This blog has been started by a small group of retired clinical psychologists. We all have had a long association with the BPS in a variety of roles and we have demonstrated our commitment to the organisation in many forms. However, in recent years we and other colleagues, have become concerned that “the BPS” has made some decisions without proper consolation with the membership, is less than open and transparent in its workings, is handling complaints about critically important issues inappropriately and is becoming unrepresentative of the membership as a whole. In acting in this way it is doing an active disservice to the discipline of psychology.
Our individual concerns have led us to share our worries more widely, particularly as some of the approaches we have made to the BPS have been ignored, rebuffed or dismissed. What follows describes some of the specific issues and problems that we have identified and experienced which we feel are important enough for wider circulation. In our view these may represent a small proportion of the problems that members have come up against in their dealings with the BPS over the years, so we would encourage readers to add to the blog with relevant experiences.
Who we are
Peter Harvey has been a BPS member since being a student in the late 1960s and has held various offices including Chief Examiner and Chair of the Board of Examiners for the BPS Qualification in Clinical Psychology (1991-1998) and Chair-Elect, Chair and Vice-Chair, Division of Clinical Psychology (1998 – 2001). He has worked both in Universities and the NHS.
Pat Harvey (Guinan) has been a BPS member for around 50 years. She was Chair of the DCP 1997-8. She developed and managed a large NHS Psychology and Counselling service in the North West. Additionally she was member of the Mental Health Act Commission and a panel member of an Independent Inquiry into 3 homicides by a conditionally discharged patient. In those latter contexts as well as her managerial NHS role she had considerable experience of handling formal complaints in organisational contexts.
David Pilgrim worked in the NHS before returning to academic life. Now semi-retired he retains honorary professorial roles at the Universities of Liverpool and Southampton. He is a past Chair of the History & Philosophy Section of the Society and has written extensively on the social history of psychology in Britain.