Cats to set up therapeutic centre?
Posted Tuesday 8 December 2009
A while ago I wrote a blog post about the fact that Derek Gale, an arts therapist found guilty of multiple and varied malpractice, is still legally entitled to continue to practice as a psychotherapist because counselling and psychotherapy is not statutorily regulated.
This means that anyone can practice as a counsellor or psychotherapist – you don’t need any basic training and there’s no code of conduct that you have to adhere to. In my blog, I pointed out that Sorcha, my cat, could technically set herself up as a bona fide therapist.
Little did I know that an adventurous feline in Cumbria was soon to make that great leap into the psychological professions. Chris Jackson, presenter of Inside Out in the North East and Cumbria, decided to register pet cat George as a hypnotherapist in order to demonstrate the lax regulation of hypnotherapy.
Although I would be very surprised if one of the professional counselling or psychotherapy bodies would actually register a furry friend, the point is that you don’t even need to be registered with a professional body in order to practice as a counsellor or psychotherapist.
With hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy all lacking proper regulation, it looks as though nothing will prevent George and Sorcha from setting up the first therapeutic centre to bill clients in milk and mice.
Admittedly, people do not need protection from rogue feline therapists. But they do need better regulation to prevent untrained or abusive therapists from continuing to practice. That is why Mind is campaigning for the statutory regulation of psychotherapists and counsellors.
Mind is currently looking into what type of regulation and complaints processes users of mental health services would like to see in counselling and psychotherapy. Comment below or email Mariam Kemple to give your thoughts on the issue.
Mariam Kemple, Policy and Campaigns Officer
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