In the Shadow

of Accreditation

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Presented by David Wasdell

Professionalisation of the practice of Psychotherapy carries with it a set of unconscious processes. This analysis explores the myth of the coincidence of competence and accreditation, the inter-group dynamics of the field and the collusional patterns of transference and counter-transference between clients and therapists, between different therapists and between therapists and their social environment. The conclusion is drawn that the shadow dynamics of accreditation serve to reinforce the social defences against anxiety. The security needs of clients, the survival needs of therapists and the interface between English Common Law and the legalism of the European Community serve to generate a dance macabre which effectively blocks the goal achievement of the therapeutic task. [1991]   (Subsequently published in Self and Society, Vol. 20, No.1, January 1992 and Implausible Professions, Arguments for Pluralism and Autonomy in Psychotherapy and Counselling, Ed. Richard House and Nick Totton)