From my perspective, there was in the room much of the indignation and weariness that has been my own experience of this process towards regulation for the few years that I have been involved with it. It has been a process full of naked and not so naked power struggles, born out of the profession’s formalisation and its associated fears. For me, it is not without note that this particular process is set in the context of the regulation and power struggles right across the healthcare field, from complementary therapy practice to reformation of the GMC. My view is that psychoanalysis holds a particularly interesting and insightful position in this general discourse, especially if one were to take the view that what differentiates psychoanalysis from psychotherapy is an intent to analyse and come to know the nature of human experience and suffering. Therefore, this intent is not to focus upon cure of symptoms but on the underlying causes of symptoms. This is a perspective which both Ian Parker and Darian Leader take and this would lead to a view of psychoanalysis, not as a healthcare product but as a method of enquiry; a means of understanding our experiences such as, for instance, the on-going one of professional regulation and its turf wars. I fear, however, as with all political endeavours, the creativity of this voice might be lost under the dogma of allegiance, splitting and politicking.
Whilst no doubt becoming a player in this political dance, The College has offered the opportunity for this voice to be heard more clearly. On the pages of this website, as in the debate of our recent workshops, we can see the discussions about these issues from many perspectives; not only political but also philosophical.
I hope the following pieces will provoke interest and I urge those so stimulated to explore elsewhere in this website: to become informed in the debate, particularly via Latest News. I would also draw the attention of members of The College to Members’ Colloquium which is shortly to offer them the opportunity for the debate to be carried on in a live web-based format. Members will then be able to post their own views for discussion there. Non-members, like members, can nevertheless submit their own views for publication in Professional Forum. It is hoped that these two facilities will prove to be valuable tools in facilitating this debate, as well as many others in the field of psychoanalysis.
Member of the Board of Governors