How to make a complaint
Often the simplest way of resolving disagreements or concerns is to speak to your therapist to see if they can put things right. A formal complaints process is stressful for both parties, and we therefore recommend that you try to resolve your concerns with your therapist before lodging a formal complaint.
However, if you don’t feel comfortable talking to your therapist about your concerns, you may choose:
- to use UKCP’s formal Complaints and Conduct Process
- to explore other avenues of resolution through our Alternative Dispute Resolution process.
If you would like to discuss the most suitable options for your concerns with a member of our Complaints and Conduct Team, call 020 7014 9978 or 020 7014 9493.
About Alternative Dispute Resolution
Going through a formal complaints process can be a distressing experience, so it is always preferable to resolve concerns or complaints in an informal way if possible.
In situations where our formal Complaints and Conduct process is not suitable, Alternative Dispute Resolution may be able to help those involved attempt to reach a satisfactory conclusion of their dispute.
Not every concern is suitable for Alternative Dispute Resolution. If we believe that your complaint (if upheld) would be likely to result in the therapist’s practice being restricted in some way, we would need to address it through our Complaints and Conduct Process.
You can find more by downloading our Alternative Dispute Resolution information sheet.
About our Complaints and Conduct Process
UKCP’s Complaints and Conduct Process provides a centralised and transparent process for considering complaints or concerns by members of the public and clients about therapists or UKCP. We are able to consider complaints about any therapist who was on UKCP’s register at the time of the incident that led to the complaint, and is still on the register when the complaint is made. We won’t accept a therapist’s resignation from the register once a complaint has been made about them.
We aim to ensure that the therapists on our register:
- have the skills, knowledge and character to work safely and effectively with clients
- behave in a way that safeguards public safety and maintains confidence in the psychotherapy profession.
We will look into cases where there is evidence that calls into question a therapist’s suitability to be on our register. Examples of this include instances where a therapist may have:
- been dishonest
- behaved in a way that causes harm or distress to a client
- breached client confidentiality.
We will also consider complaints about a therapist who is unable to meet our professional standards because of a health problem or a drug or alcohol problem.
- Complaints form – download and complete this form if you would like to make a complaint
- Guidance for making a complaint – guidance for anyone wishing to make a complaint against a psychotherapist
- Guidance for psychotherapists – guidance for psychotherapists going through the Complaints and Conduct Process
- Guidance for being a witness – important informtaion on being a witness in the Complaints and Conduct Process
- Alternative dispute resolution – information on informal ways to resolve disputes
- Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) consultation results – summary of results from our 2016 survey
- Complaints and conduct process rules – technical information about the complaints and conduct process.
- Ethical Principles and Code of Professional Conduct – the core principles that underpin our members’ practice
- Indicative Sanctions Guidance – to be used by Adjudication Panels and Appeal Panels
If you would like to discuss your concerns with a member of our Complaints and Conduct Team, call 020 7014 9978 or 020 7014 9493.