Category Archives: professional standards

Mindfulness CPD

More mindfulness training for CPD

As part of our commitment to CPD training, we both carry out far more than the required continuous professional development levels each year.

Stuart has just completed a CPD short diploma in Mindfulness based cognitive behavioural therapy (August 2017), just to stay up to date with the area. He has already trained extensively in psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, training and meditation based mindfulness.

Key words

Mindfulness, meditation, CBT, cognitive behavioural therapy, ongoing training, CPD, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, counselling, meditation, MBCT, MBSR, mindfulness training.

Ongoing Continuous Professional Development

Ongoing professional development and improvement

Stuart is dedicated to ongoing professional development and improvement. As part of his professional registrations he is required to complete around 20 hours a year of CPD training. Stuart however regularly completes far more than this.

For example this year (2017) so far:

By June 2017 over 14 hours face to face CPD, over 100 hours university learning (Open University), Over 10 hours nutrition CPD learning, over 20 hours mindfulness refresher CPD learning.

Later in the year a complete post qualification Compassion based therapy course is booked and another 100 plus university hours expected.

This is a fairly typical year, and should demonstrate the level of service improvement Stuart expects from himself.

Key words

Ongoing professional development, continuous professional development, service improvement, CPD, OPD, additional training, post qualification training, standards and qualification.

New voluntary regulator gathering support

New voluntary regulator gathering support and now launched

The field of complementary and psychological therapies has been complicated in terms of regulation for some time. The Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy, of which the author is a member, helped to block statutory regulation of counselling and psychotherapy with a judicial review. This was primarily because the proposed regulation was not fit for purpose and was based on false assumptions. There simply is no evidence of mass abuse or danger to clients, and most professional bodies already took appropriate action. Also statutory regulation would not prevent continued practice under a different job title.

The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council was set up with Government support and funding and became the voluntary regulator of choice for complementary therapies, including confusingly hypnotherapy, which is of course a psychological therapy (psychotherapy).

Next the Government set up the Professional Standards Authority Accredited Register scheme, essentially letting any professional body with the quality (and large amounts of money) to gain accreditation from the PSA, who incidentally also oversee statutory regulators. It should be noted that PSA AR status can only be given to existing registers, so any new organisation can not gain accreditation immediately, it has to set up first, gain members and have a “register” and then apply for accreditation.

Various professional bodies now have PSA AR status, including the CNHC voluntary regulator.

New organisation on the block

The Register of Health Care Practitioners (ROHCP) is a new voluntary regulator set up by actual therapists, and seeking to have a more profession driven approach than the CNHC which is sometimes seen as rather bureaucratic and imposed on the profession.  The ROHCP covers essentially all complementary and psychological therapies, and does have the long term goal of PSA AR status once the finance and numbers are there.

it should be interesting to see if the ROHCP can provide a true alternative and competition to the CNHC, and how this will play out.

Stuart’s involvement

I support any organisation hoping to improve the standards of the profession in an appropriate way.  I have been a volunteer promoting the CNHC and I am registered already with them and the FHT (also a PSA AR). I am published on the topic of regulation and am known to be a critic of dividing types of psychotherapy up into different types and having registers for each. I am also in the process of assisting another professional body (hopefully) gain AR status.

In the long run I think it would be healthy for some specialist PSA AR accredited bodies to exist, and also however some integrated umbrella organisations to be voluntary regulators too, preferably with AR status, and I would welcome it if ROCHP was such a body.

Key words
Regulation, standards, professional standards, industry, PSA AR, Professional standards authority, voluntary regulator, voluntary regulation, complementary therapy, psychological therapy, counselling and psychotherapy, statutory regulation, client safety, patient safety, psychotherapy, counselling, hypnotherapy, mindfulness, life coaching

Ongoing Mindfulness and philosophy service expansion

Development of existing service continues….

Both Stuart and his colleague and Scotlandtherapy partner Denise are dedicated to ongoing learning and development, and therefore complete additional university based and practical Ongoing Professional Development training each and every year. This is all on top of existing professional qualification training.

