In the UK and Eire, good practice guidance advocates that to work ethically, practising counsellors should be members of a professional body and follow a defined ethical framework. This includes a complaints process, where clients may take concerns or complaints to the professional body.

Evidence suggests that whilst much is written about the clients' experience of this process, less is understood about the experience from the counsellor’s perspective.

As part of my studies at Ulster University , I am interested in interviewing counsellors and psychotherapists in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland who, as members of a professional body, have had a complaint made against them (Members' Complained Against - MCA’s). I am seeking to explore the impact that being an MCA has had upon their professional and personal lives (whether exonerated on sanctioned). This study aims to give a voice to MCA’s, will contribute to research in this area and knowledge of the support required by members complained about.

If you have experience of being an MCA and would be willing to share your experience, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. Taking part would involve a semi-structured interview, which would be arranged to suit you. It could be face to face or via a secure online platform. Interviews would last approximately 60 minutes.
The study has obtained ethical consent from Ulster University (January 2019). I am an accredited member of the BACP, an experienced therapist and a qualified clinical supervisor.

If you choose to take part, your information and any data gathered would be held securely and confidentially, anonymised so that you could not be identified at any stage in the process, and destroyed in accordance with Ulster Policy on Research Governance 2017.

For further information please contact me by email:

I appreciate your consideration of this study.

Jane Holohan