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Friday, August 7, 2009

APA Slams Reparative Therapy

"Contrary to claims of sexual orientation change advocates and practitioners, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation. Scientifically rigorous older studies in this area found that sexual orientation was unlikely to change due to efforts designed for this purpose. Contrary to the claims of SOCE practitioners and advocates, recent research studies do not provide evidence of sexual orientation change as the research methods are inadequate to determine the effectiveness of these interventions. At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions. Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted or its long-term mental health effects. Also, this result was much less likely to be true for people who started out only attracted to people of the same sex. Unfortunately, much of the research in the area of sexual orientation change contains serious design flaws. Few studies could be considered methodologically sound and none systematically evaluated potential harms.
Practitioners can assist clients through therapies that do not attempt to change sexual orientation, but rather involve acceptance, support and identity exploration and development without imposing a specific identity outcome... In other words, we recommend that psychologists be completely honest about the [non-]likelihood of sexual orientation change, and that they help clients explore their assumptions and goals with respect to both religion and sexuality." Judith M. Glassgold, PsyD, chair of the Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation, American Psychological Association, August 5, 2009

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