gay conversion therapy

Another Victory for LGBT Mental Health

In a milestone that has come to pass more than a few times now, Illinois recently voted to outlaw the dangerous and abusive practice known as gay conversion therapy. Advocates of LGBT rights and responsible mental healthcare are pleased to see this important watershed reach one of the most populous states in the nation:

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said: “By passing this important legislation, Illinois lawmakers on both sides of the aisle stood up for equality and against a dangerous practice that uses fear and shame to tell young people the only way to find love or acceptance is to change the very nature of who they are. Psychological abuse has no place in therapy, no matter the intention. We urge Governor Rauner to sign this bipartisan legislation into law and protect the state’s youth from this harmful and discredited practice.”

What’s next for our culture’s understanding of LGBT psychology? How about gay-affirmative psychotherapy which understands LGBT patients on their own terms, and treats their issues with the same care and compassion as anyone else’s?

At PPSC, we have never pathologized the specific challenges and opportunities of LGBT life. Our gay-friendly therapists are among the most experienced in New York, and we are constantly looking for new ways to serve this broad community as effectively as we can.

To find an LGBT-friendly therapist today, please contact the psychoanalytic professionals of PPSC.

How to Stop Gay Conversion Therapy

A number of news outlets have recently picked up on a national movement to outlaw so-called gay conversion therapy, a (usually) religiously-oriented process in which people attempt to “reprogram” homosexual urges. The practice is as abusive as it is ineffectual, of course, but some fault lines have developed over the question of whether a legal ban is the best way to combat this practice. An interesting discussion arose in the New York Times following this editorial, the thrust of which centered around First Amendment rights and a possible workaround:

The bans tread on a volatile question: the degree to which the First Amendment protects speech uttered by professionals, like doctors and lawyers, in the course of their work. . . .

There is a more promising way to put pressure on, or even shut down, conversion programs: existing state laws that forbid businesses and professionals to engage in deceptive practices.

Yet one letter writer addressed the singular way that the full force of law could help guide discussions and stigmatize bigotry where other methods might fail:

While there may be other possible avenues to bar so-called “conversion therapy” from practice, passing a law casts a wide net across all corners of the state and sends a strong message to all that this damaging practice, widely discredited by reputable medical and mental health institutions, has no place in our state.

It is an interesting argument that touches on issues of law, morality and freedom. What is not controversial is that gay conversion therapy is a regressive and traumatic practice which deserves no quarter anywhere in professional circles.

Here at PPSC, we take pride in an approach to LGBT friendly therapy that incorporates and values gay identity while exploring the specific issues that may trouble patients. Do you want to find a gay-friendly therapist in NYC? Start here.