Bigot Psychotherapist to be fired

Britain is starting to drop the hammer on homophobic counselors and psychotherapists. For starters, there was the counselor Gary McFarlane who was sacked after he refused to service a gay couple, and now it looks like another mental help professional is getting the boot:

A psychotherapist faces being struck off after trying to ‘convert’ a homosexual man.

Lesley Pilkington, 60, a therapist for 20 years, is accused of ‘praying to God’ to ‘heal’ the patient .

Mrs Pilkington, will appear at a landmark disciplinary hearing this week where she faces being stripped of her accreditation to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

One of her clients recorded her therapy session, which included her suggesting that homosexuality was a mental illness and a “anti-religious phenomenon”.

Of course, she’s trying to argue the whole thing is entrapment, and she had made it clear to her client she used a “Biblical framework” for her therapy. That’s simple Christian-speak for “I use select passages of the Bible to accuse gay men of being abominations”. Luckily, the Royal College of Psychiatrists says this kind of “therapy” is complete shit, and it’s very likely that she’ll be sacked.

What’s really sad is Pilkington’s own son is gay, and she refuses to acknowledge it’s anything but a “lifestyle choice”. Man, can you imagine having this close-minded bitch for a mother?

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Comments (23)

  • avatar

    Carly

    Not that this on the same level of severity, but my therapist of 5 years would occasionally tell me she was praying for me. She also talked often about her daughter who is doing a second year of missionary work in Australia. I just wouldn’t respond. What I really wanted to say was, “I have zero respect for what your daughter is doing. And don’t talk about it in session.” But I didn’t, and I’m no longer working with her.

  • avatar

    Brandon (Men's Battle Plan)

    This is interesting. I thought that most studies have concluded that spirituality and religion help a patient’s mental and physical health?

    The Human Population Laboratory in Berkley did a study that concluded “frequent attenders of religious events had lower mortality rates than infrequent attenders. Results were stronger for females. Health adjustments had little impact, but adjustments for social connections and health practices reduced the relationship. During follow-up, frequent attenders were more likely to stop smoking, increase exercising, increase social contacts, and stay married.

    CONCLUSIONS: Lower mortality rates for frequent religious attenders are partly explained by improved health practices, increased social contacts, and more stable marriages occurring in conjunction with attendance. The mechanisms by which these changes occur have broad intervention implications.”

    Maybe this isn’t generally known or true. Are there any studies that show otherwise?

  • avatar

    Carly

    I prefer my re-wording:

    Lower mortality rates for frequent religious attenders are partly explained by avoiding dangerous situations by practically living at church, only socializing with people who have the same beliefs as theirs, and staying in unhappy marriages because it’s what God wants.

  • avatar

    Jon

    Brandon: One study doesn’t prove anything. You need MANY studies. If the data correlates, you’ve got something. That’s how science works. Besides, was this (isolated) study of yours taken in the US? How would it compare to studies taken in more secular countries like Sweden, New Zealand or the Netherlands?

    Before you ask for studies that ‘prove otherwise’, you might be so kind as to link to the study that YOU YOURSELF are referencing.

    You can’t just allude to a study (that you conveniently haven’t been kind enough to share with the rest of the class) and say “This shows X conclusion and it stands until somebody proves otherwise!” That’s NOT how science works!

    So much for keeping us honest and being the voice of reason.

  • avatar

    Brandon (Men's Battle Plan)

    Jon, thanks for explaining how science works. Are you saying that more than one study is needed? wow. Thanks for setting me straight.

    I’m not saying that this study proves anything conclusively and absolutely. There are plenty of studies that come to the same conclusion as I’m sure that there are studies that come to different conclusions.

    That’s why I asked for studies that proved otherwise. start googling my friend. They’re out there.

    Dude, the comment on another post about me being the voice of reason and keeping you honest was tongue in cheek. Plus, as you know, if I posted ONE comment that wasn’t reasonable or kept you honest then that wouldn’t prove anything. I would need to post MANY comments to prove that I was keeping you honest. That’s HOW IT works! haha. just messin’ with you.

    I just want to have intelligent conversation with others who believe differently than me. Plus, as you know from others, I’m actually an atheist ….haven’t you heard?