Mindfulness and Philosophy

Stuart in particular has completed additional trainings this year in MBCT (mindfulness based cognitive therapy), CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) for depression and additional training in general mindfulness. He is booked to attend additional specialist training in the use of philosophical models in psychotherapy later in the year, which should nicely complement his nearly completed BA (Hons) in Psychology and philosophy of the mind. This is on pause at the moment since the last university model will not become available until late 2017.

Additional University based learning

Both Stuart and Denise has multiple university awards. Stuart has two University Certificates of Education (Undergraduate) from Lampeter and Edinburgh Universities, Bachelor degrees from City of Birmingham University and the Open University, and a Masters Degree from the Open University. He is about to begin a new degree alongside completing a Psychology and Philosophy of the Mind degree, this time in International Relations, specialising in the effect of ecology and politics on people, with specific regard to mental health issues and disability issues. This ties in with his work writing a regular political column for Self and Society professional journal and other publications and articles.

Denise has completed an undergraduate certificate of Education from Edinburgh University and two bachelor degrees from the Open University. She is about to embark on a third degree, focusing on Business, in particular human resources.

Keywords
Business studies, psychology, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, mindfulness, MBCT, CBT, politics, human resources, mental health, disability issues, social studies, social policy, social environment, depression, anxiety, bipolar, environmental psychology, Edinburgh, Falkirk, psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, counsellor, psychoanalyst

Book Review published, critical psychotherapy

 

Critical psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and counselling: implications for practice

Edited by Del Lowental and contributed to by leading writers in the field of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, including some colleagues, this book is a major contribution to critical thinking in the psychological therapies.

 

My review is available to those with university / Taylor and Francis access HERE

 

Key words
Critical psychotherapy, critical psychology, critical thinking, counselling, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, psychology, ideology, politics, scientific terminology, reasoning, therapy

 

New Book Launched

New publication on future of psychological therapy

 

Colleagues and clients alike are recommended to take a look at the new book Edited by my colleague John Lees. It has contributions from several other colleagues of mine, and I wrote Chapter 3. It looks at the future of the profession through a critical lens from several perspectives and would be very useful for a student therapist or new graduate.

 

The Future of Psychological Therapy: From Managed Care to Transformational Practice

Prelaunch order at Amazon HERE

Swedish National Audit Office report on CBT

Swedish National Office Report on CBT

In a study of the outcomes of using CBT as a primary and almost exclusive method of treating mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, the Swedish National Office has published a damning report. See here

Main findings of report on CBT

  •  The widespread adoption of the method had no effect whatsoever on the outcome of people disabled by depression and anxiety;
  • A significant number of people who were not disabled at the time they were treated with CBT became disabled thereby increasing the amount of time they spent on disability; and 
  • Nearly a quarter of people treated with CBT dropped out.
    From Swedish Audit Report. accessed HERE

Application and conclusions in the UK

CBT or cognitive behavioural therapy is the darling of the NHS, many charities and NICE. This is primarily because it claims to be evidence based.

CBT leads itself to being “evidenced based” through gathering self assessed feedback from clients. This is unreliable for a whole range of reasons, including:

  • Subjective self assessment does not permit one controlled stand across subjects. Introspective grading of experience is not possible.
  • Assessment reduces responses down to highly simplistic responses, often statistics and does not reflect human experience or allow for situational or environmental difference.
  • There is an influence on “wellbeing”, “getting well” or feeling “happy” when therapy is not always about these, we often feel “unhappy” for good reason”.
  • CBT often plays into the biomedical model of being “sick” and needing to feel happy despite this, rather than considering other explanations for symptoms such as psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural analysis, developmental or humanistic explanations or social and environmental causes / factors.
  • CBT is often highly simplistic. It has been termed “the art of the blindingly obvious” since it often leads subjects through exercises that reveal what they already new, providing little empowerment for change.

