Royal College of Psychiatrists criticise ‘gay treatment’ offered at Anglican Mainstream Conference

The Royal College of Psychiatrists have commented on the medical treatment proposed for homosexuality at the Anglican Mainstream conference Faith and the City being held in central London. Psychiatrists say there is no supporting evidence and such treatment could be damaging.

The event is being addressed by American psychologist Dr Joseph Nicolosi who says he has helped many people to become heterosexual. Dr Nicolosi told BBC News he had been helping people to “increase their heterosexual potential” for 25 years, and put his success rate among men at about two out of three. He said he was offering a choice for people who were unhappy being gay and claimed “We have a great deal of evidence showing that these individuals are not harmed and that the therapy does work.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) said there was no evidence that the treatment worked, and that it was likely to cause considerable distress. An RCP spokesman said: “There is no sound scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Furthermore, so-called treatments of homosexuality create a setting in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.”

The Royal College said the American Psychiatric Association had concluded there was no scientific evidence that homosexuality was a disorder and removed it from its diagnostic glossary of mental disorders in 1973. The World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases followed suit in 1992.

Join the discussion