UK Therapist Misrepresents Reasons for Dismissal from Professional Body
November 28th, 2012
By Dave Rattigan
Mike Davidson, leader of the Northern Ireland-based Core Issues, has again misrepresented the reasons why he was dismissed from the British Psychodrama Association.
The ex-gay therapist, whose group effectively promotes the work of NARTH in the UK, has complained before that his membership was revoked without a hearing. In his latest missive, to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, he repeats the claim:
I am one of three forced out of membership of professional psychotherapeutic bodies in the UK for maintaining that the right to align the expression of sexual feelings to personal values is a fundamental and inalienable right. In two previously well-publicised cases, two colleagues, like me, were removed from professional membership: the first simply indicated that he might have difficulty offering advice on sexual technique to same-sex partners; the second, offered therapy to a undercover journalist who posed as a client and who later complained that her service was damaging. I was expelled because, on national radio I upheld the view publically, that individuals have a right to decide to move away from homosexuality and to access professional psychotherapeutic help in support of their goals, where these are genuinely held and are reasonable aspirations. My expulsion, ten months on, has been without hearing, and no evidence put before me.I have addressed the allegations’ lack of substance before, and the reasoning stands. The BPA had clear rules that forbade the practice and promotion of ex-gay conversion therapy, and Mike Davidson openly flouted them. There was no need for an investigation because no one, including Davidson himself, disputed that the rules had been broken. Davidson proudly admitted he had failed to follow his own professional organization’s ethical guidelines and vowed he would continue to do so willingly. This is far more than simply making a statement on a radio program.
Davidson invokes the story of Lesley Pilkington to bolster his claim that Christian therapists are being persecuted in Europe, but Pilkington is yet another professional whose conduct was grossly unprofessional. Religious conservatives in the UK have misrepresented her case as Davidson is now representing his own expulsion from the BPA.
Lesley Pilkington was removed from her professional body, the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, not because she had offered to help change a client’s sexual orientation (in fact, that didn’t come into the ruling at all), but because of a number of other shocking offences: namely, she suggested her client’s homosexuality was due to Freemasonry in the family, and told him twice that he he had been sexually abused as a child. When he denied it, she told him he had suppressed the memory and insisted the molestation had occurred at the hands of a family member. Pilkington’s behaviour was disgraceful — although it did not stop a swath of British evangelicals coming to her defence.
Mike Davidson knows quite well a BPA investigation into his expulsion would be unnecessary. He knew the rules when he signed up, and he knows and boasts about breaking them. Given that, it’s clear his complaint is a stunt for attention. He’s grandstanding for his and Core Issues’ pet cause. He’s entitled to get publicity any way he can, of course