Members in Scotland informed us that COSCA (the national professional organisation for counsellors in Scotland) has been telling trainee counsellors to cross UCU picket lines at Edinburgh University. The message below has been sent from PCU to COSCA, UCU, and the Head of the relevant School in Edinburgh. The Psychotherapy and Counselling Union are very concerned to hear from our members at Edinburgh University that COSCA and the School of Health in Social Sciences are instructing students to cross picket lines at Edinburgh University rather than show their support for striking academic staff.
Many students, including trainee counsellors, are rightfully concerned at the marketisation of higher education and the erosion of the terms and conditions of staff. The issues being protested by UCU members and their supporters are also very relevant to counsellors and psychotherapists in all areas.
As this recent piece https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-doesnt-kill-us/201803/why-i-decided-strikereminds us, counselling is not politically neutral, and training in personal growth cannot be separated from engagement with social issues.
We urge COSCA and the School to change their positions on this issue, so that students' ethical and socially responsible choice to show their support for academic staff is recognised and validated.