Derek Gale – psychotherapy cult leader struck off by HPC
Posted by: Lordship ()
Date: June 03, 2009 12:24AM

Derek Gale – psychotherapy cult leader struck off by HPC

Yesterday (1st june2009) Derek Gale the psychotherapy cult leader from Loughton, Essex England, who has featured on several strands of the Rick Ross message boards, was finally struck off from the Arts Therapist register of the Health Professions Council (HPC).

This was an important moment for cult watchers in the UK and the whole psychotherapy industry which remains unregulated over here. Mr Gale can no longer use the title arts or drama therapist but he can still call himself a psychotherapist or counsellor or anything else he fancies and carry on trading and abusing.

The full allegations against Mr Gale and the 23 page outcome can be found here at the HPC website.

It would be very easy to reiterate here the 73 allegations of sexual and physical abuse, the psychological agony he puts his clients through and his disregard for the law in his criminal use of illegal drugs and his encouragement of his clients to (ab)use them too. But that area was well covered by the thousands of pages of evidence, videos, photographs and live submissions considered by the independent panel of three who sat in judgement over 18 days from March 2009. Prior to this final hearing Mr Gale had also been the subject of a five suspension hearings since June 2007 including one in the High Court of England and Wales.

Our concern here is to offer a slightly different perspective on the Gale case and maybe shed some light that may help not only Mr Gale’s current clients but also Mr Gale himself and other victims and cult leaders in similar situations. The key phrase that leapt from the hearing conclusion has to be; (Mr Gale has) “an ambiguous relationship to the truth”. Many will have taken this to mean that he is a liar or even a compulsive liar but on reflection we feel it says something much deeper and more informing about who Mr Gale really is.

Throughout these hearings Mr Gale has taken the brave step of defending himself, even courageously taking the stand twice to give evidence under oath in his own defence. Anyone with an academic or legal interest in studying this case may approach the HPC direct and request copies of the transcripts etc. You may find them as fascination reading as we did.

Featured on the 7 o’clock news last night was the archetypal image of a man on the run. Mr Gale rushing out of the hearings in Stockwell south London and diving into a waiting mini cab with his baseball cap pulled down over his eyes. His girlfriend and companion throughout following hot on his heels, diving in behind him and .heading away into the distance, well a traffic jam on the Kennington Park Road anyway. This was like a scene straight out of Mr Gale’s own unpublished novel in which Mr Gale depicts himself as a fictional therapist on the run from the regulatory authorities (in that case the UKCP) after being reported by a former client for indulging in a torrid sexual affair. Mr Gale concludes the novel by having his therapist abandon his clients after realising he doesn’t actually care for them and heading off to live with a dusky maiden in Mexico. That untitled book, which is an incredible piece of work that runs to over 230 pages, gives a real insight into the psyche of a lonely man who turns to client abuse out of a combination of ego, unrequited lust and diminished responsibility. As a publisher of vanity tomes generally on therapy Mr Gale has the skills and contacts to put this book out there into the public domain so that we may all have a better understanding of how his own life informs his work. It’s a loss to literature and a broader understanding of therapy issues that he has so far declined to do so. We were very surprised to discover that when given an opportunity by one of the complainants to promote his novelist credentials Mr Gale let modesty get the better of him and declined to confirm that the opus even existed despite the HPC having been furnished with a copy months ago. Mr Gale should be admired for his reticence to blow his own trumpet or is it just yet another clever move to build up expectation and keep the world waiting?

There was apparently stunned silence in the hearing room as the video Mr Gale had produced to introduce himself to the hearing panel was played. This was a specially created production that depicted what he claimed was a staged piece of psychodrama, insiders reported that it looked far too real to have been staged and in fact Mr Gale confirmed that those taking part were not indeed actors but his real clients, one was even identified as his girlfriend who was assisting him with the hearings. The insiders concur that what transpired was a deeply emotional and cathartic event for the participants based around the returning of faulty goods to a shop. Although the panel’s expert on drama therapy, Mr Peter Holloway, later identified some flaws in Mr Gale’s technique and seemed to criticise his basic understandings of psychodrama the insiders who were there were very moved by Mr Gale’s ability to create a deep seated (and expensive for the client) therapy experience out of such a mundane occurrence.

