The psychiatrist recommended by homophobic former MP Iris Robinson to ‘cure’ gays was exposed yesterday for his methods of treating patients.
Dr Paul Miller, who runs the Abeo umbrella organisation for therapists who try to cure homosexuality, believes that “same-sex attraction” in men stems from “core un-met needs” such as the lack of a father figure.
It was reported yesterday that his methods include encouraging arousal in patients and speaking about his own emotional difficulties.
He was the psychiatrist referred to by Robinson when she made her now-infamous remarks about gay people in June 2008.
Speaking after a gay man was beaten up in Northern Ireland, Robinson said she knew a “lovely psychiatrist” who worked with her and was able to turn gays straight.
Dr Miller resigned as Robinson’s part-time health advisor two months later. Robinson left politics last month after a scandal over loans for her teenage lover.
Yesterday, the Independent published an investigation into gay cure therapy. PinkNews.co.uk can reveal that one of the therapists mentioned, ‘David’, is Dr Miller.
Gay journalist Patrick Strudwick met Miller at a gay conversion conference in London and asked him for treatment, under the guise of struggling with his sexual orientation.
Strudwick was told that he must find the “wounding” which made him experience same-sex attraction and replace this attraction with platonic intimacy with men.
In online sessions, Dr Miller encouraged Strudwick to become aroused and spoke about his own struggles to fight attraction to men.
Professor Michael King, a psychiatrist from University College, said of Miller’s methods: “None of this would be recognised within psychiatric practice.
“No psychiatrist could ever justify explaining their fantasy life to a patient. It’s not good practice to talk about your own psychotherapy or your own difficulties.
“He’s encouraging an arousal during a session – it’s like a hypnotic technique. I wonder what he’s doing with patients – that he is at risk of crossing the line.
“My personal opinion is that he is going against every code of practice from the Royal College of Physicians. The college should withdraw his membership.”
Dr Miller did not return calls for comment from PinkNews.co.uk.
Speaking to the Independent,who did not reveal his full identity he said: “All I can say is that I try my best to deliver a service to help people, to provide people with an alternative in terms of change. It [my treatment] is only for people who come asking.”