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BACP Complaint #2

PART 2
Correspondence with officers of the BAPC (cont)

Letter from Fay Reaney, Professional Conduct Case Manager for BACP 30/03/10

Dear Mr Rice

BACP Professional Conduct Procedure: Case 588301

The Professional Conduct Panel has reached a decision with regard to this case. I enclose a copy of its report.

I draw your attention to the fact that you have the right to appeal. The formal appeals procedure is outlined at paragraph six of the Professional Conduct Procedure. Any appeal submitted must in writing, specify which grounds it is submitted under and be accompanied by any supporting documentation. The deadline for receipt of appeal is Tuesday 27 April 2010.

If no appeal is received, the deadline for receipt of the first part of the sanction is Thursday 27 May 2010.

I also enclose, for your information, some material that you may find useful in presenting evidence of sanction compliance.

Yours sincerely

Fay Reaney
Professional Conduct Case Manager

Letter to Mr Laurie Clarke 06/04/10

Dear Mr Clarke

BACP Professional Conduct Procedure: Case 588301

Thank you for your letter of 29 March 2010. The same day I received your letter I received the judgement of the Professional Conduct Hearing conducted on 19 March 2010. I am still every bit as disturbed and distressed about the process as when I wrote the letter of 20 March to Professor Cooper, to which you responded. Having now had time to digest the judgement, I find it almost totally unfair and am profoundly dissatisfied with it.

I have no intention of contacting Ms Griffin with regard to my complaints. What would be the point? She is responsible for a process I found to be corrupt, carried out by persons appointed under her stewardship whom I found to be not fully competent; Ms Griffin, therefore, clearly has a vested interest in defending that process*. Before I decide whether there is any value whatsoever in submitting a formal appeal, I would appreciate your comments.

(*As someone trained to lead assessor level for IS0 9000 and Investors in People and who has assisted some 27 organisations to achieve one or both of these awards, I feel know something about due process and the achievement, maintenance and assessment of standards.)

The Process
(Much of the content under this sub-heading was included in my letter to Professor Cooper but it seems pertinent to repeat it here.)

I went to the Hearing, already admitting to 2 violations of the Ethical Framework but convinced I would be able to defend my good name against the more lurid allegations made by Mr A, the complainant. By lunchtime I had completely lost faith in the process and was ready to walk out. When I eventually left, I was seething with frustration, feeling angry and humiliated and having a total sense of injustice.

Firstly, Mr McInnes asked Mr A, leading questions, which invited Mr A to say he felt a certain way (negative towards his experience with me). While I appreciate Mr McInnes was a ‘lay member’ of the adjudicators’ committee, I find it astonishing that, 35 years after Loftus, leading questions were permitted in a Professional Conduct Hearing of a major Psychology-oriented organisation. (Listen to the recording: Mr McInnes’ leading questions occur early in his questioning of Mr A.)

Mr McInnes demonstrated incompetence as an investigator.

My principal grievance, though, is with the behaviour of Mr Brightmore  who conducted himself in what I experienced as a persecutory manner.

Mr Brightmore repeatedly pushed for the admission that I do not have specific qualifications in child counselling/therapy and was dismissive of my contention that the models and theoretical orientations I work with (Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Spiral Dynamics) are considered universally applicable once the cognitive capability of the child and their emotional state are calibrated for – which I demonstrated I had done. (For example, I related to the Hearing using the Sally-Anne Test as an indicator of how much Mr A’s son had developed a ‘theory of mind’. As Mr A’s son is a Doctor Who fan, I used toy Daleks for the exercise.) Mr Brightmore was dismissive in ignoring my assertions, the vocal tone (sighs) in which he did this and his body language – eg: raised eyebrows, rolling of the eyes – being all too obvious.

Mr Brightmore then challenged me on the basis that I felt it ethical to work with vulnerable children when I didn’t have the (in his view) requisite qualifications. I had never pretended to have the qualifications to which he refers but reiterated that the models and theoretical orientation I work with are considered suitable for work with young children, given the caveats I have mentioned.

