Counsellors and psychotherapists oppose new regulator


Friday 13th November, 2009

The leading professional body for counselling and psychotherapy in the UK has opposed the Health Professions Council (HPC) as a suitable regulator.

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) is the largest organisation in the UK with over 32,000 members. Since the Government’s announcement to regulate both professions in 2007, the BACP has been involved in exploratory work for delivering the guidelines of regulation.

The BACP consulted with its individual members and 1200 organisational members on the proposals put forward by the HPC. While the BACP supports the need for statutory regulation, such as acting in the interests of the public and maintaining professional standards, they do not support the proposals to differentiate between the two professions and the consequential difference within the standards of proficiency and threshold entry levels to the register.

An increase in training courses titled ‘counselling and psychotherapy and the developments in psychological therapies show there is little to differentiate between the two professions and of the 52 standards of proficiency, 49 are common to both counselling and psychotherapy.

Many members have questioned the integrity of the process given the chair is a registered Art Psychotherapist and UKCP registrant and has an interest in an outcome that may privilege psychotherapists.

The BACP stated that counsellors make up approximately two thirds of the occupational field of counsellors and psychotherapists in the UK and any proposals should have the support of the majority of this population if regulation is to be effective and inclusive.

Many members would prefer a newly-constituted Psychological Professions Council to become the regulator of both professions.

For more details on the BACP’s response to the HPC, click here

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