Information was disclosed to BACP, which was considered under Article 12.6 of the Memorandum & Articles of Association.
The summary of the information, together with the allegations as notified to Ms Baker was as follows:
In June 2013 organisation A received a complaint against Ms Baker where she worked as a relationship counsellor. The complaint was made by a couple Ms Baker had seen for relationship counselling. The complaint related to boundary issues with a client. This involved Ms Baker providing an Organisation A client with her home address and conducting a Reiki session with the client while still working with the client in organisation A. Organisation A investigated the complaint against Ms Baker and it was upheld by organisation A even though she had left the employ of organisation A by then. Organisation A deemed that Ms Baker had breached the ethical principles of Fidelity, Autonomy, Beneficence and Non-Maleficence.
The nature of the information raised questions about the suitability of Ms Baker's continuing membership of this Association and suggested that her 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:
- Ms Baker's alleged unprofessional and unethical behaviour in supplying a client with her home address and conducting a Reiki session with the client while still working with the client in organisation A.
- Ms Baker's alleged failure to notify BACP of the complaint against her and the outcome as required of a member.
The member was invited to send in a written response and requested an extension of time to provide her response. An extension was granted but Ms Baker did not respond to the allegations against her.
The Article 12.6 Panel decided to implement Article 12.6 of the Memorandum and Articles of Association and withdraw BACP membership from Ms Baker to take effect 28 days from notification of this decision. The reasons for its decision are as follows:
- The Panel noted that Ms Baker Resigned from organisation A before it had concluded its investigations which preventing them from taking any action in relation to the counselling breach which they found to have occurred. Further the Panel noted that Ms Baker attempted to resign her membership of BACP before the Panel had convened to consider the allegations against her.
- Ms Baker was invited to respond to the allegations set out by BACP and requested an extension of time to enable her to respond. The Panel
noted that an extension was granted to Ms Baker, however no response was forthcoming from her.
- Ms Baker did not deny the allegations as set out by BACP and stated that she was unable to respond to the complaint against her as her memory had eluded her. The Panel therefore relied upon the conclusions reached by organisation A following its investigation.
- The Panel also noted that Ms Baker did not provide any explanation as to why she had not informed BACP of the complaint that was upheld against her, in accordance with her obligations as a member of BACP.
- Taking into consideration Ms Baker's lack of response to the allegations as set out by BACP, the findings reached by organisation A and Ms Baker's failure to notify BACP of organisation A's findings, the Panel was unanimous in agreeing that Ms Baker's actions amounted to a breach of the Ethical Framework and raised serious concerns about her continued membership of the Association, particularly in view of BACP's remit of public protection. The Panel therefore agreed to withdraw Ms Baker's membership of BACP.
Ms Baker did not appeal the decision and her membership was withdrawn.
Any future re-application for membership will be considered under Article 12.3 of the Memorandum & Articles of Association.