Ethos & Anti Discrimination

Our Ethos in Psychotherapy

We believe in three main themes in our provision
1.  We base all treatment around NICE recommended and/or Research evidenced approaches. These include cognitive behavioural therapy and analysis methods, Mindfulness based methods, short term psychodynamic methods and psychoeducation. This does NOT mean we agree with all of NICE’s recommendations. Quite the opposite in fact. NICE provide recommendations for treating “mental illnesses” rather than providing therapy to complex human beings. This causes a gross over simplification and “manual based” approach in their recommendations which is artificial and does not match real life requirements. However we do use the recommended “tools” for the recommended “conditions” as part of a more holistic “real psychotherapy” integrative approach. Evidence is available that short term CBT intervention as favoured by NICE and IAPT does not really work. Shezad et al (2017) showed a 53% relapse within 1 year.  We therefore use the recommendations but within a wider and more comprehensive strategy.
2.  We believe that although the core of each treatment must be clinically effective, each individual is different and there is scope for customised and integrated multi-modal support according to the needs of each patient or couple. Thus we apply integrative humanistic and psychodynamic approaches for the individual or couple, while employing  core tools where appropriate.
3. We reject the imposition of socially constructed “norms” and are actively supporting of “critical psychotherapy”. What this means in practice is we respect the individual person’s right to their own valid perspective, we reject current political ideology about the key therapy objective being “person in work”, and we actively work with a range of groups including LGBTQI* with a range of beliefs, gender identities and relationship types. We also reject the concept of the “individual” who is capable of constructing a “happy well-being” no matter their life experience and situation, and we seek to consider social psychology and environment in practical and supportive ways. Stuart recently reviewed a key publication on critical psychotherapy edited by Del Loewenthal in the European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling .Stuart’s approach is Humanistic and Integrative. His two core accreditations  were both a combination of psychodynamic, humanistic and cognitive behavioural, and his overall approach is a blend of eastern and western philosophies.

Science

Ours is a holistic and customised service, but built around evidence based methods and hard science. In particular neurology, Polyvagal Neurology and Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB). This complements traditional techniques with millennia of observational evidence such as Shamanism (over 50,000 years), Chinese Medicine (est 2500 BCE) Chinese Psychology (est 4500 BCE) and Ayurveda Medicine (est 6000 BCE). Modern Western evidence from hard research at institutions including Oxford University (Centre of Mindfulness), Harvard University and peer reviewed publications help us to understand how traditional methods work and are scientifically understandable! Multiple references are provided in appropriate places to evidence sources and NICE guidelines as required by Advertising Standards.

Anti-Discrimination Policy

Objective

Scotlandtherapy is committed to a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment opportunities and prohibits unlawful discriminatory practices, including harassment. Therefore, Scotlandtherapy expects that all relationships among persons in the office will be business-like and free of explicit bias, prejudice and harassment.

Scotlandtherapy has developed this policy to ensure that all its employees can work in an environment free from unlawful harassment, discrimination and retaliation. Scotlandtherapy will make every reasonable effort to ensure that all concerned are familiar with these policies and are aware that any complaint in violation of such policies will be investigated and resolved appropriately.

Any employee who has questions or concerns about these policies should talk with the director of human resources or a member of the personnel practices committee.

These policies should not, and may not, be used as a basis for excluding or separating individuals of a particular gender, or any other protected characteristic, from participating in business or work-related social activities or discussions. In other words, no one should make the mistake of engaging in discrimination or exclusion to avoid allegations of harassment. The law and the policies of Scotlandtherapy prohibit disparate treatment on the basis of sex or any other protected characteristic, with regard to terms, conditions, privileges and perquisites of employment. The prohibitions against harassment, discrimination and retaliation are intended to complement and further those policies, not to form the basis of an exception to them.

[Please note that we are required to advise clients with specific issues, vulnerabilities or cultural backgrounds or other characteristics placing their case types outside of our competencies that it is not appropriate to provide care, because of the specific nature of their needs lying outside of our competencies]

Equal employment opportunity

It is the policy of Scotlandtherapy to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, national origin, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. Scotlandtherapy prohibits any such discrimination or harassment.

Retaliation

Scotlandtherapy encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination or harassment. It is the policy of Scotlandtherapy to promptly and thoroughly investigate such reports. Scotlandtherapy prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or harassment or participates in an investigation of such reports.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination and is illegal under federal, state and local laws. For the purposes of this policy, “sexual harassment” is defined, as in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines, as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example: a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

We recognize two types of sexual harassment: a) quid pro quo and b) hostile work environment. Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not-so-subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.

Harassment

Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. Under this policy, harassment is verbal, written or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law, or that of his or her relatives, friends or associates, and that: a) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, b) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance, or c) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.

Harassing conduct includes epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group that is placed on walls or elsewhere on the employer’s premises or circulated in the workplace, on company time or using company equipment by e-mail, phone (including voice messages), text messages, social networking sites or other means.

Individuals and Conduct Covered

These policies apply to all applicants and employees, whether related to conduct engaged in by fellow employees or by someone not directly connected to Scotlandtherapy (e.g., an outside vendor, consultant or customer /client / patient).

Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable in the workplace and in any work-related setting outside the workplace, such as during business trips, business meetings and business-related social events.

Reporting an Incident of Harassment, Discrimination or Retaliation

Scotlandtherapy encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination, harassment or retaliation, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. Individuals who believe that they have been the victim of such conduct should discuss their concerns with their immediate supervisor, any member of the personnel practices committee, human resources or any ombudsman. See the complaint procedure described below.

In addition, Scotlandtherapy encourages individuals who believe they are being subjected to such conduct to promptly advise the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and to request that it be discontinued. Often this action alone will resolve the problem. Scotlandtherapy recognizes, however, that an individual may prefer to pursue the matter through complaint procedures.

Complaint Procedure

Individuals who believe they have been the victims of conduct prohibited by this policy or believe they have witnessed such conduct should discuss their concerns with their immediate supervisor, human resources, any member of the personnel practices committee or any ombudsman.

Scotlandtherapy encourages the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken before relationships become irreparably strained. Therefore, while no fixed reporting period has been established, early reporting and intervention have proven to be the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment.

Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be investigated promptly. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have other relevant knowledge.

Scotlandtherapy will maintain confidentiality throughout the investigatory process to the extent consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action.

Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to disciplinary action. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be promptly investigated and addressed.

Misconduct constituting harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be dealt with appropriately. Responsive action may include, for example, training, referral to counseling or disciplinary action such as a warning, reprimand, withholding of a promotion or pay increase, reassignment, temporary suspension without pay, or termination, as [Company Name] believes appropriate under the circumstances.

If a party to a complaint does not agree with its resolution, that party may appeal to Scotlandtherapy’s Senior Partner, and if this is not appropriate, then the complaints process is via the National Council of Psychotherapists in most cases. More information about complaints here.

False and malicious complaints of harassment, discrimination or retaliation (as opposed to complaints that, even if erroneous, are made in good faith) may be the subject of appropriate disciplinary action.

Safety

Unfortunately many complementary therapists and counsellors, especially those engaged in talking based therapies, underestimate the safety requirements for running a business.  Many do not do regular risk assessments, first aid training, fire assessments, electrical safety and chemical safety checks, or have stocked and checked 1st aid boxes, eye washing stations etc etc. Unfortunately this is an industry wide / professional issue and Stuart is keen to tackle this both in his own practice and as Risk Assessment Officer for the National Council of Psychotherapists.