APA and the sexual orientation task force revisited

More on the APA sexual orientation task force.

Consider the following excerpt:

The charge of the Task Force is threefold:

(1) To revise and update the APA resolution Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation (1997);

(2) To generate a report that includes the following:

(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;

(3) To inform the Association’s response to groups that promote treatments to change sexual orientation or its behavioral expression and to support public policy that furthers affirmative therapeutic interventions.

The task force is charged to look at interventions for those who want to change sexual orientation but also those who wish to change “their behavioral expression of their sexual orientation.” This is where their work will overlap with the sexual identity therapy guidelines. Given the motivation for the task force (to address reparative therapy as harmful), I am concerned that any and all efforts to live in alignment with one’s beliefs might be targeted. Or perhaps, it would signal a good thing in that the APA might continue to insist that therapists should affirm a homosexual orientation for some clients but for others, allow therapists to ethically collaborate with clients to change behavior in ways that match client values. Such a stance would not be dramatically different than current policy.

I would hope the APA would not attempt to direct the objectives of clients in this arena via sanctions on therapists. I also hope the task force will respect religious diversity to the same degree it respects sexual orientation diversity. Point #3 above makes it appear that the task force is being asked to advise the APA about how to address therapists that conduct therapy where clients are free to modify “behavioral expression of their sexual orientation.” I wonder what that foreshadows.

Perhaps, it is good that this workshop occurs before the August convention…