Mr Gale is also to be highly commended for his very brave decision to focus a large part of his introductory video on his own ability to sing. Since Mr Gale promotes himself has a voice coach and an expert specialist in the Wohlfson method of voice as therapy tool it could have been disastrous for him if indeed the panel had decided to play Simon Cowell and make a decision on Mr Gale’s X Factor. Unlike Mr Gale we are not experts but former friends of Mr Gale have informed us that he has a repertoire of only three songs which is quite surprising considering how long he has been teaching voice for. Well he treated the panel to Some Enchanted Evening and Love Me Tender accompanied by a single finger playing pianist. Well let’s be honest, Mr Gale could probably do a very good impression of a deluded X Factor contestant who, when told he sounds like a very bad pub singer at a drunk Karaoke, storms up to Simon Cowell points his finger and tells him he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

At the very first hearing back in June 2007 Mr Gale made a little slip that he may have thought had gone unnoticed. He disclosed that had he not chosen to set himself up as a psychotherapist he could have easily followed in his father’s footsteps and become a leading solicitor. In fact he was so confident of his own legal acumen that he assured the suspension panel that he could have indeed completed his law training within two years instead of the more usual five and become a better solicitor than his father. Is it not strange given this undoubted self belief in his ability to absorb legal protocols that while representing himself Mr Gale played the idiot savant seeking sympathy from the panel at every opportunity? Indeed consistently and repeatedly stating the obvious that he was indeed not a lawyer. What was he hiding behind this rather ham fisted approach at appearing to be naive while indeed considering himself to be the equal if not better than Michael Caplan QC who represented the HPC? Was it really just a ruse to pose as an “amateur legal team” with his girlfriend when what was really happening was that a great but un credited legal mind was at work?

Was Mr Gale showing his capacity for glib racism and domestically abusive behaviour really a sophisticated mask to add a veneer of credibility with the panel? Did he perceive within the panel of a JP specialising in family law cases, a research investigator and a highly regarded drama therapist an undetected streak of Sunday Sport machismo? After all Mr Gale has often claimed to know his clients better than they know themselves so he may well have believed he knew the panels’ inner psyche better than they did too.

At a previous hearing Mr Gale had drawn on his own Jewish heritage as an indication that although he was not orthodox he still believed that the Jewish faith forbade him from lying. Almost like he was offering a conspiratorial wink to the panel he subsequently challenged the personal faith of a witness who had sworn the oath on the bible and proffered racist jokes about Israelis and racist derogatory remarks about a witness of Irish descent. Rather like the pub bore you know you should tell to shut up he then drew his girlfriend into his conspiracy of domestic abuse by first refusing to allow her to be named and then when this was challenged by refusing to allow her to announce her own name and role at each formal introduction of a new witness. He certainly gave the panel a metaphorical slap on the back when he showed them he knew how to keep an uppity woman down.

There was a certain charming bonhomie to Mr Gale’s avuncular garden gnome demeanour as he addressed the legal assessor by his first name and even kind heartedly offered him advice on law books to consult. But was the chair of the panel really within his rights to call Mr Gale “controlling”? Had he not merely misunderstood Mr Gale’s helping hand as he took each new witness through the introduction of who was who at the hearing and what the procedures would be, this was surely Mr Gale just slipping and showing his well hidden legal expertise, you see he too could be a judge or magistrate if he wanted to be and be more than the Chairman’s equal. When Mr Gale invited to dinner the drama therapist panellist how could this have been construed as anything other than a meeting of minds?

We will now tease you dear readers with the tempting thought that our next post may well concern Mr Gale’s sexual preferences and habits. But it's up to you to let us know if you really want more.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/03/2009 12:35AM by Lordship.

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Re: Derek Gale – psychotherapy cult leader struck off by HPC
Posted by: Lordship ()
Date: June 09, 2009 05:34PM

First of all thanks to those of you who took time to not only read what we have written but also to those of you who took the time to comment in either direct e mails or through the personal message system here on Rick Ross. We do however wish that Mr Gale himself had shown the courage he previously showed by writing here in public but that was his choice not to.

It is very important to understand that cults exist out of stifling people’s free expression of opinions. Particularly where those opinions criticise the cult directly. Offering opinions in whatever form against a cult raises the debate and stimulates conversation and some legitimate internal questioning within the cult. Now if we take Mr Gale’s argument (as put forward at the hearings) that he does not operate a cult because he invites the public, friends and family to his open days at the Gale Centre and because he claims he would have sexually abused his clients more if he was a cult leader and taken more advantage of young women when he was lonely. Then the people who still pay him large amounts of money to be in his presence, those people that have signed his specially created contracts and given evidence on his behalf, those people that have had years of him teaching that they must at some point confront the hearings, have no perception that they are “in” anything let alone a cult. As far as they are concerned they attend to Mr Gale as part of their therapy needs and his requirement for “unconditional love”. They must return the love he gives them in return for their cash. At some point they will have reached the level of awareness he has achieved and then they will be happy regardless of financial, emotional or physical cost. Whatever is written here cannot drive them any further into Mr Gale’s thrall. They are already there and unquestioning. All their questions are always answered by Gale as being their own fault, afterall he even blamed his clients for him calling himself a psychotherapist. They don’t have any issues with being in a cult because they are not in one.

