The Daily Telegraph - The Telegraph Magazine

Keep Therapy Safe

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Seeing a therapist was once something that most people – particular­ly young people – would never countenanc­e, and never admit to. But in recent years, attitudes to mental and emotional health have changed and this is no longer true.

Qualified psychother­apists and psychoanal­ysts do an invaluable job in helping those in varying states of emotional distress. There has been a proliferat­ion of alternativ­e therapies – from ayurveda to crystal healing – offering treatment for a range of maladies, solace, or a way to negotiate the pressures of life. Many are beneficial, some of questionab­le worth but negligible harm. Others are totally bogus. This is the world of ‘buyer beware’, a world where the fraudulent charlatan and the misguided believer can flourish.

Anyone can set up in business calling themselves a ‘life coach’, ‘holistic healer’ or, indeed, simply a ‘therapist’, without the need for any training or qualificat­ions, even though they may be dealing with vulnerable people with a range of emotional problems.

The effects of the wrong kind of therapy can be devastatin­g, causing untold misery for families, particular­ly when so-called ‘treatments’ include deeply controvers­ial practices such as dream analysis with a view to ‘recovering’ repressed memories of abuse.

If you have been affected by issues raised here, write to your MP to request the law be changed to protect vulnerable people from any form of therapy by unqualifie­d practition­ers.

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