TO: Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe
FROM: Dr Michael Davidson, Director, Core Issues Trust
TOPIC: The possible abuse of professional bodies in denying clients autonomy in achieving sexual identities which refuse to embrace homosexual feelings – by penalising professional psychotherapists.
DATE: 03 October 2012, Working Session 14
Efforts to protect vulnerable adults and minors from unscrupulous pseudo- psychotherapeutic interventions are to be welcomed. However, refusal to recognise client autonomy and self-determination in the matter of sexual identity and the right to reorder sexual orientation amounts to discrimination based on ideology. In the UK, clients are forbidden to receive psychotherapeutic support to reduce homosexual feelings, in all circumstances, according to the country’s largest psychotherapeutic professional body.
In January 2012 I participated in several BBC radio programmes along with the regional head of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and then chairman of the UK’s largest psychotherapeutic professional body, the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). I spoke in favour of providing professional support to clients who, after advanced informed consent, sought psychotherapeutic help to reduce homosexual feelings. Immediately following the programmes, before leaving the studio, I was informed that I was under investigation and that my membership and trainee status within the British Psychodrama Association (BPA), affiliated to the UKCP, was revoked – without hearing. Both the complainant and the investigator were the BPA executive, and the dismissal was on the grounds of “public safety”. I have been barred from further training, without any hearing, with no submission of evidence that I have breached the ethics code as they claim. I have received no response to my defence document, submitted more than three months ago, and the livelihood associated with my trainee and professional membership status has terminated.
The grounds of this investigation relate to the UKCP’s statement that it is an “ethical offence” for any therapist to reduce, or attempt to reduce homosexual feelings in a client. This professional body articulates no exception to the rule, even in the case of a married man who wishes to remain viably within his marriage in sexual monogamy and protect his family. The organisation’s documentation, widely available on the world-wide web, provides no credible scientific evidence to support their ideological assertion that “There is overwhelming evidence that undergoing such therapy is at considerable emotional and psychological cost”. Repeated attempts, by persons other than myself, requesting scientific justification for such statements, have been ignored and have failed.
British psychotherapeutic professional bodes appear to be out of step with the World Health Organisation which affirms the client’s right of therapeutic support for sexual identity conflict.
I request that the OSCE :
(1) recognise that professional psychotherapeutic bodies within its member states, have a responsibility to provide non-ideological, accessible and compelling scientific evidence upon which to base decisions to refuse professional support to clients presenting with ego- dystonic sexual orientation, who exercise their right to seek help to reduce homosexual feelings;
(2) recognise the potential for abuse, through professional bodies, in sanctioning psychotherapeutic professionals who offer help to clients seeking to reduce homosexual feelings, following advanced informed consent, where there is a difference in ideological and/or religious perspectives operating between professionals and their professional body.