20 November 2019
The International Federation for Therapeutic and Counselling Choice
DECLARATION - 2019
The International Federation for Therapeutic and Counselling Choice (IFTCC) has met for its 2-day 5th Annual Conference in Budapest, Hungary, concluding today 17th November 2019 with Country Representatives and attenders from 23 Nations.
The IFTCC’s Executive and General Board will continue to declare to our governments, local authorities, human rights organisations and media institutions[i],[ii],[iii],[iv],[v],[vi],[vii] that everyone should have the freedom and right to walk away from sexual experiences and practices they find unfulfilling, and have support to do so. In addition, everyone should have the freedom and right to live according to their values and beliefs that bring them happiness. Further, everyone should have the freedom and right to seek to reduce sexual or gender feelings or behaviours in order to preserve their marriage and family, so that they may go on being lifetime mothers and fathers as they desire. No one should take these freedoms and rights away from them. They, not politicians or activists in mental health guilds, should make their own choices.
We therefore object to ongoing discrimination against persons formerly gay- or transgender-identified, who have, or will in the future seek professional counselling or pastoral help to assist their transition from unwanted behaviours and feelings. We repudiate the deceitful political campaign waged increasingly across mental health bodies which labels all such support for this population group as “Conversion Therapy”, and instances of “homo-trans-phobic” hate-speech – itself bullying language. We will stand with this population in our objection to ongoing discrimination, coercion and bullying against them.
Consistent attempts by LGBT activists in governments and elsewhere to conflate the fake term ‘conversion therapy’, including electro-shock and morally reprehensible aversion techniques - all administered by the world’s medical fraternities - with standard, predominantly psychodynamic, evidence-based talking-therapy explorations of fluid sexual attractions, is disingenuous. This is an unacceptable political strategy. It continues to damage those now forced to live with homosexual or transgender identities as professionals are denied the opportunity to support client-choice to leave unwanted homosexual and transgender practices. We note with interest the complete silence of LGBT activists and allies who oppose therapeutic choice, on the moral unacceptability of medical fraternities which historically endorsed the use of pornography and even prostitution to 'help' people with sexual problems.'
The IFTCC will continue to defy political attempts that deny individuals their right to autonomy and choice in sexual expression and identity, congruent with more primary religious or philosophical beliefs. It will do so by continuing to facilitate self-regulation, professional development and collegiality in the practices of our members. Our work will continue to explore the scientific, ethical and professional literature along with evidence-based research and the best practice available to us.
We will also continue to develop Practice Guidelines and the ethical framework that underpins the work of any practitioner wishing to associate with us. Seeking to do good to all, we are committed to promoting attitudes of respect, harmony and dignity towards those persons identified as LGBTIQ+.
We reject widespread media misrepresentation and disinformation which has uncritically adopted “conversion therapy” nomenclature based on the philosophical and ideological premise that sexual “orientation” is innate and immutable. We know of no mental health guilds, however radical, that say sexual “orientation” is inborn and unchangeable. Their consensus on that and definitive research[viii] have established that the development of sexual “orientation” is somewhat influenced by genes but not definitively so and mostly influenced by experience in an individual’s environment that may begin very early—like other complex human traits professional therapists help people diminish or change every day.
The IFTCC will strive to offer an alternative association point for any professional, lay person, or organisation whose confidence has been shattered, or practice interrupted by the uncritical politicisation of sexuality that many of our governments have allowed or promoted.
We warn the religious communities in our countries that proposed and enforced banning of therapeutic choice and aligned diplomatic initiatives or incentives, is aimed at deposing the freedom of parents to raise their children according to values consistent with their faith. It will curtail freedom of religion to practise and promote truth in the public space and revive a secular humanist order encouraging sexual licence, practised by the ancients across the gender boundaries and known as “pansexuality”. We call this new religious framework, “pansexual humanism”.
The IFTCC is a registered entity in Great Britain and serves an international community which supports our Mission, Value Statement and Practice Guidelines.
Signed 17th November 2019, Budapest
More about the IFTCC
[vi] Malta Government’s public denial of Ex-Gay minority and viewpoint discrimination in Chapter 567 Affirmation of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression Act. Submission to the OSCE HDIM October, 2019
[vii] A call to protect the human rights and freedom of speech of ex-LGBT community and Christians in Poland and all over the world." Submission to the OSCE HDIM October 2019
[viii] Andrea Ganna, Karin J. H. Verweij, Michel G. Nivard, Robbee Wedow. Vol 365, Issue 6456 30 August 2019 Large-scale GWAS reveals insights into the genetic architecture of same-sex sexual behavior,