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Mawson, C. (2001). Letter from Chris Mawson. Psychoanal. Psychother., 15(2):203-203.

(2001). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 15(2):203-203

Letter from Chris Mawson

Chris Mawson

Dear Editor

I write as Co-Editor of the British Psychoanalytical Society Website, having received enquiries from psychotherapists, many of whom are UKCP-registered, expressing concern and puzzlement at the decision of the UKCP and its PPP section to allow those registering organisations which are members to allow their own members to choose to use the title Psychoanalyst in the Register, albeit denoted by an asterisk indicating that the matter is still being debated within the UKCP. This concern has not come solely from BCP members, and some enquiries have been received from abroad. The concern is that the UKCP itself, and therefore the psychotherapists themselves, will come into disrepute if they are seen by the public and by their professional colleagues to lay claim to a title that firstly has not been earned and secondly confuses them with another professional body. It has been pointed out to me that this would be in contravention of existing UKCP Ethical Regulations, in particular:

2.1 Qualifications: Psychotherapists are required to disclose their qualifications when requested and not claim, or imply, qualifications that they do not have.

My position in relation to such enquiries is that this new practice of self-certification is impossible to defend ethically and that it constitutes a fundamentally dishonest way of managing anxieties associated with Statutory Registration. Without additional study, supervised training and accreditation by an superordinate training body, and not merely by a representational one such as the UKCP or BCP, how can a person claim retrospectively that a psychotherapy training was in fact a training in psychoanalysis? I would recommend to your readers that they learn all that they can about these developments and ask searching questions about the implications for the credibility of psychoanalytic psychotherapy in the UK.


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