GAY teens are being sent to counselling to turn them “straight” through controversial therapies that are facing a ban overseas.
Experts warn that the practice is rife in Queensland as desperate parents and some Christian leaders try to get children to change their sexuality.
Brisbane psychologist Paul Martin has helped children as young as 14 who have been severely affected by the therapies and is contacted by a new patient every few weeks.
“The psychological damage being done to Queenslanders under our noses as we speak is just horrendous,” he warned.
“With Christian reparative therapy, being gay is not only a psychological disorder but it is inherently sinful, which means every time they have a thought about a boy or girl they believe there are going to hell,” Mr Martin said.
“If you start saying that to a kid at that age during puberty, it instils a belief that they are defective and that can cause depression and turn the volume up much higher in suicide and mental illness.”
Credit: @RickAlanRoss on Twitter
California is considering a ban on reparative therapies for minors due to concerns about the potential long-term harm. Last month, the psychiatrist who published the influential study on reparative therapy apologized for it saying he no longer believes it works.
In 2000, the Australian Psychological Society discouraged use by practictioners of therapies that attempted to change a person’s sexuality. But, they are still being used. Certain cases have brought up malpractice issues around the world. Many therapists who offer these treatments are not trained professionals. Continued use of this behavior therapy is not only unsupported by research but it’s potentially fatal, having been implicated in suicides. No matter how much religious groups would like to believe it can be cured, they are ignorant of the facts and hurt people because of it.