Pray away the gay

The psychological community has over the years tolerated some patently ridiculous practices and movements at its fringes – transpersonal psychology, for instance, or cartharsis and primal scream therapy (and don’t even get me started on Alcoholics Anonymous) – but they’ve finally put their foot down on the absurd notion that homosexuality can be “cured” through therapy.

From the AP:

The American Psychological Association declared Wednesday that mental health professionals should not tell gay clients they can become straight through therapy or other treatments.

Instead, the APA urged therapists to consider multiple options — that could range from celibacy to switching churches — for helping clients whose sexual orientation and religious faith conflict.

In a resolution adopted on a 125-to-4 vote by the APA’s governing council, and in a comprehensive report based on two years of research, the 150,000-member association put itself firmly on record in opposition of so-called “reparative therapy” which seeks to change sexual orientation.

No solid evidence exists that such change is likely, says the report, and some research suggests that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.

Religious entities like Exodus International have been making wild claims about this kind of “therapy” for years, causing undue guilt and psychological damage to countless homosexuals laboring fruitlessly to reconcile their religious beliefs with their innate desires – not to mention the harm perpetrated by the underlying belief that homosexuality is an ailment that needs to be “cured” in the first place.

The APA’s stance will likely have little impact in the community that promotes these ideas, but at least they have clearly distanced the field of psychology from this dangerous nonsense.

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