UK

Gay Cure Counsellors Struck Off By Christian Counselling Service

28/02/2014 15:23 GMT | Updated 04/03/2014 15:59 GMT

Two Christian counsellors who offered gay cures to patients have been denied accreditation Association of Christian Counsellors, with the way paved for others with similar offerings to also be expelled.

The request to bar counsellor Lesley Pilkington, and the Core Issues Trust, a separate organisation offering gay cures headed by Dr Mike Davidson, was made by the Professional Standards Authority for Heath And Social Care.

Two other secular bodies, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and the UK Council for Psychotherapy have also banned Pilkington and Davidson from membership and accreditation, because of the "harmful" practice.

But now the faith-based counselling body has removed therapists for offering gay cures.

James Taylor, head of policy at Stonewall told HuffPostUK: "Stonewall, as well as the BACP and the UKCP, has always been clear that counselling and psychotherapy services should be based on the best medical evidence rather than the offensive idea of 'voodoo' gay cures.

"Sadly this is not a view that Lesley Pilkington and the Core Issues Trust share."

Pilkington was the subject of a successful sting after Guardian reporter Patrick Strudwick posed as a potential Christian client seeking a cure for homosexual feelings. The paper published an expose, which led the accreditation bodies to declare they would no longer accept members who promoted gay cures.

Mike Davidson, was last year stripped of professional status with the British Psychodrama Association. He was at the centre of a row over posters he attempted to have displayed on London buses, in the style of the Stonewall slogans, which said. “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!"

Mayor of London Boris Johnson ordered Transport for London not to accept the posters, and Davidson has challenged the decision twice in the courts.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Legal Centre which represents Pilkington and Davidson, commented: "It appears that the ACC has succumbed to pressure from the State. This is highly disturbing."

Gaylesta, the LGBTQ Psychotherapist Association, has guidelines which state: “Striving to treat what is not a disorder is not therapy, it is professionalised homophobia. It is dangerous, and it is a threat to all LGBTQ people. Individuals who have undergone these treatments often have a significantly larger chance of becoming self destructive and suicidal.”