Statement on Mike Davidson

20 January 2012

We wish to state that Mike Davidson is not a member of UKCP. He has never been a student or trainee member of UKCP and has never appeared on our register.

We understand that Mike Davidson is training with the British Psychodrama Association (BPA) and we have asked the BPA to investigate and take appropriate action.

We support them in any action they take, in line with their and our own ethical principles and code of professional conduct.

BPA have issues the following statement:

The British Psychodrama Association (BPA) is a member organisation of UKCP and follows the UKCP's Ethical Principles and Codes of Professional Conduct. BPA refers any questions concerning the recent BBC Sunday Sequence programme to the UKCP's guidance paper: "Ethical Principles and Codes of Professional Conduct: Guidance on the Practice of Psychological Therapies that Pathologise and/or Seek to Eliminate or Reduce Same Sex Attraction". Therefore, the British Psychodrama Association neither endorses nor approves conversion or reparative therapy for people with same sex attraction.  Such treatment interventions would be a contravention of both the British Psychodrama Association's and the UKCP Codes of Practice.

UKCP statement on the 'reparative' therapy of members of sexual minorities

UKCP does not consider homosexuality or bisexuality, or transsexual and transgendered states to be pathologies, mental disorders or indicative of developmental arrest. These are not symptoms to be treated by psychotherapists, in the sense of attempting to change or remove them.

It follows that no responsible psychotherapist will attempt to 'convert' a client from homosexuality to heterosexuality ('reparative' therapy). Hence, the UKCP notes with concern research (Bartlett, Smith, King, 2009) indicating that as many as one in six therapists surveyed were willing to contract to reduce 'same sex attraction'. These therapists were not working on a religious basis; many were members of the main professional organisations.

To the contrary, UKCP honours and respects sexual diversity as part of our approach to diversity, equalities and social responsibility. In this regard, our position is the same as that of many other professional organisations such as the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Royal College of Psychiatrists, the American Psychiatric Association (2000), the American Medical Association, and the American Psychological Association (2009).

UKCP considers that more work is needed to refine the clinical theories utilized by psychotherapists of all modalities. For example, practitioners should be careful when faced with male or female clients/patients who ask for conversion therapy as such requests often mask other pressing issues. Or, to give a further instance, there is evidence that uncritical acceptance by some psychotherapists that there is a specific kind of pathological family background to male homosexuality - 'possessive mother/distant father', or 'faulty attachments' - is being used to justify 'reparative' therapy. UKCP rejects this argument. To date, the 'causes' of both heterosexuality and homosexuality remain unknown.

Psychotherapists, educators and the media need to work more energetically and in partnership to prevent the re-pathologization of LGBT people. We call on our colleagues in other professional organisations of psychotherapists and counsellors to indicate their support for this statement.

United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy
February 2010

American Psychiatric Association (2000). Commission on Psychotherapy by Psychiatrists (COPP): Position statement on therapies focused on attempts to change sexual orientation (Reparative or conversion therapies). American J. Psychiatry, 157:1719-1721.

American Psychological Association, Task Force on the Appropriate Therapeutic Response to Sexual Orientation. (2009). Report of the Task Force on the Appropriate Therapeutic Response to Sexual Orientation. Washington, DC.

Bartlett, A., Smith, G., King, M. (2009) 'The response of mental health professionals to clients seeking help to change or redirect same-sex sexual orientation'. Division of Mental Health, St George's Hospital, University of London; Department of Mental Health Sciences, University College Hospital, University of London

Notes to Editors:

1.The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is recognised as the leading professional body for the education, training and accreditation of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors. We represent training organisations and over 7,000 individual therapists - working privately or in the NHS or voluntary sector - offering a wide variety of psychotherapeutic approaches or modalities. As part of our commitment to protecting the public, we work to improve access to psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic counselling, to support and disseminate research, to improve standards and to respond effectively to complaints against our members.

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