  • avatar

    Jon

    We’re still waiting for that *first* comment displaying the depth and breadth of your mad reasoning skills… any time you’re ready!

    Of course you’re not saying one study proves it conclusively. That would be way too falsifiable and thus leave you no room to weasel out or make excuses when somebody else points out the flaws. But it seems almost every single last comment you leave on every single article here goes thusly…

    “Hmmm… this is interesting!

    According to a study I pulled out of my anus, Religious people are better equipped to deal with X, Y and Z situations. Google it if you don’t believe me!”

    If you’ve got a point to make, make it. Take a shit or get off the pot. And no, I’m not going to Google anything for you. You’re the attempting a half-assed claim (or insinuation at best), so do your own homework.

    p.s. Deflecting with painfully unfunny quips didn’t work for Bill O’Reilley and it’s sure as shit not going to work for you.

  • avatar

    chocobar

    If the studies that Brandon quotes are true, the conclusion I would draw would have less to do with “spirituality” and more to do with the “community” religious people belong to.

    Even if you don’t like religions, you have to admit that when it comes to building communities and support networks, churches have it down to a science.

    My grandmother used to say, if it wasn’t for the support she received from the people at the church, she would not have been able to make it after her husband passed away.

    (sorry, no stats or studies to back any of this up;-)

  • avatar

    Brandon (Men's Battle Plan)

    Sorry. You’re right, I should have given the link. Most of the link come from The National Center for Biotechnology Information. They “advance science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. ”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9224176 . “Frequent attendance at religious services and mortality over 28 years.”

    Here’s another one from Duke University:”Does religious attendance prolong survival? A six-year follow-up study of 3,968 older adults.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10462170

    Another one from Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center and Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center: Does religious activity improve health outcomes? A critical review of the recent literature.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16781528
    DATA SYNTHESIS: Religious intervention such as intercessory prayer may improve success rates of in vitro fertilization, decrease length of hospital stay and duration of fever in septic patients, increase immune function, improve rheumatoid arthritis, and reduce anxiety. Frequent attendance at religious services likely improves health behaviors. Moreover, prayer may decrease adverse outcomes in patients with cardiac disease.CONCLUSIONS: Religious activity may improve health outcomes.

  • avatar

    LeetheGirl

    I have to say I’m surprise, pleasantly, that this is taking place in England…

    I had a mental image of England being overall less tolerable of homosexuality and non-religious practices.

  • avatar

    Ann

    As to the studies, the guy who does the Reasonable Doubts podcast is studying the phenomenon of why religious people do better in those studies & found, basically, that people who regularly go to atheist/secular groups do just as well as the religious, regular church-goers. It was the regular group involvement that counted.

  • avatar

    TheRichDarkEarth

    MBP’s assertion is that religion is mentally and physically beneficial. Which raises some questions. What about different religions? Have there been any similar studies regarding people of different faiths? Do they experience the same benefits? What if you change your faith? Would these benefits suddenly appear/disappear?

  • avatar

    Brandon (Men's Battle Plan)

    Ann, would love to see that study. Please post the medical journal that the study was published in.

  • avatar

    Rebo

    Perhaps my googling skills need resharpening, but search for “The Human Population Laboratory” only came up with a private company in Berkley composed of five employees. Little help here?

  • avatar

    Brandon

    Rebo, sounds like you found them.

  • avatar

    Jon

    Maybe I should have said this first, but even if these studies say what Brandon claims they say… so what? All they prove is that people who have a social network and support from a community benefit from it. Last time I checked, you could have that *without* any bronze-age superstitions or ass-backwards concepts of a fixed morality. Most cases, it’s actually better that way.

    None of it goes any way to proving that Brandon’s god (or anybody else’s) actually exists.

  • avatar

    Brandon (Men's Battle Plan)

    Jon, try to stay focused. The topic that we are discussing here isn’t whether God exists, it’s whether a counselor or psychotherapist should be allowed to use what you may claim to be “outdated” practices.

    We are also discussing whether they should they be removed from the British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy if they find that a counselor doesn’t want to take a client in which she feels that she will not be able to help based on her counseling methods.

