05 August 2009

Attention Evergreen - APA Repudiates Change Therapy

In a resolution adopted and statement released today, the American Psychological Association said there is no firm evidence that sexual orientation can be changed through therapy, so mental health professionals should not tell conflicted gay clients that they can become heterosexual with such treatments. The resolution from the APA's governing council said some research suggested "reparative therapy" could induce depression or suicidal tendencies. An APA task force recommended that mental health professionals "avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts when providing assistance to people distressed about their own or others' sexual orientation," usually as a result of religious doctrine.

The APA's official statement said:

"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 [sexual orientation change efforts] 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."

Full story here.


Abelard Enigma said...

This probably won't change anything. Advocates for Reparative Therapy will simply claim that this statement was politically motivated by pressure from gay proponents.

Alan said...

I know. It's standard operating procedure for them to distract from the substance with ad hominem attacks. "The sky is blue." "Oh yeah? No it's not, because your sunglasses are ugly!" Same line of "reasoning."

Good to be Free said...

Snake oil indeed. To think that some would perpetuate the idea that to be right with God we have to spend hundreds of dollars per session with someone who can "cure" us. What of those that cannot afford your snake oil...too bad I guess.