Information was received by BACP which was sufficient to refer for consideration under Article 12.6 of the Memorandum & Articles of Association.
The summary of the information, together with the allegations as notified to Mr Kilgour were as follows:
One of the informants allegedly spoke to Mr Kilgour with a view to recommending a vulnerable client for private person centred counselling. Following a meeting with the client and her husband, the informant introduced Mr Kilgour to the client, which allegedly resulted in Mr Kilgour providing counselling to the client on a weekly basis. It is alleged that within weeks of the commencement of counselling with the client, Mr Kilgour had developed a personal relationship with her. Further it is alleged that Mr Kilgour engaged in a sexual relationship with the client and disregarded his supervisor's advice.
The nature of the information raised questions about the suitability of Mr Kilgour's continuing membership of this Association and suggested that Mr Kilgour's actions have brought, or may yet bring, not only this Association but also the reputations of counselling/psychotherapy into disrepute.
The information further 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 concerns about the following in particular:
- Mr Kilgour allegedly engaged in a personal and sexual relationship with a vulnerable client.
- Mr Kilgour allegedly disregarded his own supervisor's advice concerning entering a relationship with the client.
- Mr Kilgour's alleged behaviour suggested an abuse of client trust, poor therapeutic boundaries and a lack of care. Mr Kilgour's alleged behaviour also suggested incompatibility with the values and principles of counselling and psychotherapy. Further it suggested Mr Kilgour's alleged behaviour lacked the personal moral qualities of humility, wisdom, respect and integrity to which counsellors and psychotherapists are strongly encouraged to aspire.
- The information further suggested that Mr Kilgour's fitness to practise has been impaired.
The member was invited to send in a written response, and did so.
The Panel decided to implement Article 12.6 of the Memorandum and Articles of Association in this case and withdraw BACP membership from Mr Kilgour to take effect 28 days from notification of this decision. The Panel gave its reasons for its decision as follows:
- Mr Kilgour's growing feelings of attachment for the client should have been taken to the supervisor before a friendship was embarked upon. In failing to do so, Mr Kilgour demonstrated a lack of judgement, and a lack of the personal moral qualities of humility and wisdom.
- The Panel did not accept as valid Mr Kilgour's assertion that he did not inform his supervisor of events at the time because "counselling started and finished between sessions". He could, and should, have arranged for a consultation. In not doing so, Mr Kilgour demonstrated a lack of integrity.
- In agreeing to meet the client so soon after the ending of therapy, Mr Kilgour showed scant regard for therapeutic boundaries or to his duty of care to an ex-client.
- In beginning a friendship, and then a relationship with a vulnerable client, almost immediately after counselling ended, Mr Kilgour abused his client's trust for his own emotional advantage.
- In agreeing to meet the client so soon after the ending of counselling, without taking advice, Mr Kilgour failed to exercise caution in his actions.
- Overall, Mr Kilgour's actions demonstrate an impaired fitness to practice
Mr Kilgour was given the opportunity to appeal the decision, but no appeal was received. Consequently his membership was withdrawn.
Any future application for membership of this Association will be considered under Article 12.3 of the Memorandum and Articles of the Association.