Following last weekend’s joint conference of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility, and the Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy, the Psychotherapy and Counselling Union is being formed.
In their own words, the PCU aims to:
- bring together counsellors, psychotherapists and other practitioners from every corner of the field, including trainees on an equal basis
- campaign for true diversity and equal opportunities in the therapy world, and support individuals who are discriminated against
- campaign to reform IAPT and other ‘therapy-lite’ substitutes, while at the same time supporting IAPT practitioners with their grievances
- campaign against the use of therapy to get people off benefits and/or back to work
- change the system whereby starting practitioners have to work unpaid, often with very complex issues and without adequate support
- campaign to defend and extend the provision of open-ended therapy which is free at the point of contact, and where the client can choose their practitioner and modality
- support and defend practitioners in disciplinary hearings, and also against bullying and harassment
- support and defend therapy against attacks from government and media, and against creeping medicalisation
- establish a policy and research unit to develop solid positions on a wide range of issues
I’m particularly pleased to see issues like diversity in the profession, and campaigning against “benefits therapy” included in the list. This is an exciting development, emerging out of the pull many psychotherapists and counsellors feel towards some kind of activism. I look forward to getting involved and seeing where it takes us.
For further information, or to sign up as a supporter, check out the psychotherapy and counselling union flyer (pdf).
Image credit: Daily Kos