Psychotherapists avoid questioning children who want to be transgender as they fear conversion therapy accusations

Mr Evans, who resigned from The Tavistock in 2019, said he has been approached by numerous parents over the past year concerned at the care their children are receiving in the NHS.

“They are worried that the services are pushing their child down a particular path,” he said. 

“The services often adopt an affirmation model, so if a female child says I’m a boy then you have to affirm that. There isn’t enough support for a proper exploration of the issues driving the underlying belief system either in the child or in the family. 

“The politicization of this area has interfered with good clinical care.”

Bob Withers, a psychotherapist for 35 years, has faced written threats to report him to his governing body, the UKCP, if he does not publicly endorse the new memorandum on conversation therapy. 

“Conversion therapy is obviously an abhorrent practice for sexuality, but gender identity is not the same thing,” he said. 

“I have been accused of practicing conversion therapy because I believe if someone, particularly a young child, wants medical treatment which could change their body forever, I think it’s important to explore the psychological reasons behind their desire to transition before hand. 

“I am not saying that people should not medically transition if it’s the right decision for them and they know what they are doing. But it concerns me that you can’t get a tattoo before 18 even with your parent’s permission, but you can get puberty blockers.”

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