PSYCHOLOGISTS WARN THAT CONVERSION THERAPY IS SCIENTIFICALLY AND ETHICALLY PROBLEMATIC
13 May 2019: In the past few days, Timothy Long, a theologian, has been holding events in Slovakia with the theme of accepting people who are attracted to those of the same sex. At these events, he has presented his own “re-integrative therapy” approach, which perceives attraction to the same sex through a prism of trauma and addiction, and he works with feelings of shame and insecurity. He states that he is trying to find a new potential for people who have same-sex partners to be attracted to the opposite sex.
By: CU Public Relations Office
As heads of departments of psychology at Comenius University, we are surprised by the desire to categorize attraction to people of the same sex as something which is pathological and a subject of therapy. The World Health Organization, many psychological and psychiatric companies and organizations (such as the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, the American Psychological Society, the American Psychiatric Association) alongside Slovak professional organizations can confirm that a non-heterosexual orientation is a variant of orientations in human relationships. These organizations all agree that there is no valid reason to try and change one's orientation.
We are not aware of any valid scientific studies that would confirm the effectiveness of the treatments that seek such a change. To the contrary, such efforts may be harmful.
We feel the need to point out that in our profession we should respect humanistic principles, diversity, human dignity, and human rights. At the same time, the work of a psychologist should be based on scientific foundations. Also, the accredited education of psychologists should clearly be founded on evidence-based approaches. With re-integrative therapy, we are seriously concerned that this criterion is not met.
Associate Professor Igor Brezina, head of the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Comenius University
Dr Katarína Cabanová, head of Department of Psychology and Pathopsychology, Faculty of Education, Comenius University
Associate Professor Radomír Masaryk, head of the Institute of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Comenius University