Mr Brightmore gave every impression of ignoring my telling him of successes in the work I do and, in particular, of my work with vulnerable children being thought highly enough of by *** County Council that I was approached by one of their behaviour experts to work with  [phrase removed for confidentiality purposes].  My assertion that my competence to work with Mr A’s son was never contested by the local authority also seems to have been ignored.

(Are paper qualifications really all that counts with BACP? Does success ‘on the ground’ – making real differences to real lives – not count? If Mr Brightmore is truly representative of BACP, then BACP is not the organisation for me!)

Mr Brightmore then asked me to comment on my work with Mr A’s son in relation to Clause 15 of the Ethical Framework, notably “specific ethical awareness”. No matter what I said to Mr Brightmore – which included my regular consultations with the parents via e-mail, phone and periodic face-to-face meetings – I got only more raised eyebrows, rolling of the eyes, etc, and the question repeated. (Note: not rephrased to make the purpose of his questioning easier to understand.)

These machinations to destroy my credibility were carried out in full view and hearing of the complainant – totally inappropriate in my view. [Sentence removed for confidentiality purposes]. Therefore, Mr Brightmore’s ‘hatchet job’ attempt to demonstrate my unsuitability in his view in front of the complainant was totally inappropriate and, I would contend, unethical – demonstrating complete lack of consideration for my person or my situation.

At this stage I objected, told Mr Brightmore I found his line of questioning aggressive and told Chair Ms Dale that I was ready to walk out of the proceedings. Only then did Ms Dale attempt to control Mr Brightmore.

Ms Dale did apologise, not for Mr Brightmore’s behaviour, but that I felt uncomfortable. Mr Brightmore made a token mumble and nod of the head, presumably to signify he concurred with Ms Dale.

Earlier, Ms Dale had obliged me to say Yes or No as to whether I agreed with BACP’s interpretation of which clauses of the Ethical Framework I had breached. I was not allowed to indicate whether there might be a lesser or greater degree of breaching. Ms Dale’s all-or-nothing approach to complex, multi-faceted clauses I find not only to be terribly simplistic but also in breach of my Human Right to put forward my case.

Although I repeatedly stated that Psychoticism was not the principal focus of my approach and that the Spiral Dynamics model and Robert Dilts’ Neurological Levels were generally much more useful to me and used by me more with Mr A’s son, Mr McInnes and Mr Brightmore showed bias towards Mr A’s insistence that Psychoticism was my main focus by ignoring my references to other theories and models and instead focussing on Psychoticism. (Listen to the recording: only one question was asked about Spiral Dynamics; no questions were asked about Neurological Levels.) Moreover, they demonstrated bias, when questioning me, by picking up on Mr A’s question as to whether I had tested his son biologically for Psychoticism – ie: measured for testosterone. When I said No, that was the end of the matter as far as Mr McInnes and Mr Brightmore were concerned. No one asked me about behavioural measures (which were plentiful). I can only assume this lack of insight was due to either bias or ignorance of the psychological concept under discussion.

Again my contention is that the adjudicators demonstrated incompetence.

At one stage, when Mr Brightmore was querying my relative lack of supervision, I asked how could I be supervised by people who wouldn’t know what I was talking about. That was in relation to Spiral Dynamics – which is much less well known than Hans Eysenck’s concepts. When Mr Brightmore can’t even recognise that he needs to ask me about behavioural measures in regard to Psychoticism, in my view it makes a mockery of his whole argument! At no point in the proceedings did any member of the adjudicators’ committee demonstrate any knowledge or understanding of either Neuro-Linguistic Programming or Spiral Dynamics.

Again this seems evidence of incompetence. How can my own competence be judged by those who have little or no understanding of my theoretical orientation? (The key measure of competence, in my view – the improvement in Mr A’s son’s behaviour, as reflected in [phrase removed for confidentiality purposes] – was completely ignored.)

Such was my upset at the treatment afforded me by Ms Dale and Mr Brightmore that I do not consider I presented my best arguments in the later stages of the proceedings. (Although I was clearly upset and angry, no enquiry or other consideration for my well-being was shown.)

At the close of proceedings, Ms Dale asked Mr A and I if we felt we felt we had been heard. Having by this time effectively given up, I said Yes. I should have said No – since I wasn’t allowed to voice my degree of admission to breaches – a violation of my Human Rights. I certainly do not feel I had a just hearing.

