Complaints

How to complainTherapy is not an easy process. It is important to remember that you may be trying to deal with problems that have been a part of you for years.

Talking about them is difficult. Sometimes your therapist may say things that are hard for you to hear. It may take time for you to find some sort of resolution to your problems. Our therapists are professional, caring and confidential. They will be doing the best they can to help you.

If you are not happy you may wish to consider changing to another therapist. All therapists are individuals and will work in slightly different ways. It is fine to change if you wish.

Documents

However sometimes things can go wrong. If you believe that the therapy you are experiencing is not in accordance with our  Code of Ethics and Practice for General and Accredited Members , the first thing for you to do is to try to speak to your therapist about your concerns. If you are still unhappy and wish to make a complaint please look at our Conduct Procedure 2014

 Public Notices

Elizabeth Copestake – Accredited member – Complaint 090117

A complaint was brought by COSRT against Elizabeth Copestake, an accredited member of COSRT. Information was received by COSRT which alleged that Ms Copestake had fallen short in her delivery of professional services to a client, X. COSRT considered that, if true, these allegations could be breaches of the Code of Ethics and Practice for General and Accredited Members. The case was investigated in line with the Conduct Procedure and referred for consideration by an Adjudication Panel.

 

The complaint was considered under the Conduct Procedure at an Adjudication Hearing held on Thursday, 24 August 2017.

 

Ms Copestake argued that X was not her client and that, therefore, she did not owe her a duty of care. Both parties agreed that Ms Copestake saw X in at least one individual session and also in a further session with X’s ex partner. On examination of the facts, and with reference to the Code of Ethics and Practice for General and Accredited Members, the Panel found that X was indeed a client, and that, therefore, she was owed a duty of care by Ms Copestake.

 

The Panel had to consider six allegations and upheld the complaint on the following three grounds: the Panel found that Ms Copestake had not acted in the best interests of her client; that she had not taken appropriate professional care of her client; and that she had failed to use her professional judgement in order to maintain appropriate boundaries to the therapy relationship. A further three clauses of the Code of Ethics and Practice were considered but the Panel found no evidence to uphold these.

 

In mitigation, the Panel acknowledged Ms Copestake’s assertion that she had reflected on the issues raised in this complaint and that she had made some changes to her practice as a result, including the introduction of written contracts.

In light of the above findings, the Adjudication Panel imposed an appropriate Sanction.

Ms Copestake did not appeal against the findings and decision of the Adjudication Panel and is now required to fulfil the conditions of the Sanction.

 

Jane Warding-Smith – Accredited member – Complaint 170216

A complaint was brought by COSRT against Jane Warding-Smith, an accredited member of COSRT. Information was received by COSRT which alleged that Ms Warding-Smith was claiming to have a PhD which may not have been genuine and was using the title “Doctor” alongside such other titles as “NHS Consultant” and “Harley Street Practitioner” on various websites. COSRT considered that, if true, there could be breaches of the Code of Ethics and Practice for General and Accredited Members; that the public and other professionals could be seriously mislead and that this may have brought, or could yet bring, the professions of psychosexual counselling, psychotherapy and the name of COSRT into disrepute.

Although Ms Warding-Smith provided further information at the Investigation Stage, she refused to attend the Hearing, or to be represented, or to communicate further with COSRT. The Panel was frustrated by her non-attendance as it meant it was unable to clarify matters and ask any further questions and could only rely on her written submissions and other evidence.

The complaint was considered under the Conduct Procedure at an Adjudication Hearing held on Tuesday 16 August 2016. The Panel upheld the complaint on the following grounds: the Panel was satisfied that the PhD was not a genuine PhD based on evidence submitted by Ms Warding-Smith, together with evidence received from The National Recognition Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC). Her PhD was found to be from a non-accredited US academic establishment. The Panel was satisfied that she knew the PhD was not genuine and that this was evidence that she lacked integrity and trustworthiness. Following notification of the complaint, Ms Warding-Smith altered any reference to her PhD on her website to state that it was an “international qualification” which is not a recognized term. The Panel found that promotion of her PhD, in conjunction with her use of other titles such as “Doctor”, “NHS Consultant” and “Harley Street Practitioner” could be grossly misleading to the public and other professionals and that her continued membership could bring the professions of psychosexual therapy, psychotherapy, and COSRT into disrepute.

In mitigation the Panel accepted evidence submitted by Ms Warding-Smith which confirmed that she had worked for the NHS as a Psychosexual Consultant and that at some stage she had worked in Harley Street.

In considering an appropriate sanction, the Panel decided that Ms Warding-Smith’s membership of COSRT should be terminated with immediate effect.