Dr. Paul Miller, the psychiatrist who worked with scandal plagued former MP Iris Robinson has been reported to the General Medical Council (GMC) in Britain for practicing his therapy to “cure” gay people.
Miller, who operates a private practice in south Belfast, was the medical authority that Robison referred to when she made her now infamous remarks about gay people in 2008.
Miller also worked closely with Robinson as a part-time advisor when she was chair of the Health Committee at Stormont. HE was exposed last month when Patrick Strudwick, a gay journalist, went undercover to receive treatment from him.
Strudwick had two webcam therapy sessions with Miller in which the Belfast based psychiatrist encouraged him to become aroused and spoke about his own struggles to fight attraction to men.
Strudwick told the BBC: “It was very disturbing because I was acutely aware during the sessions of the effect this would be having on a vulnerable young person had I been genuinely seeking treatment. I felt disgusted and abused by his inappropriate sexual remarks during the sessions. To hear this from a psychiatrist during a session, it was like being sexually assaulted.”
Professor Michael King, a psychiatrist from University College and Dominic Davies, the founder and director of Pink Therapy, condemned Miller’s methods. Strudwick added that he wanted to see the psychiatrist struck off. Miller ran the now defunct Abeo organization (the group’s website is now closed) a group for conservative leaning therapists who believe that “same-sex attraction” in men is the result of “core un-met needs.”
Abeo is Latin for “to pass away” or “to come to an end.” Miller would not comment to the press about the complaint made against him this week and instead gave a statement to the BBC saying: “I am currently responding to a complaint made to the GMC and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment at this time.”
Research published last year found one in six therapists and psychiatrists in Britain had tried to turn a gay person straight, despite the fact that homosexuality was demedicalized in the UK years ago.
Critics of so-called reparative or “ex-gay” therapy say it can lead to mental health problems and self-harm. Meanwhile, Robinson remains under 24-hour suicide watch in hospital, with her party the DUP accusing the media of attempting to “pursue her to the grave.” Robinson stepped down from parliament earlier this year after what she called a “lifelong battle with depression.”
She revealed days later that she had cheated on her husband while in office. In a statement after her affair with a 19 year old man came to light Robison claimed that she believed God had forgiven her for her adultery, leading some critics to scoff at what they call her God-as-a-sock-puppet self-justification to get around the awkward facts of her own sinning.