The industrialisation of therapy:  What is the impact of IAPT on counselling and psychotherapy?

The industrialisation of therapy:  What is the impact of IAPT on counselling and psychotherapy?

When: Saturday, 15th June 2019, 8:15 am

Where: Resource for London, Holloway Road, London N7 6PA

Ticket price: £66 including VAT - Please note we will not be issuing tickets but names will be placed on a guest list for registration.


The industrialisation of therapy: What is the impact of IAPT on counselling and psychotherapy

Since 2008, the government’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme has been rolled out across England. In the ten years of its existence, it claims to have transformed mental health services, bringing therapy to thousands of people experiencing depression and anxiety. But what has been the impact of IAPT’s tightly-regulated, medicalised model of mental health care on services and those who work in them?  Can IAPT’s ‘factory’ system of care, driven by psychiatric diagnosis, fast through-put and quick outcomes really address the rising tide of mental distress?

This conference aims to bring together practitioners, academics, researchers and all those interested in the future of mental health services for a day of discussion and debate.

The date - Saturday 15 June 2019
Location - Resource for London, Holloway Road, London N7 6PA

Tickets cost £66 (vat inc), including lunch and refreshments.  


9.20 Registration opens.  

9.50 Chair’s opening remarks. 

10.00  The modern myths of IAPT
Rosemary Rizq starts by unpicking the ‘modern myths’ that underpin the rapid rise and expansion of the government’s IAPT programme. She will argue these myths serve to obscure rather than reveal the social, cultural, economic and political factors underlying the current rise in mental distress.

Rosemary Rizq is a BPS Chartered Psychologist and a UKCP-accredited psychoanalytic psychotherapist.  She is Professor of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at the University of Roehampton.

10.40     What is neoliberalism and why does it matter?
Philip Thomas explores how neoliberalism has given birth to a ‘malignant individualism’ in our health services that blames the individual’s ‘faulty thinking’ for their anxiety and depression and fails to engage with the socio-economic adversity from which misery so often originates.

Philip Thomas worked as a consultant psychiatrist in the NHS for over 20 years, before leaving clinical practice in 2004 to write.

11.20 Coffee

11.50 IAPT and the medical model: ideological fits and misfits.
David Murphy questions whether we should be arguing for all therapies to be included within IAPT. Some, like CBT, are a good ‘fit’ with IAPT’s medicalised model; others are not. What are the principles at stake for these ‘ideological misfits’? 

David Murphy is Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham where he is course director for the MA in person-centred experiential counselling and psychotherapy.

12.30 Break-out small group discussions. 

13.00 Lunch provided.   

14.00 Industrialising relational therapy: ethical conflicts and threats for counsellors in IAPT
Gillian Proctor and Maeta Brown ask if it is possible for counsellors to stay true to their relational training and beliefs when working within the IAPT system. They will explore the dilemmas and costs of attempting to straddle these conflicting therapeutic cultures. 

Gillian Proctor is the programme leader of the MA in psychotherapy and counselling at the University of Leeds.  Maeta Brown is a student on the MA in psychotherapy and counselling at the University of Leeds and has a background in radical, person-centred crisis work.

14.40 Surviving work in IAPT
Elizabeth Cotton explores how current NHS industrial relations policies are embodied in the IAPT programme and discusses the strategies practitioners can use to ‘survive work’ in the current policy climate.

Elizabeth Cotton is a writer and educator in the field of mental health at work. She teaches and writes academically about employment relations and mental health and is currently a senior lecturer at Middlesex University. She is founder of the Surviving Work in Health initiative to support people working on the frontline of NHS services.  

15.20 Tea.   

15.40 Panel questions and discussion.  

16.15 Closing remarks and end.    

The conference will mark the launch of The Industrialisation of Care: counselling, psychotherapy and the impact of IAPT, edited by Rosemary Rizq and Catherine Jackson. Copies will be on sale at the event.