16 August 2016

The Palace Gate Counselling Scandal - Why it was right to blow the whistle

2 years ago today The Mail on Sunday published an article exposing the scandal of the Palace Gate Counselling Service and the owner John Clapham's abusive behaviour as a therapist and owner of the service and that of his colleague/supervisee/employee/client Lindsey Talbott, whom he promoted to Director of the service in the midst of the crisis. 
Tina and I braced ourselves for the backlash and the ridicule and more worryingly, the impact on our private practice. We also risked losing our homes as we were threatened with being sued.
2 years on I can gladly say that I wholeheartedly stand by the decision to expose this abuse and to protect others from enduring likewise.
Sadly, Palace gate Counselling, Clapham and Talbott are still operating. I'm happy to say that most of the referral sources are now obsolete. However, NHS Torbay Trust still signpost to the service, which is ridiculous and quite disturbing.
I am also pleased to say that the push for regulation is gaining momentum (thanks to joining forces with Philip DorĂ©) and our paper on regulation via the campaign, 'Unsafe Spaces' and the Palace Gate case were referred to in Parliament.
I have also gained a bit of a niche speciality in working with people who have had abusive experiences in therapy. Some have found me via that article which gave them hope that they would believed and that I would get it. It is a shame that we live in a  world where this niche area is required but sadly, without regulation, far too much of this goes on and remains in the shadows.
It's pretty much behind me but I must confess that the behaviour of Talbott in particular got under my skin. She knows what he did. She knows it was wrong. But chose to make mine and Tina's life as hellish as she possibly could and tell the world that we were liars. Very scary. And she's a therapist...out there...as is he...
The good news is that it wasn't only the BACP that validated our truth; the Catholic Church cancelled Clapham's imminent ordainment, the Rosen Method bodywork organisation cancelled his internship and the police, although unable to prosecute, were very validating. 
And finally, my business is thriving and I have made this a viable and fulfilling career. As is Tina's. Some potential clients might read about my experience and be put off. However, many have stated that it is because of my stance and experiences that they chose me.

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