PCU Executive Committee 2022 - 2023

Following the AGM on 21st  May 2022, the Union has an executive committee of 06 people drawn from many parts of the counselling and psychotherapy field.  You can contact the committee via email with the Subject field FAO (CommitteeExecutive Member Name)  admin@pcunion.org.uk 

Juliet Lyons -

Having trained as an Integrative Child Psychotherapist at the Institute of Arts in Therapy and Education, my specialist interest is in children and families and how we care for each other as a society. I have a strong cross-over interest with the expressive and healing potential of creativity and the use of the arts. I would like to see politics in this country being much more representative of gender, ethnic, cultural and class diversity and I would like to see this widening of diversity in our profession as well. I have come to see PCU as an important protective, critiquing and challenging voice for our complex profession. My particular concerns are in the direction economically driven policies are taking us, impeding the quality of in-depth relationships.

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Mike Shallcross, Treasurer

 

I have been working mainly as a therapist for about 15 years now, and I try to avoid getting drawn back into accountancy. However, I am in fact a qualified accountant, and I worked for one of the big accountancy firms for quite a few years. So the reason why I volunteered to be Treasurer of PCU is that I believe strongly in the need for a union for psychotherapists and counsellors, and in the value and importance of what PCU is doing. And I see my role here as facilitative, helping to keep PCU’s finances running smoothly so that the organisation can focus its energies on the things that really matter.

Sasha - Member Support Coordinator

I began to contribute to PCU by phone-surveying members about their experience of PCU, & encouraging involvement.  I joined the committee in 2018 and when Jane Clements stepped down as Membership Secretary I took on the member support aspect of that role. 

 

After training as a social worker I spent 12 years working in a crisis house for women.  Whilst there I studied Systemic therapy & went on to pursue a UKCP Integrative course.  Through those years I was out about all aspects of my sexual identities and lifestyle.   I enjoyed personal-political involvement and scene partying.  A battlesome traumatic exit from my training course radicalised my perspective of therapy organisations, including the hegemony of various bodies & discourses.

 

Making links with Pink Therapy, and with the Independent Practitioner Network was an important part of self-repair.  During training I became increasingly unwell; afterwards, I was diagnosed with long-term health conditions and now live with a significant disability.  My training placement supported me to survive & thrive as a practitioner.  My experiences root my connection to fighting for rights & against oppression.  

Richard Bagnall-Oakley 

 

I'm an integrative child, adolescent and adult psychotherapist and supervisor, working in primary schools and various other settings across North London. Before I became a therapist I worked in youth and play services and was a union rep in the struggles against local government cuts during the 1990s. I have a long history of involvement in local campaigns and decentralised initiatives seeking social change.


I was a founding member of PCU, a member of the Committee from 2016, and Chair/General Secretary from 2017-20. I'm proud to have played a part in establishing PCU as a recognised trade union - the need for the work we are doing is abundantly clear. There is a lot more work to be done and I hope we can find ways of involving more members in participating as we continue to grow.

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James D West (Health and Safety Lead) 

I am an individual and group art psychotherapist with 30 years of experience working in the NHS, charities and private practice, and as a supervisor in a wide variety of practice contexts and modalities. I have a broad insight into the current state of health, social care, education, third sector provisions and private practice for both therapists and clients.  

 

In the 80’s I witnessed the race ‘riots’ in Brixton and subsequently joined the anti-apartheid movement as the global impact of colonialism, past and present, became apparent to me.  In my twenties I joined the Labour Party. I also lived in a number of countries as a child (Spain, Gambia, Nigeria) and later Mexico. I remain an active member of the Labour Party and have been a member of the Unite Union since qualification. I support parliamentary democracy and rigorous debate.

 

At University I studied Fine Art and Art History and after voluntary work in a Lambeth homeless hostel, I trained and qualified as an Art Psychotherapist in 1994 before completing an MA in Applied Psychoanalytic Theory and later a Diploma in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy. I am also a qualified clinical hypnotherapist.  

 

More recently in 2011 I co-founded the British Association Art Therapy‘s Addictions Special Interest Group following many years of work in rehab, and for nine years I coordinated BAAT’s Self-employed, Independent and Private Practice Special Interest Group through face to face meetings, workshops and online groups.  

 

At a time of rising austerity, I am very concerned about the directions of therapy, training and research, and value the PCU’s forums to think and reflect about this rapidly changing, often confusing and contested landscape. 

 

This year a number of PCU members and I set up the PCU Arts Therapies Group as a resource for Arts Therapists (and other PCU members with overlapping interests) and we are currently working on clarifying the aims of the group.  With first-hand experience of receiving PCU support, I am also committed to membership support services.

 

I am also a published author/editor: 

‘Aquellos Ojos Verdes’, Third Text. An article was written in response to my experience of the racial apartheid in Mexico City.
http://www.researchgate.net/publication/232940601_Aquellos_ojos_verdes


and two collaborative practice-based research books: 'Art Therapy in Private Practice; Theory, Practice and Research in Changing Contexts' (2018) 
 

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Anne Lee

 

I am an integrative counsellor, currently doing mainly EAP work. I have a very small private practice - largely on hold at present as I am not doing any face to face work.  Until recently I did half a day's pro bono work for a carers organisation. I had a previous career in teaching children with additional support needs and then working for a local authority Education Department - I'm based in Scotland. A long standing interest in counselling turned, a bit to my surprise, into a new part time career after I took early retirement and completed a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. I am a registered member of BACP.

 

Never one to complain from the sidelines when there's action to be taken I joined the PCU as soon as I came across it. I was shocked at how little BACP does to give voice to the day to day concerns of its members and it seemed to me that a campaigning organisation is essential if we are to make progress with the many issues facing the profession, and the availability of psychotherapy and counselling (or lack of it) to the public.