President Obama recently announced that he will work to ban the use of “reparative therapy.” In case you’re not sure what that is, it’s a sort of therapy that claims to change someone’s sexual or gender identity. Sometimes it’s also called “gay conversion” therapy.
Why don’t these sorts of therapies work?
Check out this statement of support of President Obama from the American Psychological Association:
“So-called reparative therapies are aimed at ‘fixing’ something that is not a mental illness and therefore does not require therapy. There is insufficient scientific evidence that they work, and they have the potential to harm the client,” said APA 2015 President Barry S. Anton, PhD. “APA has and will continue to call on mental health professionals to work to reduce misunderstanding about and prejudice toward gay and transgender people.”
I love this statement because it sums up the problem with “reparative therapies” perfectly – they are trying to change something that isn’t broken, wrong or a mental illness. In fact there is nothing at all that needs to be changed, except perhaps a society that isn’t as supportive as it could be to all of its population.