Monday, 7 September 2015

letter about DCP-Scotland Review: Redressing the Balance Summer 2015

Letter just written to Simon Stuart, Editor of DCP-Scotland Review: Redressing the Balance Summer 2015

Strapline: letter about DCP-S Review: Redressing the Balance

"Dear Simon

I happened to come upon your tweet about the DCP-S Review, retweeted by someone I follow, and so I took a look.  Saw your comment "what am I actually stepping into?".  It caught my interest and so I took a closer look ...

The more I read, the more incensed I got.  And tweeted my thoughts @ChrysMuirhead:

"reading through the piece by Ruth Stocks. Much talk of tactics and agendas, better marketing. My opinion? Huh."
"just noticed that "one of the carers' groups" was opposed to CPs taking on statutory roles. Well done Carers! I agree."
"there is no way I would recommend CPs having more power in Scottish MH Law. Very scary thought. Young pretenders."
"not sure who Ruth Stocks is. Never heard of her. She didn't join my campaign against psychiatric abuse."
"just googled up Ruth Stocks, says Consultant Forensic Clinical Psychologist. Mention of "Violence Risk Assessment". Huh."
"there are pages and pages about CP statutory roles. CPs assessing capacity. Now that is very scary. Man the lifeboats."
"written by Alison Clark CP @nhsfife where CPs have stood by holding the coats #psychiatricabuse I'm speechless ....."
"well done @RCPsychScot opposing statutory roles for clinical psychologists!"
"still more and more pages about why CPs should this that and the other. Self absorbed tosh."
"Finally something worth reading at page 34 ... the voice of an expert. By experience. And another one. If only these voices had filled the pages rather than the others"
"this is what you have been stepping into Simon. I have stopped resisting! (cartoon attached)"

I'm an unwaged carer, an unpaid mental health writer, activist and human rights campaigner.  Since February 2012 I have been singlehandedly fighting a case of human rights abuse perpetrated against my son in the IPCU of Stratheden Hospital, Fife, (locked seclusion room, no toilet or water to drink, for hours on end, unobserved) and had my complaint against NHS Fife upheld by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman in September 2014.  After 30 months of raising complaints and campaigning.  During that time I tried to get meaningfully involved in the DClinPsy courses at both Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities, sometimes travelling for 7hrs from my home in NE Fife, to do so.  Eventually I gave up trying earlier this year.  It was tokenistic and meaningless.  I say this as a reflective practitioner, and professionally qualified community education worker and FE lecturer in care subjects.

I got involved in the DClinPsy "user carer" groups because I'd been disappointed with clinical psychology provision in Fife.  Three of my family members, myself included, have engaged with CPs at Stratheden since 2003, and I've twice met with the Head of Psychology, NHS Fife, in around 2011 to highlight issues in psychiatric treatment.  None of it was positive.  Some of it was very negative and damaging to my family.  I found that CPs did not listen to what we were saying or asking for, in terms of therapy.  Eg we asked for CBT and got mindfulness.  None of it was person-centred.  I have many examples of engagement to back this up.  Including West Fife where I met with a lead CP in Lynebank Hospital.  Who patronised me and tried to tell me how I should behave.  This was when I ran Peer Support Fife ( voluntarily and was critical of their Moodcafe website which was out-of-date and inaccurate.

You asked me via twitter to write a response and this is it.  I am not going to read through the DCP-S Summer Review in any closer detail.  I don't have the time for it.  I spent nearly 6 years trying to be meaningfully involved in the clinical psychology training courses and was eventually bullied off the groups.  As things stand it tells me that clinical psychology in Scotland is not interested in the voices of psychiatric survivors, unwaged carers and the real "experts by experience".  They are more concerned about their own affairs and about gaining more power.  I cannot and do not support their hierarchical shenanigans.  

I wish you well in your career.  

Yours sincerely,


Copying in other clinical psychologists I know in Scotland and who I have engaged with"


 blog post 29 August 2015: holding the coats

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