March 13, 2007
APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation
WASHINGTON--The American Psychological Association (APA) Board of Directors has authorized the creation of a Task Force on Appropriate Responses to Sexual Orientation. Nominations of individuals to serve on this task force are invited. All nominations will be reviewed by the APA Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns (CLGBTC) which will forward the complete list of nominations and suggested slate(s) of nominees to the APA Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI) for review. The CLGBTC and BAPPI recommendations as well as the full list of nominations will then be sent to the APA President who will make the final appointments to the task force.
The task force charge will be to revise and update the Association's 1997 resolution on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. Since that resolution was written, new research on sexual orientation conversion therapy has been published. This new science enables the Association to review the 1997 resolution and offer additional guidance to mental health professionals who treat persons with concerns regarding their sexual orientation.
The task force is expected to generate a report that will address the following:
(a) The appropriate application of affirmative therapeutic interventions for children and adolescents who present a desire to change either their sexual orientation or their behavioral expression of their sexual orientation, or both, or whose guardian expresses a desire for the minor to change
(b) The appropriate application of affirmative therapeutic interventions for adults who present a desire to change their sexual orientation or their behavioral expression of their sexual orientation, or both
(c) The presence of adolescent inpatient facilities that offer coercive treatment designed to change sexual orientation or the behavioral expression of sexual orientation
(d) Education, training, and research issues as they pertain to such therapeutic interventions
(e) Recommendations regarding treatment protocols that promote stereotyped gender-normative behavior to mitigate behaviors that are perceived to be indicators that a child will develop a homosexual orientation in adolescence and adulthood.
Once completed, the report will be reviewed by the full APA governance including the APA Board of Directors and Council of Representatives. Any decisions concerning possible adoption of the report and any included recommendations will be the purview of the APA Council.
Those nominated to serve on the task force should possess one or more of the following qualifications:
Advanced knowledge of current theory and research on the development of sexual orientation
Advanced knowledge of current theory and research on therapies that aim to change sexual orientation
Expertise in affirmative mental health treatment for one or more of the following populations:
a. Children and adolescents who present with distress regarding their sexual orientation
b. Religious patients who present with distress regarding their sexual orientation
c. Adults who present with issues regarding their desire to change their sexual orientation or who have undergone therapy to do so
Nominations should be sent to the APA Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns Office:
U.S. mail: American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
All nominations are due by March 19, 2007.
The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 145,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.