The UK’s only independent gay humanist organisation, the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT), owner of this blog, says it’s highly satisfied that a Christian therapist who appeared to claim she could “cure” gays has lost her appeal against malpractice.
Lesley Pilkington, a psychotherapist who was found guilty of “professional malpractice” for using the techniques of “conversion therapy” (a “bogus form of treatment which is supposed to make gay people become straight”, says the PTT), has lost her appeal against the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
In a statement today, the PTT says:
Mrs Pilkington was found guilty of malpractice last year after trying to convert a gay client to heterosexuality, with the BACP describing her practice as “negligent”, “dogmatic” and “unprofessional”.The complaint against Mrs Pilkington which started this case was made by the award-winning journalist Patrick Strudwick, who was investigating therapists who claim to be able to “treat” homosexuality. Mr Strudwick, who is gay, received two counselling sessions from Mrs Pilkington in 2009, in which she used the techniques of “conversion therapy” (also known as “reparative therapy”) in an attempt to make him become heterosexual. The treatment, which also involved praying to God to make Mr Strudwick straight, failed.The BACP said that “the appeal panel is unanimous that Mrs Pilkington failed to exercise reasonable care and skill and was thus negligent”. The panel also said it was “entirely wrong” for Mrs Pilkington to suggest that Mr Strudwick had been sexually abused as a child, and that this “falls below the standard to be expected of a reasonably competent practitioner”.The BACP have suspended Mrs Pilkington’s accreditation, and have ordered her to submit a report between 4 and 12 months from now, in which she will have to demonstrate that she has changed her practice to meet the BACP’s requirements. Mr Strudwick said, “I’m delighted that the BACP has upheld their original decision. Mrs Pilkington’s therapeutic practices have been held up to scrutiny and found to be fundamentally flawed.” He also said that “this case sets a vital precedent. I urge anyone involved in this harmful practice to take note of this case and desist. Love needs no cure”.
The PTT’s secretary, George Broadhead, commented: “This is a very important verdict. Treatments that attempt to ‘cure’ homosexuality are morally objectionable because they imply that homosexuality is a disease. They have no scientific foundation and have been condemned by the UK Council for Psychotherapy, the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, as well as in the recent judgement by the BACP.