Learning from complaints

The complaints we receive can range from serious professional misconduct to expressions of dissatisfaction with a service. Whatever the cause or severity, each complaint is an opportunity for learning.

By highlighting the causes of complaints, we hope that members will review their current practices and procedures in order to avoid circumstances in which such trigger points may arise.

Here you will find a series of guidance articles on what we are learning from the complaints received by the UKCP Complaints Team.

Ending therapy

Ending therapy is an area which frequently leads to complaints, with clients (or potential clients) expressing dissatisfaction about the manner in which their therapy ended. Read more about ending therapy…

Psychotherapy contracts

A written contract is a transparent basis for informed consent. It gives you a level of certainty. Expectations are set out clearly. This means that a contract reduces the likelihood of complaints. And, in certain circumstances, a contract can ‘save’ a therapeutic relationship. Read more about psychotherapy contracts…


An essential part of the therapeutic relationship is the confidence that is shared between therapist and client. That confidence and trust is essential in creating a safe space where therapy can take place and breakthroughs can be made. However, there are occasions where you may be asked to break that confidentiality. Read more about confidentiality…

Accountability and duty of candour

Accountability and duty of candour is about being transparent about what is, or could be, involved in therapy with clients and taking responsibility for acting in the client’s best interests. It is about taking responsibility for working with clients – letting them know of any issues or difficulties that the therapeutic work may involve and what is required from the client when engaging in therapy. Read more about accountability and duty of candour...

Other useful information

Our Professional Conduct Committee publishes an annual report setting out key statistics for the year(s) covered. This includes information about the types of complaint received in a given year.

View the Professional Conduct Committee annual reports

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