Recognition of Conversion Therapy as Harmful Spreads Through the U.K.
By Joseph Alexiou
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) recently sent out a letter to its members, echoing important ethical decision made more than 5,000 miles away, in California today.
In the letter, Britain's largest professional association for psychologists stated that "practices such as conversion or reparative therapies ‘have no medical indication and represent a severe threat to the health and human rights of the affected persons’..."
Furthermore, they also wrote that "BACP recognises that the diversity of human sexualities is compatible with normal mental health and social adjustment (Royal College of Psychiatrists).
A recent research review (King, et al 2007) showed that those who do not identify as heterosexual may be misunderstood by some therapists, who see the client/patient’s sexuality as the root cause of their presenting issue."
Wow. It had come as a surprise to many, but apparently a 2009 survey had shown that more than 15 percent of therapists in the U.K. had attempted to change a patient's sexual orientation. This recent statement therefore affirms this (achingly slow) movement for Western countries to show the world that they are no longer tolerant of damaging anti-gay policies and practices in law, medicine, and social lives. It's no accident that these two stories came out today—the American election is coming and homosexuality will no doubt play a roll on the debate podium. And we, the gay community, have been ready.