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Conversion Therapy - Current UKCP Issues


As a Registered Member of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), I am deeply disturbed by their withdrawal from the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Conversion Therapy.

 

This memorandum is a joint document which aims to halt the practice of conversion therapy in the UK.

 


Conversion therapy is the term for therapy that assumes certain sexual orientations or gender identities are inferior to others, and seeks to change or suppress them on that basis.

 

The 2017 Memorandum of Understanding makes it clear that conversion therapy in relation to gender identity and sexual orientation (including asexuality) is unethical, potentially harmful and is not supported by evidence. 

 

UKCP’s withdrawal from the MoU is an affront to LGBTQ+ members who have not been consulted on this issue. The board of trustees and CEO have made a unilateral decision, and furthermore have failed to simultaneously put any new policy in place.

 

To be clear, as a psychotherapist, it is not my role to dissuade any of my clients from their right to affirm their own sexuality or gender identity. A therapist who does so, in my view, would be acting in an unethical and in a potentially harmful manner.

 

Whilst I will reluctantly defend any therapist’s legal right to hold gender or sexuality critical views, I will never share or support such views. Those therapists who make this choice should not be working with clients exploring these particular issues.

 

UKCP’s actions send a dangerous and confusing message to therapists and clients, and it concerns me that other organisations such as the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society (NCPS) are considering following suit.

 

Whilst I will maintain my membership of UKCP for the time being, I do so under protest.

 

I am calling for the board of trustees to immediately reverse this ludicrous decision. I also call for a vote of no confidence in the board of UKCP via a removal election.

 

I support the Therapists Against Conversion Therapy and Transphobia (TACTT) open letter and would urge other UKCP members to sign it:

 

 

We all have the right to live our lives as we choose, especially when we are harming no one else in the process. Some of the divisive and polarising narrative we are seeing globally is disgraceful, and leaves our community open to severe safety concerns.


I want to wish all of my LGBTQ+ colleagues and clients solidarity, love and support at this challenging time.


Chris Colcomb

Saturday 6th April 2024

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