clinical psychology in Scotland – handmaidens of psychiatry?

It seems to me that clinical psychology in Scotland does the bidding of psychiatry.  Is tied to the apron strings.  Has embraced the labels and constraints of the mental illness mantra.  And cannot break free for fear of the unknown.  Or of being consigned to oblivion, having no identity except for being under the authority of its master.

How then can their talking therapies do the real business of helping a person find release when they are bound by the same constraints?  Are they not just colluding with an oppressive system to keep the converts quiet and under control?

Is it the label “clinical” that ties them in to a system-centred way of thinking rather than a person-centred way of acting?  Two years ago our request for CBT was ignored and mindfulness given.  Our agency was disregarded and our voices not listened to.  You might describe it as being silenced. 

What use therapists who are not putting their clients and patients first?  But maybe a clinical psychologist is not a therapist first and foremost.  Maybe they are clinical team members before anything else.  Their loyalty lies with the doctor, the psychiatrist, the clinical lead in the health board area.

And this loyalty will likely translate into psychiatric system thinking.  Deciding what is best for a patient, regardless of what the patient wants.  Reading the psychiatric notes and taking what’s written as gospel truth.  Believing the opinions of clinical staff before the voices and stories of the patients and carers.  

That’s been my family’s experience over many years.  Slanderous opinions written as fact then believed by clinical psychologists, passed on to their trainees.  Reputations destroyed by the stroke of a pen.  Stories unheard and voices silenced.

What then can universities do to shift the perspective of practising clinical psychologists in health board areas who are handmaidens of psychiatry?  Are they prepared to do anything or are they happy with the status quo, with psychiatric labelling, declarations of incapacity and badmouthing of character, based on nothing more than psychiatric opinion?

If they’re not up for improving the situation for patients and carers, for providing person-centred talking therapies and for meaningfully involving people with lived experience in their training of clinical psychologists then what is the point of their endeavours?  It’s just another tokenistic, tick-box exercise in the scheme of things.

Nothing to be proud of.



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