News & Events

Published: 23/07/2015

UKCP reinforces position on conversion therapy

UKCP notes with concern research released today by Stonewall that 10 per cent of NHS and social care workers directly involved in patient care have witnessed colleagues expressing the belief that lesbian, gay and bisexual people can be ‘cured’.

UKCP has campaigned for some years against gay conversion or 'reparative' therapy. In January 2015, UKCP with support from the Department of Health brought together 14 signatory organisations, in recognition of a shared professional responsibility to improve the support available to those at risk from unethical and potentially harmful conversion therapy. The Memorandum of Understanding was informed by a position that efforts to try to change or alter sexual orientation through psychological therapies are unethical and potentially harmful.

UKCP maintains that homosexuality is not an illness hence it is both logically and ethically flawed to offer any kind of treatment. It is of further concern to us that 25 per cent of all health and social care staff say their employer has never provided them with any equality and diversity training (Stonewall 2015).

UKCP registered practitioners remain governed by its code of professional conduct which judges it an ethical offence to ‘practise psychotherapy which treats homosexuality, bisexuality, resistance to labelling one’s sexual orientation, fluidity of sexuality, or same sex attraction as psychopathologies or symptoms of a psychopathology’.

Along with Stonewall, we continue to advocate for equal treatment of LGBT people and against conversion therapy with the goal that affordable, ethical support to members of sexual minorities can be accessed in both the public and private healthcare sectors.

Janet Weisz, Chair of the UK Council for Psychotherapy said:
‘The public must know that they can access therapeutic help without fear of judgment.

‘Offering to change a person’s sexual orientation or discriminate against LGBT people would be likely to reinforce the notion that these feelings are wrong or abnormal.

‘We stand united with our colleagues from recognised professional bodies in our commitment to educate and train therapists who can offer support and understanding to an individual about sexual orientation in a safe and confidential setting.’

More information on UKCP’s work on conversion therapy is available here



News section 2015