The progress of a bill against Conversion Therapy : a reply from the Minister for Women & Equalities : 12th November 2018

by Julia Evans on November 12, 2018

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Update, 22nd February 2019  :

The following from the Church Times, may indicate that the difficulties of legislating a ban on Conversion Therapy (see below) alone, may be acknowledged.

Quote:

The survey ran online from 12 to 31 December. It attracted  4613 responses, of which 3908 were completed. The results, the report says, provide ‘strong evidence of the harm that attempts to change sexual orientation can inflict”.

The findings, however, raise questions about how a government ban on conversion therapy might work, given that, for those who had attempted to change their orientation, the most  prominent methods were private prayer, -bargaining “plea with God’, “deliverance ministry”, and “emotional healing”. Very few had sought help from NHS professionals

…….

Asked whom they had talked to for advice, they mainly responded ‘Religious Leader”(47 per cent), followed by ‘no one” (32 per cent). A small number – 12 per cent – had approached an NHS professional.

From Questions raised on conversion-therapy ban – The Church Times  by Madeleine Davies : 20th February 2019

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Reply from the Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Women & Equalities, see below, to my letter of 30th October 2018. See here for my letter. Ms Mordaunt has been tasked with getting this legislation, to prevent Conversion Therapy, through Parliament.

Comments

My argument is that

– it is not possible to separate Conversion Therapy discretely from the practice of talking therapies, as the talking therapies do not use symptoms, as discrete entities, as in medical practice. [See The Context for the APPG’s survey on prescribed drug dependence by Julia Evans on 30th  November 2018 or here for more detailed argument on this.]

– many subjects wish to change their sexual position. If coercion or psychological abuse is used, by the imposition of a non-existent sexual normality, then whatever the flavour of Talking Practitioner the perpetrator should be reported for a possible criminal offence. If more than one subject complains, then a case against the perpetrator needs to be built.  And if there is no coercion involved, will this new law add anything to existing legislation?

– It is possible that Conversion Therapy practitioners do so within religious establishment. Talking Therapists should not be targeted for this practice. How is the law going to operate on practitioners, unregistered within the Talking Therapies field, operating within or adjacent to churches, mosques, etc?  Why not use existing legislation?

However, Ms Mordaunt in the following reply, preaches from a position of certainty. She can wave her magic wand and make this ‘abhorrent practice’ disappear. I think not but await the publishing of her promised bill before further action.

An apt quote:

From Psychoanalysis and the Post-DSM Crisis : 2014 : Éric Laurent : See here

First of all, we have to privilege, in the field of psychopathology, the critique of the effects of abandonment produced by these clinical approaches that foreclose the subject. This approach is evident in the project of reviving a perfect classification that would be able to describe the subject exhaustively on the basis of psychopathology. Next, we need to be attentive to the effects of subverting the categories, the drugs, and all the instruments of the clinical field, by means of “off-label uses” (a term of which I am rather fond). More than wanting at any price to propose a new classification based on the subject and to redo a systematically updated clinic of the subject, psychoanalysis has to remain attentive to the subject’s subversion that follows any classification like its shadow, in keeping with the way that the classification is lived. Subjects who come to see psychoanalysts effectively come along, in a certain number of cases, brandishing labels, living with them and finding their bearings in them by using them to organise their experience. On the basis of the subversive uses that the subjects make of the classifications, and the way that each of them live with the labelling they have received, the psychoanalyst will try to discern how this anchors the subject’s history as a whole and gives order to it. Lastly, we have to call subjects back to the singularity of their desire, their fantasy, and their symptom, through the specific power of the psychoanalytic discourse. This is a discourse that underlines the dimension of the subject that lies outside the box, with its fundamental subversion of the categories, and an aspect that necessarily lies wide of the norm. This is where the psychoanalytic project of calling each subject back to the singularity of his delusion, in Lacan’s terms, meets Allen Frances’s project, which at first sight seeks the opposite because it is all about “saving normal”. Contrary to this, we seek to put paid to the different forms of prestige, and radically so.

Luckily, what Frances calls “saving normal” is actually about reminding us that everyone is a little ill, offbeat, out of step, and eccentric with respect to any category that seeks to centre the subject. It is this ex – sistence that needs to be highlighted in any discourse.

Related texts

The Context for the APPG’s survey on prescribed drug dependence by Julia Evans on 30th  November 2018 or here

Further on the progress of the Counsellors and Psychotherapy Regulation Bill (Conversion Therapy) by Julia Evans on 30th October 2018 or here

Opposing the Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation) and Conversion Therapy Bill by Julia Evans 23rd  August 2018 or here

Psychoanalysis and the Post-DSM Crisis : 2014 : Éric Laurent or here

 

Julia Evans

 

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From: “CORRESPONDENCE, GEO”

Subject: GEO-00701 reply

Date: 12 November 2018 at 17:11:44 GMT

To: “je.lacanian@icloud.com”

 

Dear Julia

 

Thank you for your e-mail of 1 November to the Minister for Women and Equalities, Penny Mordaunt, regarding conversion therapy. I am responding on the Minister’s behalf.

 

As we set out in our LGBT Action Plan earlier in the year, the Government’s position on this issue is that conversion therapy is an unacceptable practice that has no place in 21st century Britain. We are not prepared to let it continue. We will consider all legislative and non-legislative options to prohibit promoting, offering and conducting conversion therapy.

 

The Private Member’s Bill you refer to in your letter is not a Government Bill, nor is it being supported by the Government Equalities Office. We will make our position on this Bill clear if and when it comes before the House of Commons for Second Reading.

 

The Government has committed to bring forward its own proposals to end the practice of conversion therapy. We will set these out in more detail in due course.

 

Government Equalities Office

Government Equalities Office, Sanctuary Buildings,Great Smith Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3BT@WomenEqualities    www.gov.uk/geo

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Related texts

The Context for the APPG’s survey on prescribed drug dependence by Julia Evans on 30th  November 2018 or here

Further on the progress of the Counsellors and Psychotherapy Regulation Bill (Conversion Therapy) by Julia Evans on 30th October 2018 or here

Opposing the Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation) and Conversion Therapy Bill by Julia Evans 23rd  August 2018 or here

Psychoanalysis and the Post-DSM Crisis : 2014 : Éric Laurent or here

 

Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Earl’s Court, London

 

Other texts

Use of power here

Ethics here

Definitions of humanness here  & here

Responses to the UK Government action here

UK Government & Government action here

Lacanian Transmission : here

Of the clinic here

Texts on ‘The Symbolic Order in the XXIst Century’ here

Some Lacanian History : here

Topology : here

By Éric Laurent here

By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud : here

By Jacques Lacan here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here