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Spectrum, North London
Posted by: media b ()
Date: February 08, 2007 10:17PM

I appreciate any input in response to my postings. I suppose there is a place for a discussion of the generic nature of cultic manifestations in psychotherapeutic settings. It's not what I wanted to facilitate here though.

One of the things about Spectrum was the efficacy of isolating individuals in the dialogic arena and thus preventing any systemic change.
It's only as a group that we can affect the regulators of any organisation we consider to have departed from therapeutic good practice.

I know of many disaffected and wounded individuals who left Spectrum and I hoped that some of them would have/still will discover these posts and respond. My hope was/is to discuss and think about our shared distress, exploitation and concerns originating from our time at Spectrum; and by doing so to work through the material and achieve some healing. I
don't really want to get into a conflation of separate issues in this forum.

Therfore, although I appreciate the motives of anyone seeking to support ethical practice, I will only respond to those who have direct experience of Spectrum and want to use this forum to achieve some understanding of what has emerged there. I will respond to either leavers or Spectrum apologists.

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Spectrum, North London
Posted by: media b ()
Date: February 09, 2007 07:01PM

Well, a lot of views now!
If you do respond I would strongly advise you to use the facility of confidentiality this site offers. Only post what you feel you have experienced and can justify.
Spectrum are well able to respond unethically and even unlawfully to leavers, and the unconscious power of old wounds caused by the attacks on all but the wholly positive transference adherents is not to be underestimated.

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Spectrum, North London
Posted by: Lordship ()
Date: February 10, 2007 06:46PM

With the governement white paper on statatuory regulation of psychotherapies due shortly there is now a fantastic opportunity to lobby our MPs for real and radical change in the training, supervision and legal standing of organisations such as Spectrum.

I would also like to let anybody that is suffering from post Spectrum or any other cultic abuse situation know that specialist organisations such as FAIR and Catalyst offer excellent counselling services that help tremendously the understanding of what may have happened to you.

I can also personally recommend the book Captive Hearts - Captive Minds for its insight.

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Spectrum, North London
Posted by: media b ()
Date: March 19, 2007 11:38PM

This is an interesting list. Bears some study, although the particulars may seem not to gel..I think that they perfectly fit the Spectrum system and mirror many of my own experiences.

Dr. Robert J. Lifton's Eight Criteria for Thought Reform

1. Milieu Control. This involves the control of information and communication both within the environment and, ultimately, within the individual, resulting in a significant degree of isolation from society at large.
2. Mystical Manipulation. There is manipulation of experiences that appear spontaneous but in fact were planned and orchestrated by the group or its leaders in order to demonstrate divine authority or spiritual advancement or some special gift or talent that will then allow the leader to reinterpret events, scripture, and experiences as he or she wishes.
3. Demand for Purity. The world is viewed as black and white and the members are constantly exhorted to conform to the ideology of the group and strive for perfection. The induction of guilt and/or shame is a powerful control device used here.
4. Confession. Sins, as defined by the group, are to be confessed either to a personal monitor or publicly to the group. There is no confidentiality; members' "sins," "attitudes," and "faults" are discussed and exploited by the leaders.
5. Sacred Science. The group's doctrine or ideology is considered to be the ultimate Truth, beyond all questioning or dispute. Truth is not to be found outside the group. The leader, as the spokesperson for God or for all humanity, is likewise above criticism.
6. Loading the Language. The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand. This jargon consists of thought-terminating clich├ęs, which serve to alter members' thought processes to conform to the group's way of thinking.
7. Doctrine over person. Member's personal experiences are subordinated to the sacred science and any contrary experiences must be denied or re-interpreted to fit the ideology of the group.
8. Dispensing of existence. The group has the prerogative to decide who has the right to exist and who does not. This is usually not literal but means that those in the outside world are not saved, unenlightened, unconscious and they must be converted to the group's ideology. If they do not join the group or are critical of the group, then they must be rejected by the members. Thus, the outside world loses all credibility. In conjunction, should any member leave the group, he or she must be rejected also. (Lifton, 1989)

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Spectrum, North London
Posted by: media b ()
Date: July 12, 2007 11:02PM

It's dissappointing not to have heard from more readers about Spectrum Therapy. It occured to me that the subject wasn't being seen by people exploring the possibility of training there or by leavers. Possibly because I had posted as Spectrum, North London while they advertise on the net as Spectrum Therapy.
I am learning so much about Psychotherapy 'high demand' groups, or cults, and am convinced that I was in one when I was in Spectrum. The shame I've felt about this since leaving is an echo of the daily shame I endured while there when I made the double standards and general craziness make sense to myself and even feel proud of being part of such a 'high standards' organisation (irony!!!). I'm beginning to understand the origins of why I joined and what the effects of being in one have been on me. I guess we won't bring Spectrum down but if we can stop one poor soul joinning then it will have been worth the effort.

