The American Psychological Association (APA) has compiled a report from over two years of research recommending that mental health professionals should not tell patients that they can change their sexual orientation.
According to the committee of researchers, the research shows that there is no evidence to support the claims of some practitioners that sexual orientation can be changed through therapy.
“There’s no evidence to say that change therapies work, but these vulnerable people are tempted to try them, and when they don’t work, they feel doubly terrified,” Judith Glassgold, a psychologist who chaired the task force told the LA Times. “You should be honest with people and say, ‘This is not likely to change your sexual orientation, but we can help explore what options you have.'”
The 138 page report is a result of a study by a six-person committee which began in 2007 following therapist’s claims that sexual orientation can be changed. This belief has led to the growth of the largely Christian-based “ex-gay” movement which seeks to rehabilitate gays and lesbians into a heterosexual lifestyle.
In cases where clients whose sexual orientation and religious faith irrevocably conflict, the APA has instead urged therapists to consider other options such as celibacy or switching churches.