The American Psychological Association [APA] 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. . . .
Hmm . . . who’s going to break this news to the Courage apostolate?
As I’ve documented previously (most notably here), although Courage itself does not attempt to change adult homosexual orientation, its website has a link to the largely discredited U.S.-based National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a sham organization of “therapists” that teaches that homosexuality is a disorder that is not only chosen, but can be changed through effort and therapy. The Courage website also links to numerous non-Catholic so-called “ex-gay” conservative religious groups — such as, Exodus International, Homosexuals Anonymous, Hope Ministry, International Healing Foundation, JONAH, People Can Change, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (P-FOX), and Straightway.
Given all of this, it’s not surprising (though certainly reprehensible) that Courage is yet to either refute the pseudo-science of reparative therapy that these “ex-gay” groups advocate or actively dissuade its members from pursuing such “therapy.” Here’s hoping that the latest from the APA changes all of that.
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Debunking NARTH (Part I)
Debunking NARTH (Part II)
What Scientists in the UK Are Saying About Homosexuality
The Real Meaning of Courage
The Many Forms of Courage (Part I)
The Many Forms of Courage (Part II)
The Many Forms of Courage (Part III)
Recommended Off-site Links:
The APA Says “No Evidence” in Support of Ex-Gay Therapy - Wayne Besen (TruthWinsOut.org, August 5, 2009).
APA Passes Resolution Against Ex-Gay Therapy - Jim Burroway (Box Turtle Bulletin, August 5, 2009).
Exodus International Responds to the APA Resolution on Change Therapy - Jim Burroway (Box Turtle Bulletin, August 6, 2009).
NARTH Responds to the APA Resolution on Change Therapy - Jim Burroway (Box Turtle Bulletin, August 7, 2009).
Celibacy as a Therapy Goal - Wayne Besen (TruthWinsOut.org, August 6, 2009).