BACP welcomes today’s announcement by the UK Government that it will seek to eradicate the practice of conversion therapy in the UK.
We are opposed to any misuse of counselling or psychotherapy to attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identification. Sexual orientations and gender identities are not mental health disorders and anyone accessing therapeutic help should be able to do so without fear of judgement or the threat of being pressured to change a fundamental aspect of who they are.
In October 2017, alongside other leading professions and Stonewall, we proudly signed an updated memorandum of understanding (MoU) against conversion therapy which 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.
The UK Government’s commitment has been made as part of a new 75-point action plan to tackle discrimination and improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the UK.
The action plan, which was published alongside a nationwide survey showed 2% of respondents had undergone and 5% had been offered conversion therapy. The plan brings forward proposals to eradicate conversion therapy, which will consider all legislative and non-legislative options to prohibit promoting, offering or conducting conversion therapy.
We look forward to working with partners and the Government to bring an end to the unethical practice of conversion therapy across the whole of the UK.