Sunday, March 29, 2009
Therapists Try to Cure Homosexuality
A study from the BMC Psychiatry showed 17% of British therapists still try to "cure" gay, bisexual and lesbian patients from homosexuality and try to help them become heterosexual.
It is hard to believe that in 2009, with all of the evidence that shows attempting to change a person's sexual orientation is not only ineffective but can be psychologically damaging, this type of practice persists. The "gay cures" that have been reported in the literature have been thoroughly discredited. That a trained therapist would be so out of touch with current research is malpractice.
In the 1970s, "aversion" therapy was in vogue. This involved using electric shocks when presenting a patient with a same sex erotic image to try and create a sense of revulsion. Those techniques belong with other archaic treatments such as lobotomy as a sign of psychiatry failures.
The American Psychiatric Association's website notes in part that, "There is no published scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of "reparative therapy" as a treatment to change one's sexual orientation. More importantly, altering sexual orientation is not an appropriate goal of psychiatric treatment..." It goes on to say, "The American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as "reparative" or "conversion" therapy, which is based on the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder, or that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation."
For a comparison of the divergent beliefs on homosexuality where the most conservative (religious) views of homosexuality are compared with progressive views based on science , go to Religious Tolerance.
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