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Postle, D. (1997). The Case Against Psychotherapy Registration, Richard Mowbray, Trans. Marginal Press, 1995.. Free Associations, 7(2):297-304.

(1997). Free Associations, 7(2):297-304

The Case Against Psychotherapy Registration, Richard Mowbray, Trans. Marginal Press, 1995.

Review by:
Denis Postle

This is an Important Book that contradicts the conventional wisdom about psycho-practice in the UK - that the regulation of psychotherapy, and eventually statutory regulation of it, is a good thing, either for practitioners, or for clients. The book exposes the numerous fallacies and contradictions at the heart of that project.

I want to start with the subtitle, ‘A Conservation Issue for the Human Potential Movement’. It is important to understand, especially if you belong to what might be loosely described as the psychoanalytic culture, that there is a whole world of psycho-practice in the UK of great depth, subtlety and effectiveness that lies outside the UKCP registration caucus. The Human Potential Movement (HPM) is an umbrella term for a wide range of psycho-practice, much of which comprehensively overlaps with ‘psychotherapy’.

Few of us, except momentarily, live close to our full human potential. However, giving the neglected potential serious attention is a worthy and honourable project and that is what the HPM does.

Key landmarks in recent decades in this zone of the UK psycho-territory would include The Human Potential Resource Group at the University of Surrey, which, alongside being a major contributor to nurse and general practitioner education, has for 15 years offered around 200 personal and professional development courses a year, open to anyone; The Institute for the Development of Human Potential (IDHP) has, in the last 18 years, trained over 600 facilitators; The Open Centre, offering a variety of courses over the past eleven years, ranging from Transactional Analysis to Primal Integration and Psychodrama; numerous co-counselling and re-evaluation counselling communities; Openings in Bath; the Norwich Collective; Redwood Assertiveness Training; practitioner education at the British Post Graduate Medical Federation, and many, many more.

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