Therapy shows us life is not neat or safe. So why judge it by those criteria?

A proposed regulation of talking therapies would impose market values on a practice that aims to free us from such judgments

When Freud arrived in London in 1938, he praised the generosity and open-mindedness of a culture that had offered him – and psychoanalysis – a home. Yet now, some 70 years later, analysts and therapists have been forced to take legal action in order to preserve the ethos of the discipline he founded.

The high court will tomorrow hear the judicial review claim made by six organisations against the . They are concerned that, under HPC proposals for the regulation of talking therapies, it may no longer be possible to go into therapy, practise therapy or train therapists as before.

Therapy occupies a unique space in the modern world. In a culture obsessed with surface and statistics, it allows the detail and narrative of a human life to be explored. Where society tells us what to be, therapy allows us to reflect critically on the imperatives that shape us. Challenging received notions of wellbeing and happiness, we can try to find out what is really important to us, often with life-changing consequences. It offers a system of values freed from the moral judgments of social authorities.

Until now, prospective patients have been able to choose the therapist they wish to work with. Under HPC, this will no longer be the case. Only approved psychotherapists will be able to practise, and approval means fitting into a framework that is at odds with the basic values of psychotherapy.

Source - Guardian