NHS England, Medical and Psychological Professionals Stand Up Against Gay Conversion Therapy

Following commitments from NHS England, leading medical and psychological professional groups the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) community seeking therapy will be better protected from harmful ‘gay cures’.

The harmful gay conversion therapy sometimes referred to as ‘gay cure’ or ‘reparative therapy’, is a talking therapy which attempts to change sexual orientation or at least reduce the attraction to others of the same sex. There is no evidence that this works and it is harmful.

The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), with support from the Department of Health, has bought together 14 signatory organisations, including the National Counselling Society. These organisations are meeting to launch an ‘agreement on actions to end the practice of conversion therapy in the UK’ and to strengthen psychological professionals’ training and improve the emotional support available to LGB clients seeking therapy.

It has been made clear that NHS England “does not endorse or support conversion therapy and will make this clear to Clinical Commissioning Groups”. It is hoped that this commitment will effectively end the possibility of conversion therapy being available.

There will also be details of how professional bodies will work to develop training and continued professional development to ensure all therapists, new and current, are equipped to appropriately handle requests for changes from those feeling unhappy about their feelings of sexual attraction.

Norman Lamb, Care and Support Minister had this to add; “We have always been clear that being lesbian, gay or bisexual is not an illness. Any therapy that claims to change a person’s sexual orientation is not just unethical – it’s potentially harmful. I welcome this commitment from NHS England, The Royal Colleges and professional bodies to help tackle any such practice in the UK”.