Psychologist who allegedly insulted client ordered to undergo supervision

A consultant clinical psychologist who allegedly called a depressed client a “wanker” and a “waste of space” during therapy has been ordered to undergo two-years of supervision.

A service user told a conduct committee of the British Psychological Society that Dr John McCarron had insulted him while treating him for depression between 2001 and 2002.

Dr McCarron, then working for Lancashire NHS Trust, denied ever saying “wanker” or “waste of space”. But he admitted he may have used similar insulting language when “in conversations” with the user, known as GL.

Dr McCarron, whose website states he specialises in empowerment and personal growth, told the committee that he sometimes used challenging and provocative language in his “eclectic” therapeutic approach.

But he said he no longer uses such an approach, and that if had used such language it would not have been used “directly to” a client.

The committee decided last week it could not be sure of the exact language used by Dr McCarron to GL.

It ruled that Dr McCarron had not used abusive language with the intention of insulting GL.

But the committee ruled he had used language which had a “belittling effect.”

The committee also ruled that Dr McCarron had told another client, referred to as AS, to “pull yourself together you’re pathetic” during therapy, also between 2001 and 2002.

The committee reprimanded Dr McCarron but said he could continue to be a chartered clinical psychologist, on the condition he undergo clinical supervision for two years.

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