UKCP statement on the Core-Issues Trust conference

27 January 2012

UKCP has again expressed serious concern about a controversial conference held today in London. The conference was widely condemned by community, and lesbian and gay groups when it was held in Belfast under the title The Lepers Amongst Us: Homosexuality and the Life of the Church earlier this month. The conference organiser, Core-Issues Trust, has been widely criticised by professional organisations for its expressed wish to work with gay men and lesbians seeking to change their sexual orientation.

UKCP chair, Professor Andrew Samuels said:

'This isn't about respecting religious belief or freedom of speech. Those are just smokescreens. This is really about homophobia - fear and hatred of sexual minorities - often fuelled by highly controversial readings of scripture. Every responsible organisation in the field of psychotherapy, counselling and mental health has expressed extreme concern at the practice of therapy intended to change sexual orientation. Such attempts are profoundly unethical, don't work, and exploit the undeniable difficulties people from sexual minorities experience in our society. It is vital that people don't get fooled by expressions of love and support for gays and lesbians emanating from the Core Issues Trust.'


Notes to Editors:

  1. The UK 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.
  2. 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. Read our statement on reparative therapy and earlier media word on this issue on our website at
  3. A letter from organisations including Citizens Advice, Institute for Conflict Research, Council for the Homeless Northern Ireland, Advice NI, Dublin Aids Alliance, Cara-Friend, Unison LGBT Committee and the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities was published in the Belfast Telegraph on 20 January 2012 see

For media enquiries, contact:

Sandra Scott, Communications Manager, UKCP on direct line: 020 7014 9973. We can provide psychotherapists for interview on this and other stories.


news section 2012