Information was received by BACP under Article 4.6 of the Memorandum & Articles of Association, which raised concerns about the suitability of Mr Curran’s continued membership of BACP. The nature of the allegations suggested that his membership of BACP had brought, or if his membership continued, could bring the reputation of the Association and/or professions of counselling and psychotherapy into disrepute and that there may have been serious breaches of the Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling & Psychotherapy.
Following an Appeal Hearing, the task of the Appeal Panel was to decide whether or not the decision of the Article 4.6 Panel was correct in all the circumstances.
The Article 4.6 Panel was concerned that Mr Curran appeared to have had a sexual relationship with a person whom he had informed he was counselling. The information indicated that he referred to his relationship with the woman as more than a friendship, but as a counselling relationship. While Mr Curran appeared to contend that it was a "joke", the Panel was of the opinion that the woman took the reference to be a serious one and that he led the woman to believe that he was acting as a counsellor. It appeared to the Panel that the woman may even have thought that what was being offered to her by way of intimacy was connected with his position as a counsellor and that Mr Curran made use of his counsellor status to seduce the woman.
The Panel was further concerned that Mr Curran’s alleged behaviour and lack of boundaries distressed the woman, did her a disservice, and could damage the profession. The Panel was also of the opinion that Mr Curran’s alleged behaviour did not demonstrate adherence to the ethical principles of counselling and psychotherapy, nor demonstrated the personal moral qualities of integrity and respect, as referred to in the Ethical Framework for Good practice in Counselling & Psychotherapy.
In the course of its deliberations, the Panel was cognisant that this constituted one of many examples of good and sufficient reasons for the implementation of Article 4.6: "members who are accused of, or have committed, acts that are deemed incompatible with the values of counselling and/or psychotherapy".
The Appeal Panel was unanimous in its decision that the decision of the Article 4.6 Panel was correct and that his appeal should be denied. Consequently Mr Curran’s membership of BACP has been terminated forthwith.
Any future application for membership will be considered under Article 4.3 of the Memorandum and Articles of the Association.