• Therapy will not “straight”en out a gay person

    Date: 08.12.09 | by Judge Tom.

    Contrary to the belief of a few therapists and religious conservatives, “reparative therapy” to change a gay person doesn’t work.  In fact, attempts to do so may induce depression and suicidal tendencies.

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    Boulder Pride

    By a vote of 125 to 4, the American Psychological Association adopted a resolution in August, 2009, declaring that mental health professionals should not tell gay clients that they can become straight through therapy or other treatments.  The Association examined 83 studies since 1960 on sex-orientation change and concluded that there is no solid evidence that change is likely.

    A report from the group addressed how therapists should deal with gay clients wishing to follow a religious faith that disapproves of homosexuality.  It suggests focusing on hope and forgiveness, celibacy, or finding a faith with greater tolerance of gays. 

    Dr. Judith Glassgold of New Jersey, who chaired the task force, said that both sides of the issue need to educate themselves better.  “The religious psychotherapists have to open up their eyes to the potential positive aspects of being gay or lesbian. Secular therapists have to recognize that some people will choose their faith over their sexuality.”

    Where do you stand on the issue of being gay?  Is it biological or a matter of choice?  Do you think someone simply chooses to be gay and can just as easily choose to be straight?

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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