My difficulties with SCoPEd are that it goes against everything I stand for. I have said so in the BACP members questionnaire and then again when I was approached to speak about working with transgender clients at a BACP event. I find that your pursuance of SCoPEd is a betrayal of the clients I work with and a betrayal of the kind of therapists who can help them. It is exclusionary and discriminatory. Creating the kind of hierarchy you’re promoting elevates the medical model above all others and demotes other modalities; it demotes the role of the therapeutic relationship, such a vital element of therapy; it deskills excellent and experienced practitioners who are helping many people in desperate situations. It makes psychotherapy inaccessible as a profession for those who need to join us in order to make our profession more diverse, making sure it remains so predominantly white, cis gender, heterosexual and middle class; it makes it inaccessible to clients.
I work with trauma and dissociation, something that is not uncommon in minority clients. I work with POC, queer people, trans people, people with disabilities and chronic illnesses and neurodivergent people. You are doing these people a lot of harm by creating strict and limited categories that aren’t congruent with skill, ability or experience. You are also harming them by deskilling and preventing access to the profession for those who can’t afford the exorbitant cost of the kind of training you require in order to be counted among the psychotherapy “elite”, one that you have arbitrarily defined as the “highest level”. You are denying them access to the therapists they need if they want to stop encountering gaslighting and microaggressions and other forms of racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and classism in therapy; these are more common than you probably believe they are, because those of us who don’t fit the mould are excluded and therefore denied an opportunity to play a role in shaping training, ensuring diversity awareness and inclusion, and safeguarding those who are currently excluded.
SCoPEd is the epitome of exclusion and microaggression. It is racist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist and more, because it excludes all these groups from becoming what you have determined to be “real” psychotherapists; it excludes clients who are part of these groups because they cannot find therapists who are like them and who understand them and who aren’t going to harm them. Our profession is almost exclusively white, cis gender, heterosexual and middle class. SCoPEd is an exercise in keeping it that way. I find myself in an impossible situation where I need to be registered with you because of my identity intersections. As a queer woman of colour with trauma and a disability, the paths SCoPEd deems worthy for qualifying as a psychotherapist were inaccessible to me. Some of the paths I followed to reach where I am weren’t accredited by you, so I sat your professional competency test and proved my ability, expertise and experience as a psychotherapist and became a registered member in that way. Even though I also belong to another professional organisation, I worry about any future consequences of losing my BACP membership. I’m holding my nose while being a member. You’re not listening to the many members who feel this way, including those who have already left and stayed away.
You claim SCoPEd is meant to regulate our profession, but this is nothing of the sort and isn’t remotely how you go about regulation; this is all about creating hierarchies and taking control. How can you not take into account what is best for your members and best for our clients? What do you stand for?