Meeting of The College of Psychoanalysts – UK with Health Professions Council

DL also emphasised that training does not involve the transmission of knowledge but is, rather, about questioning knowledge and particularly oneself as the analyst. A personal analysis is therefore the principal feature of any training which cannot promise to ‘train’ anyone, since training in psychoanalysis is retroactive. Furthermore, analysis does not aim primarily at removal of symptoms. Given the importance of transference and the retroactive effect of training, standards of proficiency might be antithetical to the training of psychoanalysts.

DL emphasised that The College is not against regulation but that we question very seriously whether the form of regulation proposed by HPC is suitable for psychoanalysis. DL raised the question of whether some other form of regulation might be feasible.

MS asked whether psychoanalysts were regulated statutorily elsewhere in the world. DL told him briefly of the models in Australia, France and the USA. MS paid due attention to all of this and again stated that a recommendation by HPC that psychoanalysis should not be included in any plans to regulate psychotherapy would be one possibility. It was clear, however, that what he was saying in this regard was entirely hypothetical and constituted no specific proposal or undertaking.

Finally, JC asked MS specifically whether, if a practitioner was registered with HPC as entitled to use, for example, the regulated professional title psychotherapist, they would nevertheless be free to use, in addition, some other non-protected professional title currently in use within the profession, for example Jungian analyst. MS attempted to deflect the question by beginning to outline the powers of HPC to regulate, in addition, specialist professional titles such as this. JC stopped him, saying he was well aware of those provisions but wanted an answer to the specific question: if there is a regulated professional title, say psychotherapist or psychodynamic psychotherapist, would a practitioner registered with HPC as entitled to use such a professional title be at liberty, in addition, to use a specialist non-registered professional title e.g. Jungian analyst. MS responded unequivocally that such a practitioner would be free to use such an additional professional title if it was indeed not a protected professional title.
Darian Leader
Jacques China