United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy

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Type Professional Body
Key people

David Pink, chief executive

Janet Weisz, Chair
Website www.ukcp.org.uk

The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is a national professional association of psychotherapy organisations and practitioners in the United Kingdom. It exists to "promote and maintain the profession of psychotherapy and the highest standards in the practice of psychotherapy throughout the United Kingdom, for the benefit of the public."[1][2] Only psychotherapists or psycho-therapeutic counselors who meet UKCP's training requirements and abide by its ethical guidelines are included in its online "Register of Psychotherapists".

Established in 1993, UKCP has evolved into a national umbrella organisation for most major psycho-therapeutic modalities. As of 2012, there are more than 70 member organisations representing all the main traditions in the practice of psychotherapy.

The council is run by a Board of Trustees that is elected by the council's members. A number of subcommittees, including the ethics committee and committees responsible for UKCP's relations with other bodies such as the National Health Service (NHS) and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), report directly to the Board of Trustees.

UKCP also represents the United Kingdom in the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP) – a Vienna-based umbrella organisation which sets standards for equivalence of training and practice throughout Europe — and is part of the National Awarding Organization (NAO) overseeing the European Certificate of Psychotherapy (ECP) award in the UK.


According to its official website, the UKCP's objectives are:[3]

  • To promote the art and science of psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic counselling for the public benefit
  • To promote research in psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic counselling, and to disseminate the results of any such research
  • To promote high standards of education, training and practice in psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic counselling
  • To promote the wider provision of psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic counselling for all sections of the public


The UKCP's campaign work has included collaboration with NICE and the Health Professions Council. Campaigns have included:

  • NICE under scrutiny
  • NICE consultations
  • Reparative therapy
  • Statutory regulation of psychotherapy
  • Services under threat
  • Skills for Health[4]

Regulatory role[edit]

UKCP Master Logo.jpg

The UKCP regards the regulation of psychotherapists and the public accountability of their practice as important means to safeguard the interests of patients, clients, and the reputation of registered practitioners.[citation needed] The present Register is voluntary — it is not required by any Act of Parliament — but the UKCP is campaigning with other related organisations for the statutory regulation of the "talking therapy" professions.[citation needed]

The UKCP delegates the accreditation and re-accreditation of members to UKCP organizational members. Organizational members may be designated as "training", "accrediting" or both. Individual psychotherapists can join the UKCP register only following accreditation by one of these organisations.[5] At present there is no way of registering directly with UKCP.

The UKCP does not run courses leading to UKCP accreditation; courses are provided by its organisational members. Some training organisations also accredit and will award Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) or give credit for previous training experience.

Candidates for registration who trained on a course that does not lead directly to membership need to seek accreditation by an accrediting organisation member.[6]


The UKCP was initially founded in the 1980s as the United Kingdom Standing Conference for Psychotherapy following the Foster Report (1971) and the Sieghart Report (1978), which recommended regulation of the psychotherapy field.[7] It was formally inaugurated as a council in 1993.


UKCP elects its Chair among its members.

Term of office Office holder
2012–present Janet Weisz
2009–2012 Andrew Samuels
2007–2009 James Gray Antrican
2005–2007 Lisa Wake
2002–2004 James Pollard
2001–2002 Alan Thomson
1998–2001 Ann Casement
1995–1998 Digby Tantam
1993–1995 Emmy van Deurzen
1989–1993 Michael R. Pokorny (Chair of the UK Standing Conference for Psychotherapy)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ UKCP (15 March 2009), Press release: "UK Council for Psychotherapy appoints new Chief Executive" Retrieved 7 July 2012
  2. ^ "United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy". 
  3. ^ UK Council for Psychotherapy (2012). "UKCP's charitable objectives". UK Council for Psychotherapy. UK Council for Psychotherapy. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  4. ^ UK Council for Psychotherapy (2012). "News and campaigns". UK Council for Psychotherapy. UK Council for Psychotherapy. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  5. ^ UK Council for Psychotherapy (2012). "Organizational members: Information about organizational members". UK Council for Psychotherapy. UK Council for Psychotherapy. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  6. ^ UK Council for Psychotherapy (2012). "Applying for UKCP membership". UK Council for Psychotherapy. UK Council for Psychotherapy. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  7. ^ UK Council for Psychotherapy (2012). "The regulation of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counselors". UK Council for Psychotherapy. UK Council for Psychotherapy. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 

External links[edit]