I saw an advert today – stuck on the wall in a café. It was headed “Looking for Volunteers”. It went on to talk about a “new form of therapy” which “goes beyond just helping you cope” and offers “resolution”. So far; it seems to be promising something amazing – and all you have to do is “volunteer”. Right at the bottom of the advert however there was short text – the “volunteering” will cost you between £100.00 – £50.00 (yes – put in reverse order for some reason) for a two hour session “just to cover my clinic costs”.
This whole advert is riven with lies. It has nothing to do with “volunteering” at all. £50.00 ph is a sizeable fee – even by the standards of therapy (£80.00 ph is not unusual) £50.00 ph is a fat fee – not a small donation to “cover costs”. Rooms in health centres do not cost £50.00 ph. Furthermore; it is not a “clinic”. A “clinic” is something run by qualified medical personnel.
This kind of lying in the adverts is absolutely the norm for psychotherapy. – Strange when these people are claiming to be suitable people in whom you can trust your soul.
Some other examples;
This writer “saw” two therapists for a period of time. When he left them he researched a little about them. One of them, he found, was offering her “Counselling Service” on a Community Web site which had been specifically set up for voluntary groups to promote their group. A voluntary group is something like a Mums and Tots group; a group who go out every weekend and clear weeds from rivers; a group where older people can meet and have a lunch etc. etc. People who do things for the public benefit for free. A “Counsellor” on the other hand is running a private business and is charging by the hour.
The other therapist whom this writer “saw” for a period of time had spun his CV. His uncompleted post-graduate studies were spun as “undertook a training in”.
A group of therapists in Oxford advertise collectively on a shared web site. Many of the ads. have the phrase “private sector experience”. Some have the phrase “public sector experience”. “Private sector experience” sounds very grand. Perhaps they have worked as consultants for large corporations? In reality; no. It means no more than they have charged individuals for money. It is not a straight lie. But it is sophistry and designed to mislead and create a false impression. It also serves to overawe the potential and new clients.
This kind of lying is absolutely the norm in psychotherapy. This should give the lie to all the talk about “integrity”, “ethics” and “authenticity”.