You are currently viewing A Halloween Treat! – Newsletter December 2023

A Halloween Treat! – Newsletter December 2023

During the recent Halloween period the BACP appeared to have cleared a few of its own skeletons out of the closet and imagine the announcement of a targeted review by the PSA might have prompted this.  The BACP removed a number of complaint narratives where the outcome was removal of membership, all of which were due to stay in place for five years. In the case of new complaints these are now being listed only with members’ initials and not their full name as before.   

In one case where allegations were particularly serious, a member had received two separate complaints and lost their membership as a result.  We see BACP has removed one of them completely and deleted the case summary in the other leaving only the ex-member’s name and seemingly without thought as to whether in doing so they were breaching the member’s contracted terms.  BACP punishes a therapist harshly for breaching the terms of their own membership, but seemingly turns a blind eye when it comes to fulfilling their own published obligations or taking any account for the impact of their actions upon their members and this must cease.

When BACP and other ethical bodies dismiss a case, they send the case outcome report to the complainant by email giving them 28 days to appeal. If there is no appeal request by that time, the ethical body sends final confirmation of case closure.  

Case: In one particular ethical body case, the complainant stated they had not received the case outcomes and it was the BACP on this occasion. BACP gave the complainant a further 28 days.  

BACP failed to identify whether they had failed to send the report or the complainant had failed to read it. Either way, this was a failure not caused by the Member and which generated a great deal of stress for them, not least because they had now become aware of the unpredictability and irresponsibility of BACP and its failure to consider the impact of its actions on the member.

 Another member who was convicted of a minor misdemeanor by one of the ethical bodies, was told to write an apology to a complainant, despite having giving the complainant apologies before the hearing and the complainant stating in the hearing that they would not accept these apologies.

Despite this information being available to the ethical body, they insisted that the member must apologise in writing again or their membership would be withdrawn.  Membership was subsequently withdrawn,  the ethical body stating that the member “willfully refused to abide by the authority of the ethical body”.  In many cases ethical bodies’ treatment of their members continues to be disproportionately harsh. 

The said member was therefore surprised to discover that their case has disappeared without trace after only 11 months of publication and not the five years stated in their membership terms at all.

The ex-member is totally confused. They have written to the ethical body for clarification, not knowing whether they really had a complaint against them in the first place; whether they still have one against them; or, even whether they imagined the whole scenario in their head!   They are left wondering whether they have a career as a therapist at all or if was all just a Halloween nightmare.

T4J is actively working to support disproportionately sanctioned therapists and force ethical bodies to produce a fair, proportionate and most importantly a therapist centered procedure rather than one which in T4J’s view is biased towards the complainant.  Our experience and that of other therapists we regularly speak to is that the current processes are not in any wait fit for purpose.

Ethical body complaint procedures are continue to be disproportionately harsh and not fit for purpose. T4J are addressing this issue and campaign for reform of these processes.

We hold fortnightly support meetings for those experiencing the impact of ethical body complaints procedures.

Wishing you all the best for the festive season.


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