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Spectrum, North London
Posted by: media b ()
Date: August 02, 2007 06:31AM

Spectrum continue to descend into increased boundarylessness. While leavers are still frightened to post they continue to give information about their appalling treatment by the cultic central group headed by the Coopers.
Still perhaps the end is not too far off. While the beleagured, diminishing, and ageing staff group, the Coopers' lackeys, struggle with increasing debt and work burdens; the Coopers are building homes in the US and Spain. New fodder i.e. trainees, are beginning to ask if they will still be around in the, at least, ten years it'll take to graduate. I say at least, for some it's much longer and accreditation and national registration are more distant still.
Head honcho Terry Cooper becomes more grandiose and delusional; reconfiguring past events to give himself an imagined prescience, look it up Terry.
Cooper informs trainees that Spectrum is newly accredited by UKCP "with flying colours". In actual fact the organisation is required to bring its theoretical basis up to scratch within a year. Hard to see how this is going to happen in an organisation were neither of the Coopers, Spectrums married heads, has ever completed a course of therapy or a training in the profession.

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Spectrum, North London
Posted by: Skintab ()
Date: August 14, 2007 01:58AM

Having ceased any involvement with Spectrum some time ago I was interested to find that they still seem to be operating in many ways that match my past experience. It sounds like the organisation is floundering as the 'elders' continue to milk the cash cow as much as they can before the ship sinks. It is true, as I have read on this forum, that the Coopers were not in supervision, nor do I remember either of them referring to any recognised clinical training. I felt trapped within the organisation, financially and emotionally, and when I finally left they did their best to attack me and hurt my relationship with my family, and strangely, even though they no longer have any real influence over me, I feel anxious as I write about posting. I checked this site out with another ex and they told me that Spectrum is monitoring these pages.
As far as confidentiality there is none, I became familiar with hearing things that I had said in one situation 'fed back' to me in another. This was part of the reason for my increasing discomfort along with my observation that whenever anyone left they were publicly stroked for the 'positive' work they had done and then when they'd gone were pathologised, often as boarderline.
It's a scary place where people are told how lucky they are to have found the best, but forget bringing them down, they're super slick at covering themselves and never put their heads above the trench. And anyway, up to a point they have some value so I wouldn't shut the place down if I could, it's great when you're in there, feels lovely, it's just a nightmare when you try to get out.

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Spectrum, North London
Posted by: Skintab ()
Date: August 14, 2007 01:59AM

Having ceased any involvement with Spectrum some time ago I was interested to find that they still seem to be operating in many ways that match my past experience. It sounds like the organisation is floundering as the 'elders' continue to milk the cash cow as much as they can before the ship sinks. It is true, as I have read on this forum, that the Coopers were not in supervision, nor do I remember either of them referring to any recognised clinical training. I felt trapped within the organisation, financially and emotionally, and when I finally left they did their best to attack me and hurt my relationship with my family, and strangely, even though they no longer have any real influence over me, I feel anxious as I write about posting. I checked this site out with another ex and they told me that Spectrum is monitoring these pages.
As far as confidentiality there is none, I became familiar with hearing things that I had said in one situation 'fed back' to me in another. This was part of the reason for my increasing discomfort along with my observation that whenever anyone left they were publicly stroked for the 'positive' work they had done and then when they'd gone were pathologised, often as boarderline.
It's a scary place where people are told how lucky they are to have found the best, but forget bringing them down, they're super slick at covering themselves and never put their heads above the trench. And anyway, up to a point they have some value so I wouldn't shut the place down if I could, it's great when you're in there, feels lovely, it's just a nightmare when you try to get out.

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Spectrum, North London
Posted by: media b ()
Date: August 14, 2007 11:43PM

Dear Skintab,
Thanks for posting. As you allude...it takes courage to confront the cultic group.
Cultic thinking teaches us to think big, think anxiously.
We always see 'them' as stronger, more powerful, more clued up, and more effective than they actually are. For instance, they "monitor" while the rest of us mere mortals 'read'. Let's hope they find the guts to post. We could then, for instance, ask Mr. Cooper exactly which elements of Group Analytic theory he uses in his groups, as he asserts on their website. Lots of things we could ask them if they decided to do more than 'monitor'.
Spectrum are a parochial, anachronistic, backwater as far as contermpory psychotherapy is concerrned. Outmoded, dated and unchallenging thinking underpins the organsiation; as indeed it must if the baffling adoration of the Coopers is to continue.
They are indeed vindictive towards leavers. If you feel able to expand on how they tried to hurt your family you could here. Don't expose yourself to more of their venom though, and preserve your anonymity. Why not use the safety of this site to work through your own experience?
Many professionals are now talking of their concerns about Spectrum openly. You could for instance let UKCP know of your experience of them. Charities like Witness are also aware of them.

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Re: Spectrum, North London
Posted by: Lordship ()
Date: October 15, 2007 10:42PM

I highly recommend you make aforaml written complaint to the UKCP concerning Spectrum.

I have found Mike Bowen, their complaints tsar, to be very helpful and supportive. He seems to have a personal determination to clear out the abusive deadwood from psychotherapy before the legally binding regulatory structures are put in place.

We are currently dealing with a sexually abusive therapist by the name of Derek Gale who claims that he was trained in sex therapy by spectrum.

The Health Professions Council have also been very supportive.

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