Homophobic therapies: Documenting the damage

The following comes from a More Light Presbyterian newsletter dated May, 1996. It is apparently a copy of what was to be sent to More Light supporters, either via email or print or both. In light of our discussions about the Jones and Yarhouse study, bias, and the recruitment of participants, I thought it would provide context to include the call for participants used by Shidlo and Schroeder for their study of harm from change therapies. This was sent to numerous gay affiliated groups looking for participants.

RESEARCH

Homophobic Therapies: Documenting the Damage

The National Lesbian & Gay Health Association is sponsoring an investigation of the outcomes of so-called treatments of the so-called disorder of homosexuality. Here’s their press release:

Did you know that counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists still attempt to treat **homosexuality** as a **disorder**?

Did you know that currently there is an organized association of psychologists/psychiatrists who meet yearly to develop new **”conversion treatments”** for homosexuality?

Did you know that countless “gay recovery” programs exist through the United States, yet these programs refuse to publish their data on treatment outcomes?

We are currently attempting to research the outcomes of these so-called treatments of the so-called disorder of homosexuality. Our purpose is to document the damage which we believe occurs when a gay or lesbian client encounters “psychological help” from a homophobic treatment program or provider. Despite the American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association’s stance that homosexuality is *not* a disorder, there continue to be professionals and organizations who foster the belief that homosexuality is a learned and reparable emotional illness.

You can help make this research possible. If you know of any individuals who have experienced such a program and are willing to talk about it anonymously and confidentially, please refer them to our project. We can interview them either in person or by telephone.

You can be of help in the long process of getting the message out that these “conversion” therapies don’t work and do the opposite of healing *by informing your lesbian/gay/bi communities of our search for participants to be interviewed.* Please announce our project in any upcoming lesbian and gay community meetings and spread the word. **Help Us Document the Damage!** — Drs. Michael Schroeder & Ariel Shidlo, Co-Researchers, 412 6th Ave., Suite 602, New York, NY 10011, 212-353-2558, gayconvert@aol.com