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  • Writer's picturePeter Blundell

What is SCoPEd?

SCoPEd stands for "Scope of Practice and Education" and refers to a controversial project initiated by three professional bodies in the United Kingdom: the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC), and the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). SCoPEd aims to define and differentiate the scope of practice and education for counsellors, psychotherapists, and psychoanalysts.

The primary objective of SCoPEd is to establish a framework that clarifies the distinctions between different therapeutic professions, including the competencies, skills, and training required for each. It seeks to provide clearer guidance to professionals, employers, and the public about the roles and capabilities of practitioners within these fields.

However, SCoPEd has been met with significant controversy and criticism within the counselling and psychotherapy community.

The main points of contention include:

Exclusivity and Marginalisation: SCoPEd promotes a hierarchical model that privileges certain therapeutic approaches over others, potentially marginalising or excluding practitioners who do not fit within the designated framework. The project fails to acknowledge the diversity and effectiveness of different therapeutic modalities and approaches.

Lack of Stakeholder Involvement: SCoPEd was developed without adequate input or representation from the wider counselling and psychotherapy community. This has led to concerns that the project does not accurately reflect the views, perspectives, and needs of the professionals it seeks to regulate.

Division and Fragmentation: SCoPEd fosters division and fragmentation within the profession, potentially undermining collaboration, interdisciplinary work, and the potential for clients to access a broader range of therapeutic approaches and modalities.

Limited Evidence Base: There are concerns about the lack of robust evidence supporting the specific claims and assertions made within SCoPEd.

For further details about the objections to SCoPEd see the Open Letter from the Person-Centred Group

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