LONDON, June 1, 2011 ( – A Christian psychotherapist may be “struck off” and barred from practicing after a tribunal declared last week that her efforts to help homosexuals leave the “gay lifestyle” was “reckless,” “disrespectful,” “dogmatic” and “unprofessional.”

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) found Lesley Pilkington guilty of professional malpractice after she let her “personal preconceived views about gay lifestyle and sexual orientation … affect her professional relationship in a way that was prejudicial.”

The case against Pilkington was a sting operation conducted by homosexual activist and journalist Patrick Strudwick, who approached her in 2009 asking for help in overcoming his same-sex attraction. Strudwick secretly recorded the conversations in their two therapy sessions and used the recordings to lodge a complaint against Pilkington with the BACP.

Although the rulings of the tribunal were supposed to remain confidential, Strudwick published excerpts in the Guardian newspaper. In response, the Christian Legal Centre has published other excerpts, among which was the comment from the BACP that Strudwick had “in significant ways deliberately misled [Pilkington] into believing that he was comfortable and accepting of her approach” and that he had “manipulated the content of the sessions to a considerable extent in order to meet his own agenda.”

Despite this, the BACP found Pilkington guilty of professional malpractice for having extended the session with Strudwick over the allotted hour and for failing to counsel Strudwick after a meeting with her husband while the gay journalist had been out of the room.

The ruling stated that Pilkington’s membership in the BACP will be suspended and that she would be struck off the register if she does not undergo training.

Strudwick published a transcript of his meeting with Pilkington in the Independent newspaper in February 2010. In his piece in the Guardian this week, Strudwick defended his actions, claiming to be an “out, happily gay man”.

He admits that he asked Pilkington to help him, saying, “I asked her to make me straight. Her attempts to do so flout the advice of every major mental-health body in Britain.”

Pilkington is appealing the decision and has defended “reparative therapy,” saying, “I am deeply concerned that the privileged and confidential relationship between a counselor and her patient will be undermined by a journalist seeking a sensationalist story without any substance.”

“It is an abuse by the Guardian newspaper. Accordingly, I propose to act with restraint.”

She added, “Reparative Therapy is a valid therapy that many people want and it should not be damaged by irresponsible reporting. The hearing is still subject to an appeal.”