Information was received by BACP under Article 4.6 of the Memorandum & Articles of Association, which raised concerns about the suitability of Dr Carter’s continued membership of BACP.
The nature of the information received from a Trust and a client raised questions about the suitability of Dr Carter’s continuing membership of this Association and suggested that he had brought, or may yet bring, not only this Association but also the reputations of counselling/psychotherapy into disrepute. The nature of the information also suggested that there may have been a serious breach, or breaches, of the Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy and it raised particular concerns as follows:
- Dr Carter’s dismissal from the Trust on grounds of Gross Misconduct
Dr Carter’s alleged conduct leading to the findings upheld following appeal against his dismissal and the findings themselves as follows:
- inadequate record keeping during clinical assessment and ongoing assessment and therapy of client A;
- failure to seek supervision in respect of client A;
- conducting an inappropriate relationship with client A.
Having thoroughly considered all the above, the Article 4.6 Panel decided to implement Article 4.6 with the result that his membership of BACP should be withdrawn, pending an appeal. The Panel’s reasons for implementing Article 4.6 were as follows:
- Dr Carter’s record keeping with regard to client A was inadequate.
- In not seeking supervision for (work with) client A, Dr Carter did not appropriately support the client, and failed to be accountable for his own practice.
- Dr Carter’s use of an NHS e-mail address for his private practice could have led to the assumption by a member of the public that he was employed by the Trust as a Consultant Therapist with experience in the areas listed on the website.
- Dr Carter’s personal and sexual relationship with client A was incautious and inappropriate; Dr Carter should have consulted with his supervisor and/or other professional colleagues before entering in this relationship. This was a clear breach of the BACP guidelines.
Following an appeal by Dr Carter, the task of the Appeal Panel was to decide whether or not the Article 4.6 Panel’s decision to implement Article 4.6 had been correct, in all the circumstances.
The Appeal Panel found that Dr Carter’s personal and sexual relationship with client A was incautious and inappropriate. (Dr Carter stated himself that it had been “unwise”). In the circumstances, Dr Carter should have presented ensuing and current issues to his supervisor and/or consultative support person(s) before entering into, and continuing, his personal relationship with client A. Panel members were of the view that they would have expected this of any practitioner, particularly one with Dr Carter’s responsibility and status. Furthermore, the Panel was concerned that Dr Carter lacked appropriate professional insight by entering into, and continuing, his relationship with client A.
The Appeal Panel found that on the grounds stated above, the Article 4.6 Panel’s decision to implement Article 4.6 was correct and, thus, Dr Carter’s appeal against this decision has not been allowed.
As such, the Appeal Panel was unanimous in its decision that Dr Carter’s actions have brought the reputations of BACP and counselling/psychotherapy into disrepute. Accordingly, Dr Carter’s membership of BACP was withdrawn with immediate effect
Any future application for membership will be considered under Article 4.3 of the Memorandum and Articles of the Association.