Lacap The London Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy 

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We are a counselling & psychotherapy group practice, based in London City, with 18 senior therapists, and 10 plus junior therapists. We are an organisation open to all. This means that we aim to make counselling and psychotherapy a possibility for everyone who wants it. You can refer yourself for an initial consultation, where you can discuss directly with one of our senior therapists whether a counselling or psychotherapy is right for you.

The practice offers an immediate response, as we believe that this can relieve distress. You will not be put on a waiting list nor be 'processed' by a system. Online & email booking lets you meet your therapist the next day or arrange to talk to the therapist before the meeting.

Our therapists are committed to the individual. This means that your psychotherapist is able to offer to see you without having limits on the amount of counselling work that you can do or how often & how long you meet with your therapist. This is what makes therapy with us different from other funded services.

  LACAP Counselling Services

In a climate that increasingly promotes brief interventions, our counsellors wanted to deal with the question 'What happens after brief intervention?' This counselling group practice was formed as a response to the perception that current service provision fails some of those who could most benefit from a prompt, sustained therapeutic intervention but who cannot afford it at market rates.

Within resources the therapists are free to negotiate the working contract with each client. This means that you can receive an appropriate and commensurate frequency and timing of sessions. Long-term open ended treatments are offered. The therapists have no problem with supporting therapy for as long as each treatment takes to conclude. The duration will not be limited by a set number of sessions or an artificial time boundary. So, unlike the NHS, your needs will take priority over supply of therapeutic time.

Before the NHS model the medical profession often used to charge out under a ‘what can you afford?’ policy. We charge on a sliding scale based on the applicant’s income. There is strong client support for a model where the fees can be seen to be proportionate and fair. There is a strong support for this logical approach. There is a robust and fee-supported scheme for those on little or no income. Our fees start at £6.00 - and it is only the contributions of those able to afford more that can keep that going.

In principle, this is a psychotherapy referrals agency. You are using the agencies software to hook up with one of the therapist counsellors who are with us, and who are self-employed individual practitioners. While we have historically had strong links with GP referees, the majority of current work is based on self-referred application through the client booking themselves in (self referral) on the website.

We have two clinical premises with a capacity of 12 rooms to resource clinical hours from central offices. At April 2011 there were 18 senior member therapists offering some 300 clinical hours per week with 10 plus junior member therapists offering at around 100 clinical hours per week. The vast majority of the therapists in the group practice were associate members of LACAP, the London Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy.

Donald Kirkpatrick is also researching and developing new technology to make psychotherapy accessible to rural and remote clients.

To summarise:

Counselling Group Practice near Liverpool Street, London Ec1.
Individual Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy.
Counselling for anger & stress, sexual dysfunction, anxiety, depression, alcoholism, addiction, life-decisions.
Psychotherapy for questions about life & love relationships.
Professional & confidential.  Evening & weekend appointments.
Your counselling fees are set by your income.
Long-term psychotherapy offered & supported.


The Government is planning to introduce statutory regulation for applied psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors and other psychological therapists. Psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors will be regulated by the Health Professions Council following that Council’s rigorous process of assessing counsellors and psychotherapists regulatory needs and ensuring that its system is capable of accommodating them. This will be the first priority for future regulation.
  • To regulate applied psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists and other psychological therapists in the United Kingdom asap.
  • To link competencies to counsellors and psychotherapists roles as a basis for the regulation for the psychological therapies.
The White Paper states that counsellors and psychotherapists will be regulated in the Health Professions Council (HPC).
The Government rejected the professions’ proposal for a Psychological Professions Council.
The HPC currently regulates 13 professions including: Arts Therapists, Dieticians, Orthoptists, Physiotherapists and Radiographers.
The government wants to regulate to:
  • Apply a defined body of knowledge of what is counselling and psychotherapy.
  • Practice based on evidence of efficacy.
  • Have defined routes of entry to the profession of counselling and psychotherapy..
  • Have independently assessed entry qualifications.

Entry to the register of counsellors and psychotherapists will be by completion of an approved qualification; approved by the HPC. Historically these are all Higher education qualifications.

At present, with respect to counselling and psychotherapy courses, it’s a bit of a mess! There are approximately 430 counselling and psychotherapy courses delivered across three sectors – HE, FE and private providers, predominantly in London.
For counsellors and psychotherapists there is no single standard or qualification.
A significant number of counselling & psychotherapy courses (especially in psychotherapy) are with no formally recognised award or external quality assurance.

