The British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) has this week informed a Christian counsellor that, following her appeal, she will still lose her senior accredited status, after she was tricked into provided counselling to a fake client who was secretly an undercover journalist.
However, the Appeal Panel reversed much of the original decision against the counsellor, Lesley Pilkington, and has now lessened the original sanctions against her.
Mrs Pilkington, a counsellor with over 20 years of experience, was originally subject to a complaint made by homosexual journalist Patrick Strudwick, who approached Lesley while attending a Christian conference about sexuality and pretended to be a Christian in need of help over unwanted homosexual attraction. Lesley agreed to help him and they mutually agreed that the counselling would be based on Christian principles.
Throughout the two counselling sessions, Mr Strudwick repeatedly told Lesley that he wanted to leave his homosexual lifestyle, that it had become meaningless to him and that he wanted to change.
Following the sessions he lodged a complaint to the BACP to get her struck off. He also secretly recorded his two sessions with Lesley, and then sold his story to a national newspaper, maligning Lesley in the press.
The Appeal Panel found this week that Lesley should still lose her senior accredited status because she should not have assumed that Mr Strudwick wanted to proceed under the same therapeutic approach that she offered, despite the fact they both agreed to do so. It also found that she should not have taken his claim that he was depressed because of his homosexuality at face value.