Andy Rogers 0

Reform the NICE guidelines and end the bias towards Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) in the IAPT programme

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We, the undersigned providers and/or users of counselling and psychotherapy, call upon the Department of Health to instigate an urgent independent investigation into the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for the use of psychological therapies in the NHS. These guidelines currently display unwarranted and well documented bias in favour of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). Their formulation involved inadequate representation of and consultation with the counselling and psychotherapy field, and relied upon a very narrow range of research methodologies which fail to do justice to clients’ subjective experience and the complexity of human interaction.

We ask that urgent independent reviews be undertaken of the vast body of existing research findings on the efficacy of counselling and psychotherapy, studies which typically do not regard them as medical-style interventions for diagnosed illnesses or 'disorders', nor rest exclusively on the objectification of emotional and psychological distress.

We further call for an end to NICE’s discriminatory and unscientific bias towards CBT and the influence this is having over the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) scheme, the combined impact of which is drastically reducing access to, and threatening the very existence of, a diverse range of clinically effective therapeutic approaches which have thrived for many decades; depriving the public – against Government policy – of the choice, effectiveness and flexibility of services that clients are known to value.

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