Wednesday 12 February 2020

The craziness of Organisations and Countries!

My week so far. At the beginning of this week, as a psychotherapist, I was giving support to staff at an organisation where two members of staff had committed suicide within a few hours of each other. They had an affair, left their families, and moved in together. She was unstable and admitted herself to psychiatric hospital where she killed herself; he killed himself when he learnt this. I am sure this shocking tragedy would not have happened in a culture that supported open and multiple relationships and diverse styles of family life. Essentially, they were victims of toxic monogamy and a rigid model of what families are supposed to look like. 

The next day, I spent the whole day at an Adjudication Panel in Canary Wharf, the heart of Mammon; with all the formality of barristers and clerks because someone at my former professional organisation UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) had the idea that I should have separate mobile phone numbers for my work with psychotherapy and with tantra. Both of which I have been doing for more than thirty years. At best this can be thought of as a rigidity of “how things should be” or an attempt to guard the boundaries of pure psychotherapy from contamination by other forms of growth, healing and change. If this was successful, it would be goodbye to Buddhist psychotherapy, yoga psychotherapy, shamanic psychotherapy and an end to the exciting developments in plant medicines like psilocybin for use in therapy. After several hours they decided that there was “No Case to Answer”! 😇

The only other explanation of why UKCP would spend many thousands of pounds on this is that it is the continuation of a bizarre episode which started in 2014 when UK Association of Humanistic Psychology Practitioners (UKAHPP, my member organisation of UKCP), was taken over by a psychopath, Derek Lawton who accused 13 of the most senior members, of trying to hack in to a website to steal members details to set up another organisation. He also made himself an Honorary Life Member! There never was any evidence, and primae facie it is a bizarre idea that people often in their 60’s and near retirement and just about capable of doing emails would want to do such a thing, even if capable. In a professional organisation members’ contact information is available in a directory of members for referrals. This was published as a paper edition for several years. Most of the 13 just resigned, but I and one other fought this, and eventually it went to a General Meeting of all the members. Incredibly most of the AHPP members were too intimidated to stand up for common sense. Years later the UKCP finally admitted its mistakes in the handling of the complaints; “it has been accepted that the complaint that HIPC raised at UKCP level was not handled in the most efficient or effective way.” AHPP continues to limp along declining as it goes. The UKCP appears, from what their barrister said in the hearing, to believe that its role is to recognise areas of psychotherapy. It simply isn't,  mainly through its member organisations, it accredits therapists.

The reason I believe that the attack on me is connected to this event of several years ago; is that AHPP was set up by John Rowan, who could be called the grandfather of humanistic psychology in the UK. He was a wonderful colleague and support. He died aged 93 in 2018 and less than a week after his funeral I get an email from Martin Pollecoff, Chair of UKCP asking me to correct a minor error I had made in the account of the General Meeting. I have put in a Freedom of Information request to get more information on this. I would advise any aspiring therapists to join the Independent Practitioners Network .

Voluntary organisations are always vulnerable to being taken over by psychopaths and in the last few years we have seen how countries can be taken over by those with personality disorders such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson. In a time of massive irreversible climate and ecological catastrophes giving rise to anxiety and despair, the role of psychotherapist is to empower people to turn dread and despair into heart-based community and action.  Rigidity and lack of dialogue kills people and organisations.

Psychotherapy continues to evolve and flourish and I hope my book on tantric psychotherapy will be available next year. My website is just a placeholder at the moment for my work in this area.