It’s virtually a given that cult leaders like Gale will use any type of criticism of them to suppress the truth in their motives to their accolytes. Those that criticise the cult leader will be called vigilantes, bullies, violent alcoholics, conspiritors, intimidators or even worse. As in the Gale case the cult leader may feel he should go on the offensive and make unfounded multiple complaints to the police about harrassment or percieved intimidation by anti cult professionals and complainants. He may also make claims (as Gale did during the hearings) on behalf of his group members that they too are being intimidated by non specific myserious forces, though group members very rarely make those complaints themselves. The cult leaders will take any criticism or observations from outsiders and by their very instincts turn it against the propogator for the benefit and comfort of those he still seeks to manipulate and control. There is in fact nothing that can be written about Gale and his group that he will not turn into an atttack on them. So to reassure those who have justifiable concerns for their friends and families still in the Gale “family” we can assure you that by writing what we do and in the style we have chosen we are raising awareness and questioning and not in someway forcing people deeper into Mr Gale’s “family” or “Therapy Community” as he has now chosen to style it.

Since Gale himself has failed to comment in public since his striking off, even to his presumed allies in the “Independent” therapy press, and since he has closed down his website to abet the impression that he has given up practise then we must raise our concerns for his personal welfare here in an open letter:

Dear Mr Gale,

If observations from the HPC hearings can be relied upon and comments from your friends and supporters in e mails and other internet forums are true then we have right and proper concerns for your mental welfare and the impact this may have on your current clients. We sincerely hope that you will not just dismiss this letter but take it into very careful consideration.

When the complaints were first aired you issued a Gale Centre newsletter explaining how you were blowing raspberries at those who were trying to bring you down, this was presented as part of the evidence bundle by the HPC. Considering the very serious nature of the complaints against you, and considering most of those that have so far been heard have been admitted by yourself and found to be misconduct do you now not consider that this was a rather immature approach? Please take time to reflect back on your motivations for that comment as you now face the prospect of potential criminal actions against you for soliciting drug abuse, perjury and common assault. As you ponder that you may also wish to recall the true nature of your vexatious complaints to the police and their response to them having been presented with a detailed dossier of your activities by those you complained against. What did you achieve?

You were very open and honest during the course of the hearings about your penchant for what many would consider bizarre and unusual behaviour. You accepted that you frequently pretend to be mentally disturbed to non participating members of the public ie in shops etc and that you often explain, while on holidays with the group, (to those that inquire) that you are the groups father and they are your extended family. You also accepted that you made this claim to people who could not possibly understand that it was a metaphor and in some way related to your “cutting edge” therapy regime. Why do you think this occurred so often, what was your hidden motivation for it? You have made it clear that you are a proponent of self revelation, do you feel able to externalise this need in a more appropriate environment where it would be less damaging to your clients?

Why did you also choose to screen the Channel4 video?


Merely, it seems, to explain to the panel that you were in fact only half naked in the photographs featured and that the hat you were wearing was from a hat shop, a local hat shop of some repute? Yes, Mr Gale you actually did say that in the hearing – check the transcript if you don’t believe it yourself. We accept that your main thrust of the use of that particular video was that you intended to prove that two people being interviewed were in fact in the same house. Well we are sorry but we cannot resist a “no shit Sherlock” there, you certainly excelled yourself with your powers of detection. But please ponder whether that obvious ploy wasn’t really a subconcious “raspberry” to the panel as the same video also reminded them how little power they actaully have in the current regulatory environment. If you did not consider this and it was not your obvious intention then maybe you really should look more closely at your own subconcious actions. How did you think the panel would react to the video, what was your hoped for outcome?

Now we would like to help you to look a little more closely at your relationship to money. You like to play with money, you have pulled stunts by telling your clients that they should be less selfish with money. You have taken the equivalent amount for a good night out, put it in an envelope and then through a very clumsy sleight of hand burned the envelope, not as some sort of hackneyed parlour trick but as part of their therapy. Was the money returned to all the contributors or did it disappear as you claimed in a puff of smoke? You’re need to accpet expensive gifts from clients including money is also well known and now publically documented.
You are a middling to wealthy man. Not rich but not poor, as you pointed out to the panels on several occassions. You were also very proud to let them know that you are “not cheap”. You have often said that your love for your clients is free but they pay for your expertise and experience. Well they certainly pay for something but as the hearings uncovered you are actually very short on both real therapy expertise and experience. To be quite honest insiders felt your embarrassment when being cross examined by the arts therapist panel member and when he was in conversation with your expert witness. It really was a situation you might have felt more comfortable avoiding as it apparently seemed like you were the petulent teenager at the dinner table trying to chip in to an adult conversation that was way over your head.