    “All they prove is that people who have a social network and support from a community benefit from it.”Jon
    You are wrong. The study proves that a RELIGIOUS communities benefit. It’s a huge leap to assume that because religious people will benefit that all people will benefit. After lecturing me on “how science works” I would have expected more in your reasoning.

    Based on your reasoning, if I hung out with crack addicts on a regular basis then I should have “improve success rates of in vitro fertilization, decrease length of hospital stay and duration of fever in septic patients, increase immune function, improve rheumatoid arthritis, and reduce anxiety”?

    Would I expect the same results from a weekly get together of the cigar smoking club?

    “Last time I checked, you could have that *without* any bronze-age superstitions or ass-backwards concepts of a fixed morality. Most cases, it’s actually better that way.” Jon
    True. But I want to see proof of this. The last study I listed was mostly about religious intervention, such as prayer. They concluded that prayer helps. This isn’t just about having a community.

    I asked for someone to produce other studies showing different results and you didn’t want to do this. So readers hopefully will have enough sense to see that your arguments are weak.

    Extreme views of religion, such as Jake’s, automatically associates mental illness and stupidity to anyone that is religious. If he were on the board of the BACP, because of his bigotry, I bet he would want to eliminate all religious people from practicing medicine.

  • avatar

    Jon

    Stay focused? It was YOU who changed tack with your studies and asking other people to prove you wrong. In case you didn’t get the memo, none of US have any obligation to ‘prove wrong’ any half-baked bullshit theories you might throw out. We’re not the ones asserting anything unsubstantiated by fact. You’re the one making the claims… YOU pony up the proof. Maybe “This is how it is until you prove me wrong!” might pass as logic in apologist circles, but you’ll have to do better than that here.

    As for Jacob’s ‘extreme’ views of religion, I don’t claim to speak for him, but that’s a hell of a straw-man you’re building. I take it you were asleep when he’s mentioned (several times) his friends and relatives who are believers? Jacob can correct me if I’m wrong here, but most of us don’t give two shits what you believe or pray to. It’s when you start to shovel that shit onto everybody else, legislate based upon it and – in the case of this article – let it affect your profession that it becomes a problem.

    Isn’t it weird that Muslims have to blow shit up and Christians have to shoot up abortion clinics to be labelled ‘extremists’, but all an Atheist like Jacob has to do is make a podcast and speak his fucking mind? I can see why us ‘Atheist Extremists’ are making you shake in your boots… I’d be shit scared of us too!

  • avatar

    Brandon (Men's Battle Plan)

    “You’re the one making the claims… YOU pony up the proof.” -Jon
    I did.

    “Isn’t it weird that Muslims have to blow shit up and Christians have to shoot up abortion clinics to be labelled ‘extremists’, but all an Atheist like Jacob has to do is make a podcast and speak his fucking mind?” -Jon

    Jake speaks his mind and what comes out is bigotry and hatred for those who are religious. You don’t have to blow anything up to know that someone is extreme.
    How many religious extremists do you know who haven’t blown anything up but have just spoke their mind? Plenty, correct?

    My point in this discussion is that I don’t think it’s fair or reasonable to take away one’s livelihood and profession just because one disagrees with their religious views. Let the lady practice the way she has been practicing and don’t discriminate based on religion.

    On BACP’s website (http://www.bacp.co.uk/equality/index.php) they say “The Policy reflects not only national legislation and guidelines on good practice, but also BACP are mindful of our own internal references including the monitoring of BACP’s progress in respect of the following:
    Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
    Which states “is a new plank of United Kingdom labour law designed to combat discrimination in relation to people’s religion or belief, or absence of religion or belief.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employment_Equality_%28Religion_or_Belief%29_Regulations_2003

  • avatar

    Jon

    Sure, there’s plenty of extremists who haven’t (personally) blown anything up or killed anybody, but they’ve sure as hell advocated it with their rhetoric. And they’ve definitely tried to fuck people over with legislation.

    Maybe I’m just not listening as closely, but I’ve yet to hear Jacob advocating (let alone condoning) killing religious people. Or for that matter, your personal fear, being diagnosed as ‘crazy’ and locked down in the psych ward.

