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Tuesday 09 November 2010


UK therapists are trying to make gays straight… and failing

Posted in: Comment
By Craig Young - 9th March 2010

In the United Kingdom, 'exgay' fundamentalist 'reparative therapists' have been trying to manipulate clients into fundamentalist conversion 'away' from their 'former' sexual orientation... using mainstream GP referrals and National Health Service funds.

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UK gay journalist Patrick Strudwick went undercover and wrote about his experiences for the Independent newspaper. He attended a fundamentalist 'reparative therapy' conference held in London last year and heard US exgay conservative Catholic 'reparative therapy' propagandist Joseph Nicolosi state that all gay men are 'wounded' and 'pathological.' We apparently all have 'distant dads' and 'overnurturant mums.' As a result, Strudwick then visited two fundamentalist psychotheraprists and counsellors, Lynne and David.

Lynne referred to 'same sex attraction,' never gayness. She viewed 'SSA' as a pathology, addiction and anti-religious attribute. She opened and closed her sessions with prayer and asked about Strudwick's psychological history, which involved questions about parenting, and an argument that 'broken' early developmental phases that led to gayness could be 'reprogrammed'. She argued that 'depression' leads to gay identification, born of 'confusion, anxiety and pain', as a result of a 'difficult childbirth,' "Freemasonry" (!!!), or possible early family abuse. She advised Patrick to 'butch up' by playing (ahem) 'manly' sports like rugby. (Obviously, this was before Gareth Thomas came out!) And one shouldn't have "gentlemen's time" for self-pleasure. Disturbingly, Lynne got referals from a GPs practice near her home.

As for David, he argued that 'one third' of gay men who used 'reparative therapy' converted, as he had allegedly done. He recommended platonic complimentary relationships like naked personal self-affirmation, massage sessions and referred to US exgay luminary Elizabeth Moberly, who believes that gay men have 'cannibal' aspects to our sexuality- we want positive attributes from our partners. Like Lynne, he referred to clichés like distant dads, 'pathology' and unbutchness. Moreover, his supervisor was associated with Richard Cohen's "International Healing Foundation," whose founder has been permanently expelled from the American Counselling Association.

Strudwick then went to University College of London Professor Michael King, an outspoken critic of 'reparative therapy.' Professor King slammed Lynne for use of prayer throughout her consultations, and the lack of a proper evidential basis within her consultative sessions. In the case of the child sexual abuse claims, she was in difficult ethical territory when it came to 'leading' and 'suggesting' past 'abuse.' Moreover, the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists guidelines direct against personal prejudice interfering during therapeutic consultations. Strudwick has since lodged a complaint to BACP over Lynne's conduct as a counsellor.

As for David, Professor King slated him for discussing his own psychotherapeutic issues in the context of a consultation with a client. He also noted inappropriate conduct when it came to eliciting sexual arousal in sessions with his exclusively male clients (as David doesn't "treat" lesbians). Professor King also referred to possible Royal College of Psychiatrist breaches over inappropriate potential boundary issues in this context, although Strudwick later took a complaint to the UK General Medical Council in David's case. Both inquiries are ongoing.

Strudwick has started Facebook and Twitter pages for his new Stop Conversion Therapy Taskforce (SCOTT). Excellent work. Should we follow suit?

Recommended:

Patrick Strudwick: "The Exgay Files: The Bizarre World of Gay to Straight Conversion Therapy" Independent: 01.02.10: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/the-exgay-files-the-bizarre-world-of-gaytostraight-conversion-1884947.html

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=284213565804


Craig Young - 9th March 2010

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