Critical Therapy Antidote
= "a website for all those involved with talking therapies, including academics, practitioners, trainees and clients, who are concerned by the negative impact of Critical Social Justice Theory".
"Critical Therapy Antidote (CTA) is an organization for talking therapists and allied mental health professionals who are concerned about the negative impact of Critical Social Justice Theory (CSJT). Founded in 2020, CTA has rapidly established itself as a significant international network and forum for discussion and action.
Our cause is to preserve the integrity of talking therapies at this critical moment. Therapists of all persuasions are advocates of positive change as emergent from crisis: we help people find healthy emotional ground, one that supports human flourishing. This advocacy transpires within the therapeutic alliance, a relationship that fosters openness and trust.
Now, in the foothills of the 21st century, profound global change disrupts society and its cultural practices such as talking therapies. This crisis can be reframed in a positive way. Dominant worldviews are being challenged and this results in a crisis of confidence in authority of all kinds. Traditional talking therapies can be very helpful during such times because of the emphasis placed on personal agency and discerning one’s own solutions.
It is important to note that we share common concerns with CSJT such as a commitment to a fair and just society. We also accept that individuals are conditioned by wider cultural contexts and we see theories such as intersectionality as shedding light on people’s experience of marginalization and vulnerability. However, in contrast to CSJT, we believe that an objectively fair and just society is best achieved incrementally via liberal principles of individual rights and free speech. We also believe that the individual’s social/cultural context is only one of multiple factors shaping human experience.
CTA seeks to ensure that professional frameworks, standards, and training continue to be evidence-based and politically non-partisan. They must emphasize diversity, equality, individuality, and the centrality of human values, in order to help clients experience increased resilience, wellbeing, congruence with reality, personal efficacy, and a sense of individuality. We hold that unfalsifiable belief systems belong in the realm of religion and that the therapeutic field should be defended against the encroachments of political ideologies such as CSJT. We maintain that the individual bears a strictly personal responsibility for adopting or rejecting such belief systems, and that authoritarian political ideologies must not be imposed on the society at large.
This website is intended to operate as an open and heterodox forum for concerned professionals, trainees, educators, and clinical theorists in the field as well as for current and potential clients of counselors and psychotherapists. We are open to contributions in the form of essays, personal testimonies, personal opinion pieces, and alerts for our Critical Therapy Watch blog.
Associated wth this website is The Critical Therapy Antidote Network. Membership is open to anyone who shares our concerns and values. Please contact us for further information.
CTA is partnered with Counterweight a liberal humanist organisation founded by bestselling author Helen Pluckrose. Counterweight provides support and assistance to people facing illiberal policies at work, school or university and accessible scholarship exploring Critical Social Justice ideology."
" the news outwith psychology is a little more positive: in the last year, a number of organisations and groups have been created with the aim of tackling the hypocrisy, lack of integrity, and political bias within our leading organisations. Within mental health, Critical Therapy Antidote is leading the charge against those who are breaching legal and ethical guidelines in the promotion of damaging critical social justice ideology. Furthermore, a number of groups are working to create alternative accrediting organisations based on integrity, truth, facts and patient care. Of particular note is The Society for Open Inquiry in the Behavioral Sciences, which is an organisation ‘committed to free inquiry and truth seeking’ – values that are desperately needed to challenge the endemic censorship and misinformation within the field. While created by our American friends, these organisations are open to UK members, and will only be strengthened through the creation of a cross-Atlantic alliance.
Within the UK, Counterweight is an organisation created by Helen Pluckrose (of Cynical Theories and Sokal Squared fame) to help those who have suffered at the hands of the type of ideology promoted by our governing bodies. In addition to this, organisations such as the Free Speech Union support those who have been challenged for raising unpopular opinions. There are number of groups to help those who are trying to engage with particularly sensitive topics. For example, Thoughtful Therapists provides resources for those who have been damaged by the trans movement; and The Equiano Project provides evidence-based uniting material to counter Critical Race Theory. Finally, organisations such as Don’t Divide Us work with the aim of challenging divisive identity politics, and the inaccurate information that many critical social justice activists rely upon in their campaigns.
