A woman who says she was tricked into spending nearly $70,000 on gay cure therapy has launched a lawsuit against the “therapist” who forced the treatment.
The lawsuit was filed by the National Centre for Lesbian Rights on behalf of Katherine McCobb who was victim to “gay cure” therapy for several years.
In the lawsuit, McCobb explained that she had gone to the therapist, Lloyd W. Willey, seeking help for issues not concerning her sexuality.
However, she insists that he became “fixated” on McCobb’s lesbian identity and over the period of eight years he manipulated her into trying to change her sexuality.
The therapist allegedly tried to get McCobb to become “softer, sexier and more feminine” as well as to date one of his male patients.
She explained that she had “trusted her therapist”.
But because of this trust, “I was defrauded of tens of thousands of dollars as a result,” McCobb explained.
McCobb claimed that the therapist had tried to “rewire” her brain to change her sexual orientation.
Willey allegedly believed her lesbian identity was “unnatural”.
He also reportedly told her that if she “tried hard enough, she could become ‘as womanly and heterosexual” as the other women in the group.
Shannon Price Minter, the legal director for the National Centre for Lesbian Rights, said that the therapist’s action had been illegal.
Minter said: “Therapists who exploit vulnerable people by taking their money based on false claims that being lesbian or gay is unnatural and that counselling can change a person’s sexual orientation are engaging in fraud.
“Our complaint alleges that our client, in this case, paid tens of thousands of dollars based on false promises that therapy could change her attraction to women.
“Charging a person money based on such bald-faced misrepresentations violates California’s consumer protection laws,” Minter added.
Therapy to change a person’s sexual orientation has been denounced by almost every major medical associations, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychological Association.
British medical bodies will strike off anyone who practices ‘gay cure’ therapy, though it isn’t illegal.