An anonymous personal testimony: Putting the State Wellbeing strategy to work……..

by Julia Evans on February 10, 2011


This personal testimony is impressive.  It was provoked by the circulation of the Government’s strategy for Mental Health on 2ndFebruary – see Collaborators win: Putting the State Wellbeing Strategy to work…..  Thank you for sharing it and giving permission for its publication.


I agree that the Art Therapists are not winners (first paragraph) and their organisation is involved somewhere in the implementation structure, either as members of the HPC or other……   The organisation is quoted in the 2nd February “No health without mental health” release as being one of the implementers together with the Psychologists: BPS.

If you read this you will realise why it is published anonymously.   Thank you.

From:  Anonymous employed by Children’s Services


Personal Testimony



Hi Julia

I don’t think ATs are the winners at all.  They need studios and art materials and with long term work, outcomes can only be collected over a number of years.  CBT is still the preferred mode of treatment of course because it can put through the required numbers of patients quickly.  It is all part of an illusion of instant gratification that will lead to failure on a grand scale.  It seems that the rest of us have to stand by and watch before we are listened to.


At work I raised my concerns about one of my group members recently (she had previously taken an overdose, so I am particularly watchful).  Instead of staff simply being more considerate towards her she was sent off to CAMHS for a ‘parenting assessment’.  This form with tick boxes confirmed high levels of stress.  The stress in fact was caused by going through the Child Protection process.  The CAMHS ‘psychotherapist’ then referred her for CBT, ignoring the fact that she is in another, very different, therapy.  This kind of behaviour from a fellow ‘psychotherapist’ is damaging for the client and I am of course complaining about it.  The group member herself has been persuaded by a colleague not to take up the offer of CBT.  Fortunately I do have the support of my team members, only because I have been around for a while and have a good track record.  But there are frequent changes of staff that don’t understand the power dynamics behind it and who are completely impressed by anything scientific or medical.  Newly appointed psychotherapists would stand no chance against this kind of mayhem.


Have previously, six months ago, written to my MP, to Ann Milton, and also requested in writing that my name is removed from HPC register, copying it to my employers  (thereby taking the chance of losing my livelihood) and informing BAAT.  The world did not crash around my ears and I continue to work from the grass roots upwards, as above.   I do not have the influence to work from the top downwards, but I do feel my stance is noticed and, surprisingly enough, respected.  We need to fight lots of small battles from within, but it is an unpleasant and risky process.


More than that I don’t know what I do?  Any ideas?


Julia Evans adds:  I strongly recommend you read Kevin Jones’ testimony at Lacanian Works:  Fit to Practice? The Experience of State Registration from the perspective of an art therapist October 9, 2009