Psychotherapists could be criminalised for treating children who want to be transgender under new laws banning conversion therapy, the Government has been warned.
Mental health professionals say that under new laws they could lose their licence or even face prison terms for exploring the reasons behind a child’s belief that they were born in the wrong body.
A group of therapists are now calling on ministers to exclude professional treatments of gender dysphoria from the ban, which could be announced as early as next week.
“It is our duty as therapists to explore feelings of gender dysphoria, including any underlying causes, especially when medical transitioning may be irreversible,” said Mr Esses, a children’s counsellor and trainee psychotherapist.
He warned that other countries such as Australia and Canada have already introduced draconian legislation and if the Government follows suit “there is a real risk that those with gender dysphoria, in particular children who need the time and space to think things through, will not get the support they need”.