How to complain

Complaining about a therapist

The British Psychoanalytic Council adopted a complaints procedure on 16 April 2007 (latest revision, February 2011). This procedure applies to all registrants of the BPC, that is all those practitioners who appear in our annual register (and in the Finding a Therapist section of this website), as well as to trainees currently enrolled on BPC-accredited clinical training courses.

If you are a patient engaged in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, you have the right to expect your therapist to practise in a safe, effective and appropriate manner. Our job is to ensure that our registrants have the health and character, as well as the necessary skills and knowledge, to do their job safely and effectively.

We and our member institutions ensure that high standards of proficiency, performance and ethical conduct are maintained by our registrants. Our over-riding concern is to protect the public and maintain public confidence in the profession we regulate.

All our registrants are governed by a number of fitness to practice requirements, which you can access here:

  • Code of Ethics – this document sets out the ethical standards that govern all our registrants.
  • Statement on confidentiality – because of the nature of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, the BPC adopts particularly rigorous standards of confidentiality set out in this document.
  • Continuous professional development policy – registrants must maintain an annual programme of continuing professional development, monitored and approved by the BPC, which includes consultation on their clinical work, attending lectures and courses and a broad range of professional activity.
  • Our registrants are also governed by the BPC’s Complaints Procedure. This is quite a detailed document and sets out very precisely the procedures that we adopt for handling a formal complaint.

However, if you have a grievance about a therapist who is a BPC registrant and are unsure whether you wish to make a complaint, do not hesitate to contact the BPC office to discuss the matter. You may also:

Other services that may be able to provide assistance are the Citizens Advice Bureau and Mind.


Practitioners who have been removed from the British Psychoanalytic Council's register

Sanctions imposed as the result of findings against BPC registrants (statistics)