With respect to our group practice, we have the following history:

  • We were originally formed in London in 2000 as a Lacanian psychotherapy clinic. What this means is that where there are about 20,000 psychoanalysts in the world, broadly 10,000 practice psychotherapy in the Anglo-Saxon tradition, while the remaining 10,000 practice psychotherapy in the Lacanian or Romance Language tradition.
  • In September 2002 the group of practitioners called Lacap decided that because psychotherapy & counselling treatment outcomes seemed broadly similar across all the major ‘schools’ of psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and counselling, that entrance to membership should be open to psychotherapists and counsellors from a broad spectrum, provided that their ‘core stance’ included the notion that a human being has an unconscious, and that the work of psychotherapy and counselling is about the difficulties of how one relates to that.
  • In the absence of government regulation to date the group practice has NOT attempted to become another psychotherapy or counselling training school, and has not, then, tried to verify the psychotherapists’ and counsellors’  position by exam, or other ‘authorisation’ procedure. We instead ‘buy into’ that psychotherapist’s or counsellor’s membership of the two leading ‘umbrella’ organisations for the regulation of psychotherapy and counselling practice in the UK – the BACP and the UKCP.
  • When considering an application for membership, we are less impressed with the academic and professional qualifications (although these must be there) than other things. Anyone can read a book on counselling and psychotherapy, and anyone can swat up to write papers and pass exams. See the comments below: but we believe that psychotherapists and counsellors are formed MOST by their own personal psychotherapy and by placement in counselling and psychotherapy practices, with the concomitant supervision by experienced psychotherapists. In essence, a psychotherapist has a flexible and ‘well-trodden’ unconscious as a main tool, and you cannot get that from a psychotherapy text book, nor can you verify that in a ‘standard’ exam!
  • Supervision of all counselling and psychotherapy work is carried out within the usual practices of each psychotherapist's London training organisation. Supervision of our counselling and psychotherapy work is therefore external to us. We aim to create a culture that keeps the focus for the work between the psychotherapist or counsellor and the individual. Control and supervision of that work is best done by the professional training organisation in London that has developed and known the psychotherapist for many years. We have regular checks to ensure that supervisors are satisfied with each psychotherapist’s work.

Concerns about regulation.

Please read this as the organisation’s concerns.
These are not, and cannot be, a summary of the individual member’s positions, nor even a majority practice view!

  • If psychotherapists and counsellors are not formed by text books and classes, (psychotherapy & counselling schooling is necessary but not sufficient!), then although the regulation and standardisation of ‘what a psychotherapist should know?’ is a good thing, what about what it doesn’t address? Is the government interested in the question of how to verify that in the psychotherapist’s own personal psychotherapy something has happened that allows him the authority to practice counselling, psychotherapy or psychoanalysis?
  • The history of this problem is that the existing regulatory bodies, in particular the bacp, have been dumbing down and atrophying the need or interest in ‘what is a personal psychotherapy?’ – taking it out of the equation, almost, for ‘what is a counsellor or psychotherapist?’ Do you want to meet with someone who has had so little interest is ‘what is psychotherapy?’ that they have barely done it themselves?
  • If the problem with our schools is a culture where children are never permitted anymore to confront the serious possibility that they can fail, if the culture of government nowadays is that they must be the guarantors of happiness and satisfying ‘economic exchanges’ – where does this leave a future of a psychotherapy or counselling that might be audited for outcomes? Patients do have to work, too, in psychotherapy or counselling. And the nature of an ego’s resistance to cure, and the nature of ‘what is an unconscious’ may mean that what the patient might be most striving for in their counselling or psychotherapy is a failure. Real failed and incomplete psychotherapies must be kept as possible outcomes. The economic conditions of the market place do not happen in psychotherapy or counselling, if it is going well. A patient is precisely someone who pays to lose something or have something taken away – their attachment to an opinion or idea that is what is causing their suffering. The losing of that in a counselling or psychotherapy takes time, is painful and sometimes anxiety provoking and stressful. It goes against market economics to pay to lose something, and the negative feelings that this may provoke in the psychotherapy and an outcome where one has not ‘gained’ normality are difficult to audit in terms of the cultural aspiration for happiness (psychotherapy & counselling practice based on evidence of efficacy).
  • If many psychotherapists and counsellors have undertaken a training in order to ‘self-cure’ or to ‘put their pathology to work’ (I want to help the world…. etc.), then the ‘professionalization’  of the profession of counselling and psychotherapy looks like it might permit the underlying, irrational, motives to carry on unchallenged or unexplored. If a counsellor or psychotherapist is precisely someone who is able to put to one side the lures of cure by power and suggestion, then if underlying motives are not worked through, potentially abusive psychotherapists can be ‘let loose’ to work. Is counselling & psychotherapy a profession or a vocation? What about the argument that a thorough outcome to a psychotherapy or counselling training that has a personal psychotherapy is that the student is disabused of the desire to want to do it!
  • If everything is now to be run as University Courses, what of the problem of vetting psychotherapy or counselling candidates? We all know that the academics in universities are more concerned with budgets and the status of their departments – and these are usually set by entrant numbers & ‘working them through’ to passes than on the psychotherapy or counselling candidates suitability. More of the same, but for psychotherapy and counselling? Also, is there to be the training of post-graduates in their twenties? Are psychotherapists’ and counsellors’ just people who know what is psychotherapy and counselling? Or is there something to be said for the London psychotherapist as a little more of a renaissance man?


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