Is Reparative Therapy Harmful?Posted: December 6, 2012
lve just come across the following feedback (by “Kevin55”), on an online newspaper article. Interesting! Is it balanced?
In regards to allegations that Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) are harmful, the American Psychological Association admits that the research to date does not support such claims (APA, 2009). Despite the lack of research supporting these claims of harm, such claims continue to be made, including that SOCE actually leads to a higher risk of suicide. What exactly does the research actually say?
Research has examined whether or not SOCE are harmful to clients (Nicolosi, Byrd, & Potts, 2000; Beckstead, 2004; Shidlo & Schroeder, 2002; Spitzer, 2003; Jones & Yarhouse, 2007; Karten & Wade, 2010.) Four of the six studies have empirically demonstrated no harm or increased rates of suicide for clients receiving psychological care. Instead, there were many positive outcomes.
Regarding their claims of harm, Shidlo and Schroeder (2002) report the number of persons who attempted suicide before, during, and after therapy respectively were: 25, 23, and 11. The number of suicide attempts decreases following therapy.
I notice that in this article, the central figure in the article, who underwent the therapy, did not kill himself, but it says his fellow gay highschool student, who presumably didnt undergo the therapy, DID kill himself.
Let me know what you think. Comment away!
And a side note – if reparative therapy results in the patients having less gay sex, and therefore being at a lower risk of contracting HIV, has reparative therapy actually saved many lives?
And there is this insight, which I censored and copied from facebook in 2014, about the source of the angst experienced by those who have attended therapy designed to convert their sexuality to being straight –
Update: One of the above cited studies (Shidlo and Schroeder) may include flawed conclusions. See the comment posted by Phil.