    Don’t even get me started on the irony of a Psychotherapist crying “OMG!!! BIGOTRY!!” when the rest of society tells her that she can’t use her bronze age mythology to spew homophobia.

    In summary, it’s not the belief in and of itself, but beliefs inform actions. And in this case, her primitive superstitions are leading to homophobia. In a civilized society, we don’t tolerate that shit.

  • avatar

    Brandon

    Jon, Jake’s rhetoric is hateful and you can’t see it cuz you’ve drank his kool-aid. The language you guys use to describe religious people is nasty.

    I have never said they Jacob has advocating killing religious people. As far as Jake saying that religious people are crazy, what about when he said “If believing in an invisible imaginary friend isn’t considered insanity, what hope do we have to properly identify it?”

    You call it homophobia but that is such a broad term that I’m not even sure how to respond.

    I like what one commenter said on the subject from the Dailymail article above: “There is no evidence that homosexuality is innate and immutable. Genetic markers supposedly found for homosexuality were declared to be “heritable,” not “inherited.” It is no different than saying someone has heritable characteristics for playing professional basketball. Height, athletic ability, probably black or Nordic descent – these are heritable traits, but you can’t inherit basketball playing, nor does just possessing these traits mean you will play basketball. That being said, people have been fed a lot of misinformation and propaganda – mostly from the APA, who lack the proper tools to assist in helping an individual overcome homosexual tendencies. Then again, psychiatry has never been very effective to begin with. It is an ugly life sentence we’ve consigned homosexuals to endure. As Simon Fanshaw asked, “Are we really swimming in a sewer that we’re all just saying is normal?”

  • avatar

    Jon

    You honestly think homosexuality isn’t genetic?

    *facepalm*

    If it’s a choice, then what made you *choose* to be a heterosexual? Is the only reason you haven’t ridden your bike on the other side of the street because god says no? Go on… you can tell us. Unlike your ‘friends’ in the pews, we won’t judge you for your desire to be split in half by a well-hung stud named Troy until he fills you up with his boiling hot man-cream. By the way, the only people condemning homosexuals to an ugly life are bigots like YOU and this Psychotherapist.

    Most of my Dad’s friends are gay men (he hates macho sports-oriented redneck bullshit as much as I do) and I myself have gay and bisexual friends. They’re some of the most honest, caring people I’ve had the privilege to meet, they know what it’s like to be discriminated against because you’re not like mainstream society, and any one of them individually is a much better human being than the likes of vermin like you will ever be.

    So, now that you’ve made a half-assed attempt to use psychiatric studies on ‘religious health’ and it hasn’t gone your way, you’re going to say that “Psychiatry has never been considered effective”? Who – besides Tom Cruise and the Church Of Scientology – is saying that? Psychiatry is a science and like any science, constantly assessing new information, growing and refining its methodology.

    p.s. To everybody else, I apologise for this long-ass back and forth. If Brandon still feels the need to bang his head against a wall, we can take it to Facebook if you prefer. I shouldn’t be too hard for him to find, if he really must.

  • avatar

    Brandon

    I’m not going to declare that I believe that homosexuality is a choice or not. Honestly, I don’t know. Which is why I chose to quote someone else who seemed more knowledgeable. What I felt like that person was saying was that we haven’t seen proof. I could be persuaded one way or the other about whether it’s a choice.

    “By the way, the only people condemning homosexuals to an ugly life are bigots like YOU ” Jon

    Why am I a bigot? I am just saying that I don’t see proof that it is a choice. Please convince me otherwise. I’m very open to understanding what you have to say. Honestly I don’t really care what a guy does with another guy or girl with another girl. That’s their business. You somehow seem to think that I hate them or have animosity towards them. Why?

    Bigot: A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one exhibiting intolerance, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs.

    I usually talk on forums at achristianandanatheist.com. Come over, create a username and we’ll talk more. I’ll create a new topic about this subject.

  • avatar

    Dev Nul

    “Gary McFarlane” huh? Well I hope Gary realizes that there is a little “GAY” in every “GArY”. Homophobia is such a red flag of denial. =)

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