Letter from PCU re LGBT Heal in NHS, 1/4/19

01/04/19 to Penny Mordaunt MP 

Dear Minister

The Psychotherapy and Counselling Union (PCU) welcome the appointment of a National Adviser for LGBT Health in the NHS, and the creation of an Advisory Panel that will “focus on key issues such as conversion therapy…” 

Conversion therapy has been a particular concern for counsellors and psychotherapists for many years. The ‘Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy in the UK’, to which PCU is a signatory, emerged from 10 years of debate informed by LGBT+ people and groups, engaging 11 professional bodies of psychotherapists and counsellors, the NHS, the Royal College of GP’s, The Association of LGBT Doctors and Dentists, and supported by Stonewall. 

We are therefore astonished and alarmed that there are no therapists on the Advisory Panel, a particularly striking omission for a group with an explicit focus on conversion therapy. 

We request urgent information on the reasoning behind excluding therapists from the Advisory Panel.

We strongly urge the National Advisor, the Advisory Panel and the government to involve representatives of the field of psychotherapy and counselling on the Panel. 

The exclusion of psychotherapists and counsellors from a group that has been created to ‘focus on key issues such as conversion therapy’ leaves the Advisory Panel open to accusations of ignorance of the significance of the psychological therapies for LGBT Health.

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