"Psychology Today’s decision to reject purveyors of such medically-invalid practices is a welcome and much-needed step in the right direction"
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, welcomed as a much-needed step the decision by Psychology Today to stop accepting online listings from mental health practitioners who offer to “cure” LGBT people.
In a letter last week to the leadership of Psychology Today, HRC requested that they stop publishing such listings, and, to build on the publication’s history of LGBT inclusion and affirmation, also post an article condemning the use of harmful “conversion therapy.”
In a statement issued today, Psychology Today said that it does not endorse or publish ads for “reparative therapy,” and that, going forward, all professionals listed in their branded, online directory of therapists had been notified that those who offer such therapy in their profiles will be delisted.
“So-called ‘conversion therapy’ is a dangerous and discredited practice that puts vulnerable people, including children, at terrible risk,” said Fred Sainz, HRC Vice President for Communications and Marketing.
”Not only is there no evidence that a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression can be ‘cured,’ but research also shows that attempting to do so can lead to depression and even suicidal thoughts, particularly in young people.”
“Psychology Today’s decision to reject purveyors of such medically-invalid practices is a welcome and much-needed step in the right direction,” Sainz said.
In February, HRC became aware that a California-based marriage and family therapist was advertising “conversion therapy” services on Psychology Today’s website. Such therapy is based on the false concept that being LGBT is a mental illness that needs to be cured, a concept rejected for decades by every major medical group in the U.S.
Additionally, California and New Jersey, along with the District of Columbia, have laws protecting young people under age 18 from this harmful practice; and numerous states are currently considering similar legislation.
The LGBT pride flag was designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. It was originally called the Freedom Flag and was comprised of 8 colored stripes, each denoting a different meaning.