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CLC Case Update – Lesley Pilkington

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Joint Statement by Lesley Pilkington and Andrea Minichiello Williams in response to the decision of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) of 23rd May 2011 and the Article written by Mr Strudwick in The Guardian Newspaper on 27 May 2011

Dear All,

Many thanks for your prayers and encouragement in these difficult times.  There is some information about my case on the website of Christian Concern, but in the light of developments, I would like to give some additional information.

Private Statement in Response to the BACP and the Guardian Article:  

I have decided to appeal the BACP’s decision.  I know you will understand that I need to act confidentially with respect to a ‘live’ case.

The Decision of the BACP and the article by Mr Strudwick

The article by Patrick Strudwick in The Guardian newspaper is inaccurate.  

Reparative Therapy for unwanted Same Sex Attraction (SSA) remains an appropriate treatment for individuals seeking re-orientation therapies for those who are distressed by their unwanted homosexuality.  Counsellors or therapists who provide this therapy are still acting professionally and in the best interests of their clients.

A Biased Decision Against Me

The BACP made a number of professional malpractice findings against me that are unsustainable and could have a ‘chilling effect’ on practitioners in this field.  It appears that there is a degree of bias by the BACP.

Patrick Strudwick is a journalist who was seeking a sensationalist story. He engaged in deceit and deception by pretending to be a Christian with unwanted SSA. Patrick had a microphone strapped to his chest and told lies about himself.

In short, the BACP found that a homosexual political activist (who had no unwanted SSA) who was targeting a Christian counsellor was a ‘client’. How can he really have been a ‘client’ when the BACP also found that he had misled me and manipulated the sessions?   If you look up SCOTT (Stop Conversion Therapy Taskforce) on Facebook you will clearly see Patrick’s agenda: i.e. to expose all therapists who work in this field and to force professional bodies to end this type of therapy.

The situation was very difficult.  If I had not offered the contractual service of Reparative Therapy then I would have breached my ethical commitments that Patrick and I had agreed; and when I did provide Reparative Therapy, the BACP would not take into account the Christian framework.  So I was condemned for what both Patrick and I had agreed at the beginning. Confusing!

The BACP chose to ignore the bigger picture, saying it was not the focus of the hearing. Patrick told me that he had made four tapes, one made during the initial meeting at the conference, where we agreed that I would be working within a biblical Christian framework, two made during the so called ‘counselling’ sessions and another made during the phone call in which he revealed his true identity. The BACP only wanted the recordings of the counselling sessions.  

I was not allowed to call any witnesses, including Dr Byrd, the leading expert on SSA, religious counselling and ethics.  He would have been able to address these matters in my favour.  It was professionally discourteous for the BACP to decide that they did not need to hear from him.

Every allegation made by Patrick against me was upheld.  The BACP found against me because our first appointment overran the usual hour. However, I had already explained to Patrick during this appointment that the Christian model can take more than an hour and he accepted that. The BACP also found against me because Patrick met my husband on an unforeseen visit to the toilet (in order to change his tapes!). The BACP said I was unprofessional as I did not address this incident.  

Conclusion

My grave concern about this decision is that it undermines the special confidential relationship between a counsellor and a client. It will prevent frank and open discussion on sensitive issues as a client can report the counsellor for having the ‘wrong’ views.

This is a spiritual conflict and we are in a battle. We must stand our ground. We are not downhearted but we are deeply disappointed with the BACP.  We want to ensure client self-determination - that individuals have the opportunity to choose reparative therapy if they feel it is appropriate for them. We also want therapists to be free to provide this therapy without being opposed by activists who insist that homosexual behaviour cannot and should not be changed. Finally, we want to uphold freedom of speech on these matters, so that we are ‘included’ in an inclusive and diverse society.

Please pray that this case will be used to totally change the homosexual agenda in this nation for the good of all. Please pray that we will continue to proclaim the love, forgiveness, hope and true freedom that is found only and supremely in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Lesley Pilkington and Andrea Minichiello Williams

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