Friday, December 14, 2012

President of Amer. Psychoanalytical Assoc. Weighs in on Conversion Therapy

The following letter to the editor appears in today's New York Times:



It is ironic that a Federal District Court judge in Sacramento wants to protect the freedom of the therapist, yet not the freedom of the patient.

California’s ban on “conversion” therapy for minors is due, in part, to the fact that it is practiced with a predetermined goal that is forced on to the patient and precludes the patient from determining his or her own sexual orientation. Telling a person that his or her sexual orientation is deviant, shameful or wrong in a therapeutic setting is not free speech; it is malpractice.

Government has a history and an interest in regulating medical and mental health practice. California’s action is part and parcel of that history and has the support of mainstream professional mental health associations. Frankly, we are puzzled that this is being viewed as a First Amendment issue.

ROBERT L. PYLES
President
American Psychoanalytic Association
Wellesley, Mass., Dec. 11, 2012
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