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Professional Bodies no Longer Represent the Best Interests of Its Members: My Resignation Letter to UKCP

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Here is the full text of a resignation letter from a long-term member of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

07 September 2021
Mr Martin Pollecoff
UK Council for Psychotherapy
2 America Square

Dear Martin,

I am disappointed you did not deem my letter of 30 April 2021 worthy of a reply. As a paid up member of UKCP since 2001 I would have expected at least an acknowledgement but there was none.

Perhaps, now that you are stepping down as Chair, you would be good enough to tell me why you are unable or unwilling to even consider addressing any of the concerns raised about Critical Social Justice Theory’s (CSJT) unhindered advancement into the field of the talking therapies by stealth. Why have you completely ignored any of the suggested steps, playing to many of UKCP’s strengths, that could go a long way to maintaining the integrity and neutrality of the organisation?

The vast majority of your members are unaware of what Critical Social Justice (CSJ) actually stands for, disguising as it does its real intentions. UKCP could remedy this by engaging with the membership and stimulating an open and honest debate. Instead, you set up an EDI task force focussing energy on CSJT’s obsession with race and oppression and clearly aligning UKCP on the side of identity politics.

This is plainly evident with UKCP / HIPS Equality, Diversity and Intersectionality Committee who have replaced ‘Inclusion’ with ‘Intersectionality’ when they are actually the opposite of each other.

Critical Theory informed approaches to therapy do not have any empirical evidence of beneficial outcomes. It is very likely that these approaches are damaging to clients, and in particular to the therapeutic relationship (through problematising the relationship and the obsessive application of the hermeneutics of oppression). Critical theory leads to catastrophising (microaggressions), all-or-nothing thinking (systemic thinking or blackness defined as what whiteness is not), emotional reasoning and standpoint epistemology (lived experience over evidence and reality checking), mind-reading (assumptions of unconscious bias) and a rejection of individual agency). And all of the above without any consultation with the membership, calling into question the nature of the values of UKCP, its trustees and officers.

You recently spoke out about ‘unregulated and unaccountable American organisations who have entered our marketplace’ (Updates from UKCP’s Chair and Chief Executive – July 2021) but some of these offer some hope to counsellors and psychotherapists  here in the UK, many of whom are alarmed by the intolerant and divisive political ideology at the heart of critical theory. One such organisation, Brian Cranfield’s International Association of Psychology and Counselling (IAPC), is an avowed non-political member organisation for those of us who still believe in the healing and restorative power of the therapeutic relationship.

UKCP was originally set up by principled people who wisely wanted to find a fair and effective way to regulate the complex pluralistic field of psychotherapy: now it appears to be run by bureaucrats who have neither the stamina nor moral courage to stand up to the mob. The failure to communicate inform, educate or encourage debate amounts to a complete capitulation and a betrayal of the membership and  talking therapies as a whole. I can no longer remain a member of such a despicable and cowardly organisation and shall not be renewing my membership when it comes up for renewal in September 2021.

Please consider this letter formal notification of same.

Yours sincerely

Paul Dunne
UKCP Registered Transpersonal Psychotherapist
(Address and other contact details redacted)


An earlier version of this article was publish on the Critical Therapy Antidote.

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