Apart from your hourly session fees of between £65 and £125 an hour you have a unique system of charging for your fortnightly voice group sessions whereby you charge everyone in the group for an hour’s session. So a guestimate of say 15 people in the voicegroup nets you about a thousand pounds for three hours work – three hours work which you admit you invariably sign off by saying “now pay up and fuck off”. Well you may well find some people taking your advice if they sit down and think about it for long enough and do some simple arithmatic as to how much they actually pay you per year. We know you have a target of about 20% of their disposable income but we wonder how many are confused not only by your fee structure and paying through your front company People Unlimited but also by the additional costs of holidays etc which have now been defined as “misconduct”. You see the normal way of paying for group sessions is that you multiply the hours by an average of your normal rate and divide it by the number in the group. So let’s be generous and say you charge £100 per hour for three hours you then divide that by say 15 people in the group which would make it £20 per head per voice group. You are right Mr Gale you are not cheap but no wonder you have a vested interest in keeping your clients in long term therapy. Afterall in your closing statement you acknowledged that your clients known as XX and YY no longer required therapy and just came along because they wanted to. The natural implication from that is that you keep taking their money as well as that of their daughter and, until recently, their son, not for any therapuetic purpose but because you want to.

On the back of your canny way with cash you have built up a substantial property portfolio in the UK and abroad. It is acknowledged that you inherited an above average consideration (£2million you have claimed – but then you are now known to have an “ambiguos relationship to the truth”) and that you hid money by asking clients to pay cash while going through your divorce. The allegation made by some complainants of you stealing the identity of a former Roy Hart theatre company teacher and operating an account in his name either with or without his knowledge is still to be resolved, possibly by the police since there are now other criminal liabilities to take into consideration. What is beyond dispute is that you raised the suggestion from your “family” that they should start a fighting fund for you and you have accepted substantial sums of cash from a client supposedly to pay for a defence because their family was causing trouble for you. You then pleaded poverty to the HPC so that they would pay for counsel to cross examine the most vulnerable of witnesses. They did this without any means testing as a matter of public protection. It is acknowledged that you did pay for your own counsel to write a rather erratic and incredible closing statement with regards to your use of dope in front of clients and you did have him cross examine the witness. To be honest though Mr Gale insiders have pointed out that if ever there was a case of a defence barrister indicating to the court that he considers his client guilty then you had it, however that matter is irrelevent as he probably insisted you pay upfront. Those costs would easily have been sourced from the money you saved by having your clients renovate your property for you including taking on dangerous and highly specialised tasks such as asbestos clearing.

Clients do not pay for your love they believe they pay for a professional service. Something that it has been proven that you fail to provide. Many of your current clients fear that if they stop paying you and supporting you then they will lose their friends as others have done. People they claimed to love and care for have vanished from their lives at your behest. Some have even turned against you. Your clients do not want to anger you or feel they are betraying you. They want to support you in whatever way they can. At a request from yoruself or some other group member they would do anything for you.

And it is this loving and caring that has created the problem for you isn’t it Mr Gale? You are trapped within an emotional construct that is now stiffling you and you can’t see a way out. You’re emotions are boiling over and your well known temper is being suppressed. Suppressed anger is the most dangerous type. How can you find a way forward? There is a very brave step you can take, a step that would be admired by your clients and peers alike. Please Mr Gale seek help. Please seek psychiatric help before your inner anger and torment turns into something very physically dangerous. Before you are pushed into physical violence in a way you have previously shown you are capable of. Please do not seek the help of your cabal of so called psychotherapist friends as they are clearly incapable of helping you or they would have done so before. Take time to consider where the real help to move forward, to escape this spiral of depressive pain, may really lie. You are trapped in a toxic group, a group that is destroying you. Taking every ounce of your energy and will to live. You know there are people out there that understand this situation. Highly regarded professionals who have spent their lives helping people like you. You may of course consider them your enemy but then at some point all wars have been resolved by the brave who dare to call a halt and sit down with their foes. Are you brave enough or will you spend the rest of your life trapped within a truth you cannot confront?

Yours sincerely


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Re: Derek Gale – psychotherapy cult leader struck off by HPC
Posted by: limey ()
Date: September 24, 2009 04:06PM

Again, this man claims to practice psychotherapy but is actually a fraud.

He cant call himself a psychotherapist in the near future.

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