Thank you for sharing your thoughts and perspective regarding conversion therapy. Although it's a vast improvement to remove aversive conditioning techniques from treatment protocols, it's important to remember that there is a difference between choosing to refrain from sexual relationships and purporting to be able to change sexual orientation. I'm not aware of any published research in the most reputable scientific journals supporting the idea of orientation change, which is the purpose of conversion therapy (this is the reason that the Counseling Organizations such as the APA don't support it being practiced by professional counselors). People may choose to live in a mixed orientation marriage/choose celebacy, feel some level of attraction to each sex/or have a lower sexual drive. These factors may impact the choice that he or she makes in relationship development. But this is not the same thing as a change in sexual orientation. It is a change in behavior. It is also important to consider the increased risks of suicidal ideation/anxiety/depression among unaccepted individuals, regardless of which side of this issue you may find yourself on. As the article says, our goal should be one of acceptance, a hope for healing, and understanding.
It is totally wrong to forbid people from seeking and finding the kind of therapy they want and for laws to forbid it--one of which is pending in the Utah legislature. I knew a psychologist who had a great deal of success treating gay men who seriously wanted to change their orientation--something like 90%. It can be done in significant numbers of cases if the person is truly motivated. Perhaps not easily, but serious change is never easy. Why would any honest person want to forbid someone from having a choice?
Thank you for sharing this information in a cogent and compassionate manner. Too many accept this alternative lifestyle because of social pressures and seeking acceptance, and it's worth having (and maintaining) an option to help people sort out their inner conflict and values, much like any other counseling.
Email (will not be published)
Daily news, articles, videos and podcasts sent straight to your inbox.