6 Pages

Commentary (GW) on Chapter Seven: A brief history of psychotherapy in the British National Health Service: how can psychotherapists influence psychiatry?

ByJonathan Pedder

This chapter provides an essential commentary that charts the emergence of psychotherapy in the NHS in the UK in the latter part of the twentieth century against the backdrop of key institutions, players, and places that informed the progress of public sector psychotherapy. Some of the “newer” developments that Pedder refers to here, such as the establishment of non-medical adult psychotherapists in the NHS, have since become embedded, and we can see how the psychotherapy profession has moved on a pace when we look at the cornerstones that Pedder situates here. The account offers a roll-call, or a family tree, of the key agents in psychoanalytic psychotherapy that highlights the medical hegemony that carried forward psychotherapy in the NHS. The chapter makes for necessary reading for anyone, medical or allied, interested in what has become of psychotherapy in the NHS. And, perhaps more importantly, from Pedder’s account of ancestry here, there is a history to consider as a basis for what yet will become.