Is it not ironic that I was put under scrutiny for allegations of ethical failings, some of which I shame-facedly admit to, by people who treated me with near-complete disdain and little or no regard for my well-being?

I had no faith that there would be a just outcome from these proceedings – so the judgement, though it distressed me, hardly surprised me.

The Judgement
I am found to have made a breach of confidentiality. Yet I was not found to have breached confidentiality by *** Council.

*** Council has legal responsibility for child protection and safeguarding. The BACP does not. Therefore, how can the lesser body (BACP) find me to be in breach of confidentiality when the greater body (*** Council) does not? *** Council have determined only that I acted inappropriately. Given the current concerns about safeguarding – OFSTED’s number 1 priority – *** Council would have subjected me to disciplinary proceedings and more than likely have had me suspended if there were serious concerns. None of which took place.

If BACP is not interpreting confidentiality with respect to child protection issues in the same way as government departments and local authorities, I would strongly urge BACP to reconsider its definition and understanding of confidentiality in these matters.

The judgement says “…the Panel decided that the family was capable of being recognised more widely by others reading Mr Rice’s social networking sites.” On what basis was this decision made? Has the Panel any evidence that this was the case?

In his submission to BACP Mr A states that “It was brought to my attention that Mr Rice had communicated on ‘facebook’ (the popular social networking site), on an open page, that he was sat at the computer naked. With this information, I felt that it was necessary to view this page” (7.1).

At no stage has Mr A offered evidence that other parties identified either of his sons from the Facebook page. Considering that Mr A’s attention to the Facebook page was drawn by [phrase removed for confidentiality purposes], wouldn’t that person have singled out my inappropriate comments about the A family themselves if they had been clearly attributable, as the judgement asserts?

This part of the judgement is without credible evidence.

[Paragraph removed for confidentiality purposes]

There were periodic reviews (formal and informal, in person and in writing) of the delivery of the service to Mr A’s son. At no stage, prior to Mr A’s discovery of the Facebook pages, did either he or Mrs A express any dissatisfaction with my service. Indeed, at one stage, there was discussion – initiated by the local authority  – of my continuing to support Mr A’s son after [phrase removed for confidentiality purposes].

[Paragraph removed for confidentiality purposes]

As my CV, etc, had to be submitted for sub-contractor approval processes, I can only assume that the local authority considered me competent under the requirements of the Act. How, therefore, are the BACP to decide I am not competent?

Again, this raises questions as to the competence of the adjudicators’ committee.

As, until Mr A’s discovery of the Facebook page, the A family, *** Council and [phrase removed for confidentiality purposes] had all expressed satisfaction with my services and the real progress Mr A’s son was making, on what grounds did the adjudicators’ committee decide the provision of my services was inadequate?

This part of the judgement seems to be without credible evidence.

In reference to the sanction, I am required by BACP, by September 2011, to provide evidence that I have “applied for, and been accepted on, an approved counsellor/psychotherapy training course. This training must be a training of at least 450 hours and should lead to a recognised and professional qualification.”

Am I to take it then that BACP does not recognise my qualifications in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and my training in Meta-States and Spiral Dynamics?

To my knowledge, nowhere in BACP literature (either online or on paper) does it say that this training is not considered valid. Considering the number of NLP Practitioners and Master Practitioners delivering services across the United Kingdom, surely BACP should make its position in this matter explicit?

The one part of the sanction I do accept is the role of supervision. That has been a good lesson well-learned. If I continue to be a member of BACP, I will endeavour to find a supervisor acceptable to both myself and BACP and economic for me, given the relatively small part of my business therapy and counselling comprises. If my membership of BACP ceases, I still think it is a good idea to find someone who understands what I do and can take on a mentoring role.

Mr Clarke, as you will have gathered, my first face-to-face encounter with BACP has been thoroughly disappointing, acutely stressful and conducted seemingly without the slightest concern for my well-being.

