Nearly half a page in yesterday’s edition of The Daily Telegraph is a piece entitled:
Healthy food: Should we be eating more fat?
It seems a nutritionist has written a book about how current ideas on “healthy” eating in reality make people ill. But what’s a nutritionist? It’s what you get when your government “regulates” dietitians…
The split between dietitians and nutritionists is essentially that dietitians are “regulated health professionals”, while nutritionists are not. So “regulation” does not exert any real control over whom the public gets advice from on matters of diet. That’s why I’m writing “regulation” in quotes. It’s a bureaucratic fiction.
Both professions have their own professional bodies (the BDA and the NS respectively). The dietitians can work with patients in the NHS, and the nutritionists can’t. But the nutritionists get much more publicity, and the public probably trust them more. So I reckon the nutritionists win on points.
This is exactly how things will be if (or when) psychotherapy is “regulated”. The bureaucratic fiction will be that only psychotherapists can heal mental illness. The public will observe that a wide range of practitioners and self-help methods are just as good, or even better in some cases. After a while, practitioners working outside the government’s closed shop will use their freedom from bureaucratic meddling, openness to new ideas, and responsiveness to patients’ needs to win on points.
CBT itself will continue to be used by both groups, of course. (Although in my last post, Politics, I suggested that it might eventually be replaced by something darker.)
What will those CBT practitioners who remain free from “regulation” call themselves? That will emerge only after “regulation” comes into effect, restricting by law the way certain words can be used.