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Board of Psychology
 
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3/20/19  7:08 am
Commenter: Virginia Tech Counselor Education and Supervision

Re: Conversion Therapy
 

It is with utmost sense of responsibility and passion for evidence-based intervention, that I call

your esteemed attention to the above stated subject matter.

Research shows that "compared with LGBTQ young people who were not rejected or were only a little rejected by their parents because of their gay or transgender identity, highly rejected LGBTQ young people were eight times more likely to have attempted suicide.”

The definitive document that provides evidence that conversion therapy is both ineffective and harmful is provided by the American Psychological Association (APA) report titled Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. For this report, APA conducted a systematic review of the available research on sexual-orientation-change efforts—83 studies in all. The report concluded that: “efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm.” In fact, the report documented that up to 50% of participants in conversion-therapy practices reported harmful effects from the attempt to change their sexual orientation.

 

The APA report went on to state several scientific facts: that, “same-sex sexual attractions, behavior and orientations per se are normal and positive variants of human sexuality—in other words, they do not indicate either mental or developmental disorders.” All mental-health professions, including counseling, psychiatry, psychology, social work, and marriage and family therapy have endorsed this position. As such, there is nothing to “convert” or “repair” in an individual with same-sex attraction. Mental-health clinicians are venturing outside the appropriate boundaries of their scope of practice if they attempt to change a client’s sexual orientation.

 

 

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