‘Criminal’ investigation may be launched against counsellor who ‘claims to cure homosexuality’

lgbA ‘PSYCHOTHERAPIST’ who may or may not be legitimate and registered is being investigated by the Madrid regional government for advertising that she can ‘cure’ homosexuality.

Her website was flagged up by Arcópoli, a community and legal support association for the LGB (lesbian, gay and bisexual) population, and claims she is a ‘professional coach and counsellor specialising in sexual orientation aimed at people with Same-Sex Attraction (SSA) and able to ‘cure’ people with ‘unwanted homosexual feelings that cause them to live an unhappy and unsatisfied life’.

The alleged coach assures that people ‘are not born homosexual’ and offers ‘a guided process’ which ‘detects the causes’ that ‘led the person to experience SSA’.

Four dubious testimonials from young people of both sexes are included on the website, saying they are in or have been in therapy and who assure they ‘discovered they were not really gay’ or had ‘left behind their lesbianism’ as a result of treatment.

“Therapy claiming to cure homosexuality is false, non-scientific and merely plays with the feelings of people who suffer emotionally, not because of being homosexual, but as a result of homophobia in society,” Arcópoli states.

The so-called ‘coach’, Elena Lozano, does not seem to appear on any registers and may be unregulated, or the entire website may even be an attempt at fraud, Arcópoli considers.
“These alleged ‘therapists’, who try to make people believe that homosexual feelings can be cured, are only generating false hopes which will aggravate their suffering and hold back their personal development,” Arcópoli’s coordinator Yago Blando says.

“Our work at Arcópoli is to build a free and equal society, which means it is vital to get rid of weird unscientific ‘remedies’ that appear to have been dragged up from darker times in our history.”

Although no concrete evidence for a genetic basis for homosexuality has been conclusively found, twin studies in the last 25 years strongly indicate this may be the case – concordance rates for monozygotic (identical) twins in terms of homosexuality are said to be between 30% and 52%, compared with 22% in the case of dizygotic twins, who only share 50% of their DNA in the same way as any other separately-born brother or sister – and anecdotal evidence points at an increased likelihood of homosexuality having a multiple presence in the same family.

But whether or not it is genetic, professional counsellors stress that people ‘cannot help what they truly feel’ and trying to change it is damaging and destructive, and as yet no common ’cause’ in any homosexual or bisexual person’s environment has ever been found.

In the Greater Madrid region, homophobia is illegal thanks to a new law passed in July, and the regional ministry for family and social policy has opened an inquiry with a view to criminal action against the ‘therapist’ if Arcópoli’s suspicions are proven true.

Spain was the world’s fourth country to legalise same-sex marriage, in 2005 – after The Netherlands, Belgium and just weeks after Canada – and is one of the safest and most accepting countries on the planet towards homosexual residents and tourists with active policies and laws aimed at protecting against discrimination.

Published Think Spain 29 August 2016

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