Presented by: Laura Haynes, PhD
What the American Psychological Association and rigorous research can tell therapists, about cause and change factors in same-sex attraction and gender identity, have gone well beyond the APA 2008 website statement on sexuality, are generally not well known, and arguably support a case for change through therapy. Meanwhile, activism to ban such therapy is debated in professional organizations including the APA, governments, and the United Nations. What do we know about these sexual and gender variations? What can therapists who are open to clients’ goals for change offer them? What is the current status of laws on change-allowing therapy in the U.S. and on court decisions about these laws?
Therapists will gain knowledge they can use with clients about same sex attraction and behavior and gender-sex discordant identity in these areas:
The influence of specific genes, hormones, sexual trauma, family factors, social factors, psychiatric disorders, and some choice on development of sexual or gender variations and potential for change. Rates and direction of natural change and factors that influence it that clients have a right to know. Harms of neglecting to evaluate for or treat potential underlying pathological causes with evidence-based treatments and well-established practices. Where APA-recommended affirmative therapy goes wrong for clients whose same-sex attraction or behavior conflicts with their desire to live according to their religious faith or to save an opposite sex marriage with family. What should be done instead?