Alex Blaze


Filed By Alex Blaze | August 06, 2009 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: American Psychological Association, ex-gay ministries, LGBT, lost cause, religion, report, study

Ex-gay therapy doesn't work:

No solid evidence exists that such change is likely, says the resolution, adopted by a 125-4 vote. The APA said some research suggests that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.

Instead of seeking such change, the APA urged therapists to consider multiple options -- that could range from celibacy to switching churches -- for helping clients live spiritually rewarding lives in instances where their sexual orientation and religious faith conflict.

The APA had criticized reparative therapy in the past, but a six-member task force added weight to this position by examining 83 studies on sexual orientation change conducted since 1960. Its report was endorsed by the APA's governing council in Toronto, where the 150,000-member association's annual meeting is being held this weekend.

It's good they passed this resolution, but something tells me that if there are any mental health professionals who are still working on ex-gay therapy, a resolution from any sort of professional body isn't going to reach them. It's 2009, and if they haven't read any of the multitude of studies, or if their interest was never piqued by the fact that people have generally gotten more accepting of seeing gay people on TV and movies, then they're probably in the "lost cause" category. And I wouldn't expect those folks to give up for at least another couple of centuries.

Good move, though, on the APA's part to further marginalize these sorts.

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I'm a little curious about the 4 against.

Keep in mind that Satinover and McHugh belong to the APA....and Fitzgibbons. All anti LGBT votes.

Marla Stevens | August 6, 2009 1:04 PM

Suing them for malpractice might get their attention.

Rodney Hoffman | August 6, 2009 1:27 PM

It's long overdue for the APA to resolve that "mental health professionals should avoid telling clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments." [1]

But we shouldn't ignore other large despicable chunks of yesterday's APA report. As framed by the 'Wall Street Journal' [2]:

"[T]he American Psychological Association said Wednesday that it is ethical -- and can be beneficial -- for counselors to help some clients reject gay or lesbian attractions....

[Task force chair Dr.Judith Glassgold says] "[W]e have to acknowledge that, for some people, religious identity is such an important part of their lives, it may transcend everything else."

"But if the client still believes that affirming his same-sex attractions would be sinful or destructive to his faith, psychologists can help him construct an identity that rejects the power of those attractions, the APA says. That might require living celibately, learning to deflect
sexual impulses or framing a life of struggle as an opportunity to grow closer to God.

"Dr. Glassgold says there has been little research about the long-term effects of rejecting a gay identity, but there is "no clear evidence of harm" and "some people seem to be content with that path.""


Rodney Hoffman | August 6, 2009 1:30 PM

OOPS. In my previous comment, I left off the references:

[1] APA Press Release: "Insufficient evidence that sexual orientation change efforts work"

[2] Report of the APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation

Full 138-page APA report:
"A New Therapy on Faith and Sexual Identity"

Great. Too bad we can't get the APA to condemn the "reparative therapies" aimed at changing gender identitiy and expression, too.

"It's good they passed this resolution, but something tells me that if there are any mental health professionals who are still working on ex-gay therapy, a resolution from any sort of professional body isn't going to reach them."

It's not likely to reach any professionals still working on ex-gay therapy, but it might have a better chance of reaching those *seeking* it. Hearing that the APA has condemned such therapy as ineffective and damaging might be what some people need to tip them over from trying to "fix" themselves to striving for self-acceptance. We can hope.

In all of this, you never hear the "B"-word, "Bisexual." I always hear one side saying, "We can cure you of being gay." And, the other side, "You can't change gay people to straight."

In oppressive areas of this country, or those who are in very religious families, many people grow up not understanding sexual orientation at all. A bisexual person will be confused that they have feelings for the same sex. This attraction can be powerful, if they take a long time to act on it. Once they do, they quickly think they're gay.

Along come the ex-gay people and they say they can cure this person, when all they do is have them suppress one part of their sexual orientation. The ex-gay people are ignorant saying there are only 2 sexual orientations, but it is just as bad when gay people say the same thing.

Wake up! There are at least six sexual orientations, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, omnisexual." It's like some gay people ignore trans people and their contributions, they ignore four of the six sexual orientations. The ex-gay issues is one of the prime example of this.

The APA's resolution would really be a wonderful piece of news if it weren't for their support for transphobic "doctors" who are poised to send treatment of trans people back to the Stone Age.

I agree with APA. They're totally doing the right thing which will definitely affect a lot of lives. If you're gay, you're born with it. You can't simply just change it when you want to.
A part of this vdo said that people can't change their sexual orientation, but they can change their behavior. The reason why the therapy had been working was just because it taught gay people how to control their desire and behavior, but not their innate desire!