Following yesterdays blog post about so-called “conversion therapy” which aims to change people’s sexual orientation or gender identity, the UK Council for Psychotherapy have alerted me to a statement on the issue. The UKCP is already a co-signatory to a Memorandum of Understanding which condemns therapies to turn gay people straight as unethical, ineffective and harmful. However, the Memorandum currently makes no mention of similar therapies that aim to convert transgender people back to their birth gender.
I’m happy to hear that the UKCP are looking to expand the memorandum to also include trans conversion therapy.
The UKCP say,
The issue of therapy for transgender clients is another vital area to be developed. It deserves consideration in its own right to ensure that people receive safe, ethical and non-judgmental professional support. UKCP intends to develop its position on trans issues too, building on its clear ethical policy around LGB conversion therapy.
We are proud to have led a cross-professional agreement between medical and psychological professionals against this practice in the UK.
There are provisions within the memorandum of understanding to review its contents and various signatory organisations have suggested working together to consider trans issues more fully and to ensure they can be included either within this framework or in a separate commitment.
The full statement can be read here.
I think it’s entirely right to say that being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is not a problem. It’s the responses by society to LGBT people that is the problem. Hopefully there will soon be a clear understanding in the mental health and therapy world that attempts to change somebody’s gender identity are no more appropriate than trying to change their sexual orientation.