APA applauds call for end to
‘conversion therapy’ for youth
The decision by the Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration builds on APA’s
research-based work on LGBT issues.
APA has expressed support for a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration that calls for an end to the practice of “conversion
therapy” for children and youth.
“This important report makes it clear that conversion therapy is not
appropriate for dealing with sexual orientation or gender identities in children
and youth,” says Judith M. Glassgold, PsyD, APA’s associate executive director
for public interest government relations. “It provides guidance to clinicians on
current science and best practices for this vulnerable population.”
Children benefit from developmentally appropriate identity exploration and
integration, says Glassgold, who led APA’s Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic
Responses to Sexual Orientation before joining the association’s staff. That task
force issued a report in 2009 that found insufficient evidence to support the use of
psychological interventions to change sexual orientation.
“Interventions aimed at a fixed outcome, such as gender conformity or
heterosexual orientation, including those aimed at changing gender identity,
gender expression or sexual orientation, should not be part of behavioral health
treatments,” Glassgold says. “This vital document builds on APA’s long-standing
work on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender concerns, especially its report on
appropriate therapeutic responses to sexual orientation and its guidelines for
working with LGB and transgender and gender variant clients.” n
— Kim I. Mills
Travel to Cuba with APA
Join APA’s International Learning
Partner Trip to Cuba in May.
Travel with APA to attend Hominis 2016 in Havana, Cuba, May 7–15.
After an orientation dinner in Miami on May 7, the group will
depart for Havana on May 8. Activities include orientation to Cuban
psychology education and training systems, the Cuban health care
system, and Cuban society, followed by attending Hominis 2016 (May
11–13, www.hominiscuba.com) at the Havana Conference Center.
This trip is part of APA’s International Learning Partner Program
to foster international collaboration and exchange. Participants are
encouraged to submit conference abstracts and will be invited to
participate in a roundtable with Cuban colleagues.
For more information, visit: www.apa.org/international/outreach
/ learning-partner.aspx. n