Making a complaint about a BACP therapist
All members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) are required to provide a level of service to their clients that is both ethical and professional. The guidelines for modelling good practice are outlined in the BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions
If you believe that the counselling you have received has not been conducted in such a way, you can contact the Professional Conduct Department at BACP and talk your situation through with a member of the team to see what you could do about it. BACP has a complaints procedure and all members are accountable not only to you as a client, but also to the Association, which endeavours to set and monitor good standards of care and practice.
As a first step, you may choose to discuss your concerns with your therapist to see if the situation can be resolved informally and quickly. If you do not feel able to do this, or you’re unable to do so for other reasons, you may raise your concerns formally with BACP under the Professional Conduct Procedure.
A complaint needs to be made in writing and will be considered by independent panels made up of therapists and members of the public. The process will usually take between six to nine months. This may seem like a long time, but this is because the parties involved have a set amount of time in which to prepare themselves for a Hearing. Both parties are expected to attend a Hearing so that they can put forward their own cases personally. It is also a good opportunity to listen to and understand a bit more about what may have happened in the therapeutic relationship that may not have been evident previously.
At the end of the Hearing, either the member (therapist) or the client will be pleased with the outcome and one will be disappointed. However, BACP can only deal with complaints of poor practice when these matters are brought to its attention by the people affected.
BACP are grateful for the time and effort that people are prepared to invest in order to do this. It helps ensure that members are providing the levels of ethical and professional practice they are expected to deliver.
Any member of the Professional Conduct team will be able to discuss your concerns with you, and can be contacted on: