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As a resut of lobbying from TCCR and other professional bodies, counsellors or psychotherapists are now eligible to apply to join the NICE guideline development group

As a direct result of lobbying by the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, The British Psychoanalytic Council, The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, NICE has made a u-turn on its original decision to exclude counsellors and psychotherapists from the list of professions eligible to apply to join the guideline development group charged with revising the 2009 Depression in Adults guideline.

In its original letter to NICE, TCCR highlighted that the proposed list of professionals for the development of the guidelines didn’t include either a psychotherapist or a counsellor despite the fact that both are more involved in the treatment of depression than any other professional grouping. The letter also drew the attention of NICE to its responsibility to ensure its guideline development groups reflect, as far as is practically possible, the views and experiences of the range of stakeholders and groups whose activities, services or care will be covered by the guideline.

TCCR, and the other leading professional bodies for the two professions concerned, is delighted that common sense has prevailed. NICE’s amendment to the fifth item on the list (see the list here) now means that professionals who are counsellors or psychotherapists will be able to apply to join the guideline development group without, as NICE had originally stated, having to be either a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist as well. The professions of ‘counsellor’ and ‘psychotherapist’ should never have been omitted in the first place. We look forward to the eventual guidance on depression in adults being more authoritative, and better commanding the support of mental health service users, as a result of NICE’s reconsideration of its original position.