The CHRE’s agenda is reiterated by Carmen Ablack, former UKCP Advisor and Regulatory Lead, who has been involved with negotiations with the CHRE. In her commentary on the UKCP website, she says:
‘Our impression is that CHRE has taken on board people’s anxieties that the Government’s insistence on voluntary registration being expanded and enhanced should not put psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors at a disadvantage with any therapists and psychologists registered statutorily with the Health Professions Council (HPC). In other ways, CHRE is also taking steps to make sure that being a registrant on a PSA approved register will be advantageous in an employment situation, for example, NHS jobs. In this, they have the full backing of the Department of Health.’ (22nd November 2011)
There is much in the CHRE document, like the previous HPC model, that has a medical model feel to it which may not be to many people’s tastes. Further, the plans for monitoring of voluntary registers does have a “Big Other” authoritarian edge which sounds similar to the HPC model. The plans include the publicising of their registers as superior, the publishing of negative information about organisations that do not meet their standards, and the enforcement of regulations whereby psychotherapy organisations may not accept registrants who have been struck off other registers. More importantly, the drive to get employers (i.e. the NHS) to favour people kite-marked by the PSA is quite an ominous prospect. In essence, all psychotherapists, counsellors, and psychoanalysts and organisations should think carefully of what the CHRE/PSA entails. The Health and Social Care Bill will soon become law and then the CHRE/PSA plans will be operational. It remains to be seen how successful they will become or how they will be welcomed.