It is from these groups that I draw my hope. When we look at British Psychology a year after I raised my original concerns, there is little doubt that it is in a much worse state. Not only have the problems not been addressed, they have been exacerbated – on all fronts – and this is in no small part due to the governing body of British Psychology. Each of the concerns I raised was not only vindicated, but the BPS seems to have become more extreme in promoting them. This is evidenced by its continued promotion of anti-scientific beliefs and ideologies, its discrimination against certain groups, and its unwillingness to listen to dissenting opinions. Despite this, as well as evidence of its corruption coming to light, the BPS has made it clear that it aims to continue unchecked in the same vein.
We are therefore facing an unprecedented crisis not only for psychology, but for the population in general. At a time when we need well-educated, open-minded and professional students and psychologists, the BPS is creating a discipline of closed-minded, fragile and immature sub-professionals who are not able to engage with, consider or capably challenge ideas that they don’t like. Thankfully however, in wider society, we are seeing organisations who are fighting for values of truth, unity, open-mindedness, and intelligence; values that we need in order to have a functioning, cohesive and successful society."
"There is no way to reconcile Critical Social Justice with the fundamental tenet that the relationship offered by the clinician is a vehicle for the therapy. Relationships are primarily construed by this ideology as encounters between members of identity groups and are consequently viewed through the lens of power. The therapist’s and client’s memberships of particular identity groups will determine the nature of the exchange. The relationship can only be transactional. (I’ve written at more length about this here.)
Critical Social Justice is a totalising ideology, intolerant of any other perspective: its goal is not to be integrated but to take over, through well-established routes that include infiltrating bureaucratic administrations, changing discourses and re-education.
Even the most cursory inspection of the main professional bodies in the US and the UK reveals the degree to which they have been captured by Critical Social Justice ideology. For example, in 2018, the American Psychological Association released updated guidance for working with boys and men, which characterised traits ascribed to traditional masculinity as toxic.
New generations of practitioners are being trained to accept not only a different way of achieving social justice, but also that achieving social justice is the job of therapy. These ideas have been entering professional therapy education by way of the compulsory diversity modules—an important training component designed to prepare students for working with diverse client groups. Until relatively recently, students were taught multicultural competencies and anti-oppressive practice as part of a syllabus informed by liberal notions of social justice. But the new generations of practitioners are being required to accept a different, ideological approach, in which, increasingly, any questioning of notions such as systemic inequities, intersectionality or white privilege is viewed as a pathology (I’ve written more about this here). The goal is the creation of therapist-activists, who will diagnose presenting problems through a collective lens and use the client-therapist encounter to inculcate an ideology that fosters grievance and victimhood: the only solution offered to presenting problems will be a never-ending political activism. This disastrous trajectory will surely be speeded up as younger generations, who have been imbibing this ideology in their school and college educations, arrive in the training centres.
You would be hard pressed to find anyone in the profession critiquing Critical Social Justice. The reason is simple: dissent comes at a significant professional cost. Even a straightforward expression of opposition exposes the person to attacks on her character and professional practice. For example, this summer, the British Psychological Society (BPS) published a resignation letter in which Dr Kirsty Miller explains that she feels unable to continue to be associated with the society due to its increasingly politicised stance. The BPS then decided to take the highly unusual step of retracting the original letter. The editor gave a detailed justification of his decision that in the main devolved to concerns that some of BPS’s members had expressed feelings of hurt. Miller was consequently subjected to a social media mobbing campaign aimed at destroying her professional reputation.
If you are a client looking for a therapist, caveat emptor! The counsellor or psychotherapist you are considering may not be practising traditional therapy: they may have signed up to an anti-therapeutic political ideology that fosters grievance and pushes activism as the only solution to life’s difficulties. So it is worth asking your therapist, What is your position on social justice and intersectionality? Psychotherapist or psycho-activist—this distinction will determine the course of therapy."