Analyse This!

Via Chris, its come to my attention that the BBC’s Daily Politics show ran an interview with someone called Lucy Beresford, who describes herself on her own website as a ‘writer, psychodynamic psychotherapist, and media commentator’ in which she purports to psychoanalyse Gordon Brown.

Unfortunately, the BBC have billed her on their website as a ‘psychologist’…

..which she isn’t!

There is no Lucy Beresford on the British Psychological Society’s Register of Chartered Psychologists and, as such, she is not entitled to the regulated professional title ‘psychologist’.

She’s also not a psychiatrist – if she were she’d be a doctor – what she is, is a psychotherapist and a member of the UK Council for Psychotherapy, which is a registered charity which exist to:

promote the art and science of psychotherapy for the public benefit; to promote research and education in psychotherapy and disseminate the results of any such research; and to promote (or assist in the promotion, preservation and protection of public health by encouraging) high standards of training and practice in psychotherapy and the wider provision of psychotherapy for the public.

…and which maintains a voluntary register of psychotherapists.

And that, as regular readers will quickly realise, puts her professional standing somewhere on a par with holistic therapists, naturopaths, homoeopaths and other assorted purveyors of quasi-regulated woo – FFS, her website states that she works, at least some of the time at the private Priory Hospital in Roehampton, which still operates a fucking ECT facility, a practice that most psychologists wouldn’t touch with a barge pole.

A good rule of thumb when looking at these kinds of umbrella organisations is to hunt around for their code of ethics – the British Psychological Society’s code weigh in at 26 A5 pages, 13 of which deal solely with ethical matters while the UK Council of Physiotherapists’ code fits on two pages of an A5 leaflet, including their complaints procedure.

So whio is Lucy Beresford?

Well it turns out she’s an ex-city trader who also presents the ‘Bad Sex Awards’ for the Literary Review…

Lucy Beresford is the latest City type to seek an alternative career in fiction. After ten years at Shearson Lehman and Barclays de Zoete Wedd, she qualified as a psychotherapist. “Working in the City enabled me to observe psychotic behaviour at first hand,” she says, I assume in jest. Former colleagues would know. Her Something I’m Not is published next month, a look at mothering and whether mothers all really love their children. Beresford has yet another career as the presenter of the Bad Sex Awards for the Literary Review. How on earth did you land that job? “Practise, Martin, practise.”

…and writes pop-psychology crap like ‘Facebook: the crack cocaine of networking‘ for the distinctly right-wing ‘The First Post’ and Self-flagellation and the City for The Spectator.

So, she’s the new Raj Persaud wannabe… just what we fucking need.

  • asquith

    I wonder what Guido’s followers will make of this? On the one hand it gives an opportunity to attack “Pravda” over its credentials, on the other it involves admitting (yet again) that their ringleader is a fuckwit who, like Iain Dale, can’t research to save his life!

  • Yes, covered this myself, bit of a cock up by the BBC to get this quack on. What next homeopaths debating the future of the NHS on Newsnight?

    I will be submitting a complaint.

    One small point, psychologist, like psychotherapist is not a protected title so anybody can call themselves one. The British Psychological Society are trying to change this so a minimum of a doctorate in Psychology is required. The quacks, unsurprisingly, object. So in the meantime anybody who fancies fluffing up their CV can use these titles – or many other such unprotected and superficially grandiose descriptions.

    Dr Gimpy – Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Nutrionist.

  • Dirty Euro

    I knew she seemed offensive for a psycholigist. I hate it when silly people who go around calling themselves psychologists when they have no training. She seems like an insulting individual. What sort of so called psychologists use mental illness as an insult. She should be treated like a fake doctor.
    She has stigmatised the PM and the mentally ill.
    So what if he has an inferiority complex. I just read having a dissability, and racism and sexism can give you an inferority complex. All that anti scottish, (plus anti middle class abuse he gets as he is middle class), and abuse he gets for losing an eye. :

  • Pingback: BBC gets quack to speculate on mental health of Prime Minister during time of financial crisis « gimpy’s blog()

  • Woobegone

    Lucy Beresford is clearly ridiculous, and thanks for digging up detail on just how low she can go. but I’m going to have to take issue with this :

    “FFS, her website states that she works, at least some of the time at the private Priory Hospital in Roehampton, which still operates a fucking ECT facility, a practice that most psychologists wouldn

  • Psycho babble?

  • Woobegone:

    “80% of people given ECT show a good response within a couple of weeks”

    or it might be simply that 80% of people given ECT stop saying they’re depressed, since every time they do, a psychiatrist sticks another 150 Volts through their head.

    Which gives me an idea re Ms Beresford…

  • Keir Liddle

    Originally Posted By WoobegoneLucy Beresford is clearly ridiculous, and thanks for digging up detail on just how low she can go. but I’m going to have to take issue with this :

    “FFS, her website states that she works, at least some of the time at the private Priory Hospital in Roehampton, which still operates a fucking ECT facility, a practice that most psychologists wouldn

  • David :

    Trials show that ECT works a lot better than “sham ECT”, which is the same thing except without the 150 volts, so unlikely. Anyway, ECT is painless because you’re anaesthetized when it happens – it’s still no fun, but it’s not torture. There are patients who demand ECT (as opposed to drugs) because they think it’s the only thing that works for them. I know of one guy who filed a statement to the effect that if he ever got depressed again he wanted ECT immediately and if he didn’t get it he would sue for malpractice!

    Keir :

    You’re quite right – I wouldn’t want a psychologist to prescribe ECT and of course they wouldn’t be allowed. but the original post implied that Beresford was wrong even to work for a hospital which uses ECT.

  • Woobegone is correct. ECT has some respect in the medical profession, though not as much as in its hayday.

  • The NHS operate ECT facilities. This is included in leaflets given to sectioned patients: ‘Certain treatments need your consent or the agreement of an independent doctor who provides a second opinion’.

    These treatments include ECT: http://tinyurl.com/4gzp5y These are the NICE guidelines on its use: http://www.nice.org.uk/Guidance/TA59

    Raj Persaud was a wannabe so that makes Ms Beresford a wannabe wannabe.

  • Greg Dyke

    THe BBC has very imaginative ways of dispersing license oney to its mates and bumchums, I should know.

  • The NHS operate ECT facilities. This is included in leaflets given to sectioned patients:

  • Sham ECT. How do they ensure the people in the placebo condition get the same confusion, memory loss and other cognitive deficits without getting the shocks?