Conversion therapy: she tried to make me ‘pray away the gay’
They described her as “reckless”, “disrespectful”, “dogmatic” and “unprofessional”. They said she showed “no empathy” towards her client. Why? Psychotherapist Lesley Pilkington had tried to turn a gay person straight.
In a landmark ruling this week, Pilkington, 60, was found guilty of “treating” a patient for his homosexuality. 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.”