A leading US psychologist has published a paper claiming that the UK media is “ideological and not scientific” when it criticises mental health professionals who offer “conversion therapy” to gay people.
Dr Phillip Sutton, director of the International Federation for Therapeutic Choice, recently published the academic paper online entitled: “What the Research Does and Does Not Say: Is Therapeutic Support for Unwanted Same-Sex Attractions Harmful?”
The document, which has been passed on to UK MPs and mental health professional bodies, states: “In the absence of clear, reliable and valid scientific evidence, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that professional organisations like the American Psychological Association, the UK Association of Christian Counsellors, various state and national government legislatures, and even media such as The Guardian, are working to prevent mental health professionals from offering educational guidance, counselling and therapeutic care for persons with unwanted same-sex attraction and behaviour based on ideological and not scientific or professional grounds.”
This comes in spite of many US psychotherapy organisations condemning the harmful nature of such practices.
Gaylesta, the LGBTQ Psychotherapist Association, says: “Striving to treat what is not a disorder is not therapy, it is professionalized homophobia. It is dangerous, and it is a threat to all LGBTQ people. Individuals who have undergone these treatments often have a significantly larger chance of becoming self destructive and suicidal.”
However, Dr Mike Davidson, director of the British Christian Organisation Core Issues Trust, has backed Dr Sutton in saying that no scientific evidence has been provided for the harmful effects of anti-gay treatments.