Illogical to use one method

Reducing provision down to one method is akin to only using one class of medical drugs, it simply does not make sense. Clients are complex and unique individuals going through a unique combination of social, biological, psychological, interpersonal and developmental processes, any of which alone may seem common or typical, but which form a vast array of potential combinations.  With that variety and complexity, thinking “one size fits all” is simply illogical.

Furthermore CBT is a simplistic method formed out of other methods, making it a method within an array of methods. For example it was developed in response to psychodynamic and humanistic thinking, and provoked revised psychodynamic, humanistic and cognitive behavioural analytic thinking. It makes no sense to home in on one incomplete stage of the ever changing face of psychological therapy and prioritise it at the expense of other methods.

Its just a tool (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is just ONE tool in the toolbox of multi-skilled psychotherapists.  Many therapists use CBT when it is appropriate, but “if all you have is a hammer, all you see is nails”. Why would anyone throw away all the other tools.

Integrated work for the unique client

Stuart uses CBT where appropriate, along with the deeper and more complex Cognitive Behavioural Analysis methods (including CBASP for long term depression). Stuart also uses psychodynamic psychoanalysis, humanistic and philosophical psychotherapy, mindfulness and clinical hypnotherapy. The approach is integrated and employs a kind of critical psychotherapy, in other words questioning what the outcome “should” be, and working with the client to determine what their desired outcome is going to be. Therapy is then tailored, incorporating methods such as CBT, CBA, IPT and psycho-education with research evidence and NICE recommendation behind them.

Key Words
CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Analysis, CBASP, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, Psychodynamic therapy, Counselling, Psychology, Psychotherapist, Counsellor, Psychoanalyst, Analyst, Hypnotherapist, Mental health, Depression, Anxiety, Personality disorder, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Stirling

 

 

Political Diary in Self and Society

Political Diary

From this current issue I will be writing a political diary in Self and Society, a professional Journal for a major professional body.

The diary covers the events of the day, focused around the effects politics have on the psychology professions and our clients.

Accessing the diary

Self and Society is a Routledge published journal via their Taylor and Francis section and if you have academic access via your university then you should be able to log in.

Direct link: HERE

Key words
Psychology, politics, psychology profession, psychotherapy, psychotherapy clients, politics in the UK, UK Politics, social science, philosophy, counselling professions, regulation and standards in psychotherapy, humanistic psychology

Professional Standards Authority Accredited Registers

Professional Standards Authority Accredited Registers

 

The PSA has launched a report on the new Accredited Registers that list professional healthcare personnel not subject to Statutory regulation. Accredited Registers are professional registers that meet the stringent PSA standards for professional practice. They include registers for complementary therapists and holistic therapists such as the CNHC, NHS (hypnotherapy society) and FHT, and registers for counsellors and psychotherapists including the BACP, COSCA and UKCP.

Real standards, real contribution to health

The report discusses the real standards required to be registered on an AR, standards that protect the public and ensure quality has been checked.

The report also concludes that the AR registers must play a vital role in the provision of integrated healthcare in the UK

Accredited registers in our psychoanalytic practice

 

Both of our practitioners, Denise and Stuart are registered on both the CNHC and FHT Accredited Registers under the hypnotherapy category. The CNHC representatives on the 13th March 2015 at the meeting in Edinburgh confirmed they recognised that counselling and analysis were vital job functions for hypnotherapists and delegates commented that hypnotherapists virtually always provided these additional therapies.

Stuart and Denise are registered with the Society of Stress Managers, a professional body representing Analysis, Stress counselling and Hypnotherapy, and the National Association of Counsellors Hypnotherapists and Psychotherapists, both of which are CNHC accreditation routes. Although they use the titles of Analyst and Hypnotherapist, naturally psychotherapy and counselling are within their job functions, and as such they are registered and insured for these as well. Notably both therapists have received specific training in counselling, psychotherapy (including CBT), life coaching and psychology.

REPORT HERE

Key words
Professional standards authority, professional therapists, psychotherapy, counselling, hypnotherapy, psychoanalysis, analysis, CBT, cognitive behavioural analysis, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Stirling, life coaching, regulation