To sum up my grievances:-
· The Hearing was conducted with bias towards Mr A and without concern for me.
· Panel members demonstrated incompetence in both knowledge and understanding of Psychoticism, the theoretical orientations I work with and in questioning techniques.
· The Panel demonstrated disdain for my Human Rights.
· The Panel ignored the judgements of local authority departments with regard to competence and confidentiality when the local authority has responsibility in law and BACP doesn’t.
· The Panel made at least 2 judgements (confidentiality and adequacy of provision of service) without credible evidence.
· The Panel ignored evidence of success ‘on the ground’ and ignored expressions of approval of my work by agents of the contractor (the local authority).
· The Panel demonstrated ignorance of contract law and the role of contractor and sub-contractor.
· The Panel appeared to be working from an interpretation or summary of the [phrase removed for confidentiality purposes] rather than demonstrating an understanding of the pertinent sections of the Act.
· The BACP’s position on what is an acceptable professional qualification is unclear.

You will have realised that I deem the whole process of that Hearing to have been corrupt and the judgement to be mostly in error.

I understand very well the need for procedure and process and I understand the need to drive standards of delivery up, especially in the current climate of pending regulation. However, I cannot accept what happened on 19 March as being either fair or professional.

Therefore, I do not see any point in appealing unless I can be assured by yourself of a route of appeal that is independent of those with responsibility for the Hearing of 19 March (including Ms Griffin) and the consequent erroneous judgement.

None of this, I confess sadly, ameliorates the fact that I betrayed the trust of Mr & Mrs A and that I am ashamed of betraying them, [phrase removed for confidentiality purposes], the local authority and the BACP…and myself. (On 20 March I also sent another letter to Mr & Mrs A, assuring them that my apologies were not just for the benefit of *** Council, [phrase removed for confidentiality purposes] or BACP but that I recognised fully that I had betrayed them and was sincerely sorry. I also talked about the lessons learned and my determination never to make such errors again.)

I look forward to receiving your comments on this matter.

Yours sincerely

Keith E Ri ce

Letter from Mr Laurie Clarke 16/04/10

Dear Keith

Thank you for your further letter. Date 6 April.

The position remains as advised in my letter of 29 March in that I am unable to respond to a professional conduct case until it is formally concluded. If you have any dissatisfaction with the hearing of your own case, this should be addressed via the appeal process and the Professional Conduct team.

Yours sincerely

Laurie Clarke
Chief Executive

Letter from Ms Fay Reaney 29/04/10

Dear Mr Rice

BACP Professional Conduct Procedure: Case 588301

The deadline for receipt of your appeal was 27 April 2010 and no appeal was received. As such, the sanction takes effect from the date of expiration of the Appeal deadline. Therefore the sanction requires an initial report to be submitted no later than 27 May 2010.

The findings, decision, and sanction less the complainant’s personal details will be published in the next available edition of Therapy Today.

The notice will also be published on the BACP website in line with paragraph 8.3 of the Professional Conduct Procedure.

Yours sincerely

Fay Reaney
Professional Conduct Case Manager

Letter to Dr Lynne Gabriel, Chair of the BACP 07/05/10

Dear Dr Gabriel

I am writing to resign from the BACP following the disgraceful way I was treated in the Professional Conduct Hearing 588301 of 19 March 2010 and the complete disdain with which I was treated subsequently by Mr Laurie Clarke, Chief Executive.

The accompanying copy of my letter of 6 April 2010 to Mr Clarke sets out my complaints about both the process and the judgement of the Hearing. Also included is a copy of Mr Clarke’s reply of 16 April.

My letter to Mr Clarke sets out fully my grievances and profound dissatisfaction with both the process of the Hearing and the judgement, so I will not repeat them here.

What has finally led me to the decision that I have no alternative to resignation was Mr Clarke’s inflexible and contemptuous response to my grievances, hiding behind bureaucratic procedure. He has not even responded to my query as to whether the BACP recognises my qualifications in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Spiral Dynamics! (As a point of principle, the BACP should make it clear what it does and doesn’t recognise. I would never have joined if it had been clear the BACP does not recognise NLP.)

With Mr Clarke choosing to ignore my acute concerns with regard to the integrity of BACP Professional Conduct processes, he effectively robbed me of the possibility of appeal. Having been traumatised by the incompetence and bias displayed in the original hearing, why on earth would I subject myself to an appeals process run under the auspices of the same person as the original hearing, without assurances as to how the integrity of the process would be managed???

