The Gagging of NHS Talking Therapy Clients

In 2021 Drew et al examined audiotapes of Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPS)  and revealed that clients were not listened to and the PWPs were hellbent on pursuing orders. Despite this no steps were taken to remedy the problem. Next month there is a webinar on how to shut clients up further, euphemistically termed  ‘Managing Time Boundaries……‘ sponsored by the artificial intelligence company Limbic, the major sponsor of  NHS Talking Therapy events. The advertising reads:

‘Managing Time Boundaries in NHS Talking Therapies
Discover how to have assertive conversations with patients to help build helpful time boundaries and reach their recovery.

This free webinar led by Josh Cable-May, CBT Specialist, Limbic has been designed for NHS Talking Therapies professionals working in IAPT across the country to help you build effective time boundaries. In just one hour, learn how you can:
• Manage the ‘run away’ sessions and regain focus to meet therapeutic goals
• Approach and conduct useful conversations with clients about time boundaries
• Map out clear session objectives and pathways with clients to meet recovery targets’

Thank you to our sponsors Limbic’.
It appears that artificial intelligence is to be preferred to emotional intelligence.

To quote Drew et als’ (2021) study of telephone-guided low intensity IAPT communications:

We show the ways in which the lack of flexibility in adhering to a system-driven structure can displace, defer or disrupt the emergence of the patient’s story, thereby compromising the personalisation and responsiveness of the service’


‘routine assessment measure questionnaires  prioritised interactionally, thereby compromising                        patient-centredness in these sessions’.


Dr Mike Scott

18 replies on “The Gagging of NHS Talking Therapy Clients”

This isn’t therapy. I can’t imagine Beck talking about having assertive conversations with people in order to get lower scores on two questionnaires.

Where is the evidence for unstructured conversations in 30 minute sessions? Pwps are highly skilled and yes there are time pressures, but adhering to the protocols and using “boundaries” means that the change method can be in place and patients receive a good enough dose of therapy to recover or improve. A skilled pwp can use a collaborative agenda flexibly, I would not describe anyone as “hellbent on following orders”. It’s a really generalist statement and devalues the effective work pwps do

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