Following recent action taken by the US state of California to outlaw any gay reparative therapy for children under 18, Britain’s biggest professional body for psychotherapists has announced to its members that the practice is unethical.

The change in its official policy – which has long been demanded by gay rights groups – was announced in a letter to the near-30,000 members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

”[The Association] opposes any psychological treatment such as ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder, or based on the premise that the client/patient should change his/her sexuality,” the letter stated.

The letter also recognised the policy of the World Health Organisation that such therapies can cause great harm to mental and physical health.

”There is no scientific, rational or ethical reason to treat people who identify within a range of human sexualities any differently from those who identify solely as heterosexual,” the letter concluded.

The policy change followed a case in which a Christian psychotherapist, Lesley Pilkington, was removed from the association for offering conversion therapy to an undercover journalist.

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