My one and only direct experience of BACP has been one of incompetence, bias, vested interest, arrogance, unethical practice and a callous disregard of the well-being of a member. Accordingly, I want nothing more to do with BACP.

I do not anticipate any kind of meaningful response from you.

Yours sincerely

Keith E Rice

Letter from Ms Fay Reaney 29/04/10

Dear Mr Rice

BACP Professional Conduct Procedure: Case 588301

Thank you for your letter dated 7 May, received 14 May 2010, addressed to Dr Gabriel.

I understand that you wish to  resign your membership. However, for the purpose of the Professional Conduct Procedure, you continue to be a member of BACP.

Any evidence of compliance with the requirements of the sanction, or non-compliance, will be considered by the Sanction Panel. However, failure or refusal to comply with the sanction may result in withdrawal of your membership, which will be published in the next available edition of Therapy Today. You still have the opportunity to submit your first report by 27 May 2010 and the Sanction Panel will convene to consider your sanction after that date.

I would be grateful if you could please confirm if it is your intention to comply, or not, with the sanction. Your cooperation in this matter is greatly appreciated.

Yours sincerely

Fay Reaney
Professional Conduct Manager

Letter from Ms Fay Reaney 03/06/10

Dear Mr Rice

BACP Professional Conduct Procedure: Case 588301

I write further to my letter dated 17 May 2010. The deadline for receipt of the first part of your sanction has now passed, and no submission was received. Nor have I received any response to my letter.

The matter will now be passed to the Sanction Panel for its consideration. As per my previous letter, failure or refusal to comply with the sanction may result in withdrawal of your membership, which will be published in the next available edition of Therapy Today.

Yours sincerely

Fay Reaney
Professional Conduct Manager

Letter from BACP Membership Services 20 July

Dear Mr KE Rice

Membership Number 588301

Your membership renewal date is 14/09/2010 and we look forward to renewing your membership. Fees for the coming year show a small increase……

Yours sincerely

Membership Services

Letter to Membership Services 25/07/10

Dear Sir/Madam

Re: 588301

I am astonished to receive your letter of 20 July 2010 asking for membership renewal 2010-2011. Clearly departments in the BACP do not talk to each other!

On 7 May 2010 I wrote to Lynne Gabriel, Chair, to resign from the BACP as a consequence of the contempt with which I was treated by Chief Executive Laurie Clarke in respect of a biased and incompetent ‘professional conduct hearing’ to which I was subjected.

A copy of the letter to Dr Gabriel is attached. The full account of my unfair, inaccurate, unjust and unethical treatment by the BAPC is at http://www.integratedsociopsychology.net/faqs/miscellaneous-faqs/bacp-complaint/

Clearly, having resigned, I am not going to pay your membership renewal. In fact, I want nothing more to do with your morally corrupt and unethical organisation!

Yours faithfully

Keith E Rice

Letter from Dr Lynne Gabriel 30/07/10 (but not posted till 13 August 2010)

Dear Mr Rice

BACP Professional Conduct Procedure: Case 588301

I write to you as the Chair of BACP.

The Sanction Panel met on Thursday 22 July 2010 to consider whether you had met with the requirements of the Sanction or whether there was any evidence of compliance from you.

The Panel was provided with a copy of the letter from you, dated 7 May 2010, and letters to you from the Professional Conduct Case Manager dated 17 May and 3 June 2010. The Panel noted that neither the submission due on 27 May 2010 nor the submission due on 27 June 2010 had been received. The Panel also considered whether there was good and sufficient reason to believe that you would comply with the Sanction given an extension of time in order to do so, and was not satisfied that there was good and sufficient reason. The Panel found no evidence of compliance with the Sanction or any intention to comply with the Sanction.

Consequently it was decided that your membership of BACP should be withdrawn with immediate effect. Any future application for membership of BACP will be considered under Article 4.3 of the Memorandum and Articles of the Association.

The decision to withdraw membership will be published in the next available edition of the BACP journal, Therapy Today, and posted on the website.

Yours sincerely

Dr Lynne Gabriel
Chair of BACP

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