The Psychotherapist and the Professional Complaint: The Shadow Side of Psychotherapy

Editor : Adah Sachs, Editor : Valerie Sinason

The Psychotherapist and the Professional Complaint: The Shadow Side of Psychotherapy

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : January 2023
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Category :
    Individual Psychotherapy
  • Catalogue No : 96576
  • ISBN 13 : 9781913494612
  • ISBN 10 : 1913494616
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This outstanding book is an update on where the mental health profession’s complaints system is now. Its timely analysis follows in the wake of prior work on reform, which include the attempt in 2001 at the House of Lords to statutorily regulate psychotherapists in the UK. (Alderdice/Casement et al.) -- Professor Ann Casement, LP, Past-Chair UKCP

The patient’s word was once easily dismissed against the word of the psychiatrist, doctor or therapist, leaving the patient vulnerable. Recognising this inherent risk in the relationship between clinicians and patients, professional regulations have gradually been established to facilitate patients’ access to information, support and recourse. However, while most professions also explicitly protect their own members, there are, notably, no systems in place to protect psychotherapists. The current complaint procedure presumes the therapist’s guilt until proven innocent, rather than the reverse.

The Psychotherapist and the Professional Complaint explores this problem with sensitivity and rigour. In these chapters, the contributors examine ways to address serious conflicts in the psychotherapy relationship and the role of professional bodies in protecting their members while regulating their performance. Acknowledging both strengths and flaws, they outline the historical context and future prospects of the current complaint procedures. This book invites us to think and speak on the controversial subject of complaints, supporting patients, therapists and policymakers alike.



Part 1: Clinical perspective

Adah Sachs: The psychotherapist, the profession and the professional complaint

Fiona Farley: When healing is halted by fear

Anne Kearns: Love and hate in the time of Covid: who will watch the watchmen?

Kay Beaumont: A constructive way of dealing with conflict

Valerie Sinason: Complaints in the field of dissociative disorders: six key categories

Part 2: Historical perspective

Brett Kahr: Filing psychoanalytical complaints: from verbal assaults to the crushing of the larynx

Lesley Ironside: Reflections on a 25-year-old professional complaint

Emerald Davies in interview with Valerie Sinason: Then and now - a historical perspective

Part 3: Towards the future

Philp Stokoe: The unique nature of boundaries in psychoanalytic therapy and the implication for ethics and complaints procedures

Romanie Dekker & Rajnish Attavar: Complaints and incident procedures in the NHS

Philip Cox: Uses, misuses and abuses of Fitness to Practise processes – emergent learning and new possibilities for regulatory change

Philp Cox, Richard Bagnall-Oakley, Sasha Kaplin: The Psychotherapy and Counselling Union: therapists supporting therapists through complaints processes

Julie Norris & Andrew Campbell-Tiech: Reform

About the Editor(s)

Adah Sachs has worked for many years as a psychotherapist in psychiatric hospitals, first at St Clements (the Royal London Hospital) and then at Huntercombe Manor, a special hospital for adolescents. She is a visiting lecturer and a training supervisor at the Centre for Child Mental Health and at the Centre for Attachment-based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, as well as in her private practice.

More titles by Adah Sachs

Valerie Sinason is a poet, writer, child psychotherapist and adult psychoanalyst. She is Founder Director of the Clinic for Dissociative Studies and President of the Institute for Psychotherapy. She is an Honorary Consultant Psychotherapist at the University of Cape Town Child Guidance Clinic and Chair of Trustees of the First People Centre, New Bethesda, South Africa. She is a Patron of Dorset Action on Abuse (DAA), editor of Trauma Dissociation and Multiplicity and co-editor of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy after Child abuse. She has published numerous articles and books, including two poetry collections. Valerie Sinason was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the ISSTD (International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation) in April 2016.

More titles by Valerie Sinason

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