A UK psychotherapist may lose her license if a disciplinary hearing finds she attempted to cure a patient of homosexuality.
It is almost a year since Patrick Strudwick published an article in The Independent (London) detailing his experience of ex-gay reparative therapy in the UK. As part of his investigation, the journalist secretly taped sessions with Christian therapist Lesley Pilkington, whom he met through a NARTH conference.
In Strudwick’s recordings, Mrs Pilkington, 60, told him that homosexuality was “a mental illness, an addiction [and] an antireligious phenomenon.” She agreed to provide SOCE — Sexual Orientation Change Efforts — after he said he was a Christian and wanted to leave the “homosexual lifestyle.”
According to the Sunday Telegraph (London), a letter sent to the therapist by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) accused her of “praying to God to heal [Strudwick] of his homosexuality … [of] having an agenda that homosexuality is wrong and that gay people can change and that [she] allegedly attempted to inflict these views on him.”
Pilkington denied she had forced Strudwick into therapy, saying she only offers the treatment to people who choose it because they are “depressed and unhappy” with their sexual orientation.