The Pink Triangle Trust

News Release – 29 May 2012

Gay Humanists’ Satisfaction at Verdict Against “Conversion Therapy” Woman

Kenilworth, 29 May 2012 — The gay humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) is highly satisfied that a Christian “conversion therapy” woman has lost her appeal against a finding of 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) has lost her appeal against the ruling by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). 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 four and twelve 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 am delighted that the BACP have 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 which 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 judgment by the BACP.

“Therapies which claim to be able to ‘cure’ homosexuality are completely discredited. Nevertheless, to their shame, they have been supported by prominent religious figures such as the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey and the former Bishop of Rochester Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, as well as the lobby group Christian Concern, all of whom supported Lesley Pilkington.”

Further information from George Broadhead on 01926 858450.
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Created : Tuesday, 2012-05-29 / Last updated : Sunday, 2012-06-10
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