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 (MoU) 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. It updates the 2015 version released at the Department of Health, which focused exclusively on sexual orientation.

The MoU also intends to ensure that:

  • the public are well informed about the risks of conversion therapy
  • healthcare professionals and psychological therapists are aware of the ethical issues relating to conversion therapy
  • new and existing psychological therapists are appropriately trained
  • evidence into conversion therapy is kept under regular review
  • professionals from across the health, care and psychological professions work together to achieve the above goals

Supporters

The MoU is signed by:

  • Albany Trust
  • Association for Family Therapy (AFT)
  • Association of Christian Counsellors
  • BACP
  • British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)
  • British Association of Drama Therapists (BADTH)
  • British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC)
  • British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • CliniQ
  • College of Sex and Relationship Therapists (COSRT)
  • Gendered Intelligence
  • GLADD (The Association of LGBT Doctors and Dentists)
  • National Counselling Society
  • NHS England
  • NHS Scotland
  • Pink Therapy
  • Psychotherapy and Counselling Union (PCU)
  • Relate
  • Royal College of General Practitioners
  • UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)

It is also endorsed by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender charity Stonewall.