Target: Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC) Chair Tony Ruddle
Goal: Applaud condemnation of “reparative therapy” as damaging and unethical
In a recent statement to its members, the United Kingdom’s group for Christian counselors took the opportunity to clarify its position on “reparative” or “conversion” therapy, colloquially known as “ex-gay” therapy, in which a non-heterosexual individual is encouraged or forced to abandon their sexuality. This therapeutic track operates on the assumption that sexuality is an active decision people make and can reverse, and has traditionally been endorsed by right-wing religious groups, especially Christians. So the fact that the ACC unequivocally declared conversion therapy to be in violation of their “Ethics and Practice framework” is heartening, to say the least.
The ACC has officially acknowledged that the ethical problems associated with conversion therapy are twofold. Not only does it violate the UK’s Equality Act 2010 and assume that non-heterosexuality is a disease which can be cured, but it also violates the ACC’s principles regarding the outcomes of therapy; they refuse to endorse “any model that implies a predetermined direction of outcome of counseling at the outset.” Such a model, they point out, suggests that conversion is within the realm of possibility for any individual, and therefore that conversion and submission to heteronormative culture is the desired result of counseling.
By signing this petition, you are supporting this clarified stance on conversion therapy and thanking the ACC for acknowledging the ethical issues with conversion therapy, especially as the relevant experts.
Dear Chair Ruddle and Association of Christian Counsellors,
As you know, conversion therapy or ex-gay therapy is a relatively recent blight in a long history of flawed treatment of non-heterosexual citizens, championed for the most part by radical right-wing religious groups. This method is unethical and gives credibility to the damaging assumptions at its core, namely that non-heterosexuality is a disease or a choice for which there exists a desirable cure. The recent statement of the ACC making clear its stance against these therapies succinctly and tactfully outlined the ethical issues directly relevant to the practice of counseling among your membership.
Thank you for acknowledging that counselors should never force upon their patients a predetermined, one-size-fits-all direction for progress in their therapy sessions. Thank you for your tactful treatment of an issue that has attempted to transform unbiased counselors into political pawns.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Zesmerelda via Flickr