In a landmark ruling, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy has suspended and sanctioned Psychotherapist Lesley Pilkington for trying to turn a gay man straight.
A hearing of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy – the largest professional body for therapists – concluded that the treatment she gave constituted "professional malpractice".
The unanimous verdict came with heavy sanctions. Pilkington's accreditation to the organisation was suspended. She was ordered to complete extensive training and professional development. If she does not file a report in six to 12 months, satisfying the board that she has complied, she will have her membership fully revoked: she will be struck off.
The report concluded: "Mrs Pilkington had allowed her personal preconceived views about gay lifestyle and sexual orientation to affect her professional relationship in a way that was prejudicial."
Adds Strudwick: "The client Pilkington tried to cure was me. I am an out, happily gay man. I was undercover, investigating therapists who practise this so-called conversion therapy (also known as reparative therapy) – who try to 'pray away the gay'. I asked her to make me straight. Her attempts to do so flout the advice of every major mental-health body in Britain."