Saturday, 7 July 2018

closing ranks

Paul Hutton (now Associate Professor at Napier University) in his series of Emails to me in May 2017, regarding the bullying culture in Edinburgh University Clinical Psychology (CP) department and the behaviour of Matthias Schwannauer mentioned the phrase "closing ranks" after he raised a complaint.  This rung a bell, thinking of what I'd been through with both psychiatry and DClinPsy programmes at Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities, after raising complaints.

At the end of December 2014 I'd been bullied off the Glasgow user/carer CUSP group facilitated by Andrew Gumley when he wasn't there.  Other members took the opportunity to gang up on me, the topic of ECT, I'd recently written a blog post for Mad in America [Spearheading Doctors and the Re-introduction of Electroconvulsive Therapy for Children] on the resurgence of children getting shock treatment.  I had made an FOI request to Scottish ECT Accreditation Network to find out if any children in Scotland were receiving ECT.  The CUSP members said it would be only one or two which angered me, their attitude.  We were not on the same page regarding the treatment of children and so I left, complaining to DClinPsy programme director Hamish McLeod, now a Professor.

Around the same time I also left the Edinburgh DClinPsy programme as my voice was being marginalised and others with lived experience were seen as research fodder.  This came out at an event in the Playfair Library Hall, Edinburgh, when a CP academic from Edinburgh gave that reason for MH Service Users being invited.  I think she forgot that I used to be a service user!  Which is one of the reasons they won't want survivor voices in DClinPsy programmes.  We are independently minded and don't appreciate being research guinea pigs.

handknitted Donegal Aran Tweed socks for Andrew & wife
From around September 2015 when coming through another psychosis I engaged virtually with Andrew Gumley, befriended him, sent him and his wife craftwork gifts, sharing family photos and stories, he reciprocated, to some extent, and it was after this that I considered returning to DClinPsy programmes, giving it another go, also embarking on a PhD with Matthias Schwannauer as supervisor which he agreed to, Andrew Gumley offering to be an academic mentor.  It was attending the "Innovation" event hosted by Hamish McLeod that spurred me on to do the PhD.  

The PhD supervision soon broke down, mainly because of Schwannauer's behaviour and attitude.  I felt that he raised expectations then dashed them, was arrogant at a joint meeting in Feb17 with Gumley (said Life isn't fair and questioned my ability to write a 10K word essay), and then manipulated my other supervisor at what was to be our final meeting. My complaint was not upheld.  I want to be fair about what transpired and believe that it was Schwannauer who scuppered my PhD into safe haven crisis houses, and then McLeod who banished me from Glasgow DClinPsy programme, for no good reason, it could have been a peace process.  However Gumley could have improved the situation and didn't, on 4 July 2017 in his office, making out that I was "less than" then raising a complaint which he said was about his own facilitation but it resulted in my exclusion.  All of them closed ranks.  I raised complaints about Gumley and McLeod which came to nothing, unaccountable for their actions towards an unwaged Carer activist, whistleblowing campaigner.

A misuse and abuse of power, similar to what goes on in psychiatric settings.  They can do what they like because of their unassailable position.  The irony of Clinical Psychologist Lucy Johnstone and cohort pushing out their Power Threat Meaning Framework when her own profession is up to its neck in coercive treatment.  What difference formulation to diagnosis when those in power are not accountable, unanswerable to criticism?  And Johnstone with Watson is giving a platform to Schwannauer in Edinburgh on my 66th birthday, another slap on the face to a survivor Mother.

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