No. 1058545. Company No. 3258939. Registered in England.
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