PCU Committee 2016 - 2017

Following the PCU Founding Conference, Saturday 6th February 2016, the first Union Interim Committee of 9 people drawn from many parts of the counselling and psychotherapy field.  You can contact the committee via pcu.union@gmail.com 

Nick Totton (Acting Chair) 

Kate O’Halloran (Secretary and Administrator) 

Andrew Price - Treasurer


I was one of the founding members of the PCU and soon after its inception I became a committee member. I am now the National treasurer.Prior to qualifying as an integrative counsellor, I had been an operational firefighter for 30 years and a Fire Brigades Union official. I have experience of being a lay advocate, negotiator and experienced union activist. My practice thus far, includes working with young people as a school counsellor and with a recognise national charity. Currently, I am working at a doctors surgery as their in house counsellor. We need an independent voice for counsellors and psychotherapist so that we can effect change as to how our profession is regarded and rewarded. To take our profession forward we will need to have influence in the workplace, professional bodies and politically.Building the union further is vital if we are to achieve the goals of the founding conference of the PCU. Come join us and be part of making history.Unity is strength!​

Philip Cox (Lead for professional complaints)

Since attending the first PCU meeting, I have been captured by the idea of having a not-for-profit union run by therapists for therapists. From the beginning, I wanted to contribute so that we can support each other in the changing landscape of psychotherapy training, practice, regulation and wider social justice activities. I’ve been practising for over 20 years. My research explore: unintentional harm in psychotherapy, which means practices that fall within the codes of ethics, yet which clients experience as harmful; how marginalised people/groups risk being further marginalised by some types of therapy; and supporting therapists who are subject to complaints. My perspectives come from being a long-term service user who has now trained as a counselling psychologist.

Richard Bagnall-Oakley 

I work primarily with children and young people, currently in local schools in North London. Before I became a psychotherapist, I worked in play and youth projects (and was a Unison union rep) - play and creativity have always been central to my work and my values. I've been involved in various grass-roots, non-party political and community projects most of my adult life - for me, the most inspiring social movements are those which work in a decentralised, 'bottom-up' rather than 'top-down' way, empowering their members to make their voices heard and take action. I hope the union can also work in this way.

Jane Clements

Keith Barber

Polly Singer

Philippa Marx

I joined the Union at the inception of its life when I was working in the NHS. It felt very important for Psychotherapists to have a voice, to be heard in terms of pay and conditions, and to influence the public and politicians in matters to do with mental health, to really be able to effect change. I still believe this even though I retired from the NHS 4 years ago. I now just work privately and also believe that private practitioners need proper representation and safety in work, particularly those working within Organisations as self-employed. It has always been my hope that we are affiliated to larger relevant Unions to be heard.

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