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The Harmful Impact of Conversion Therapy

The practice of so-called “conversion therapy” — a form of therapy designed to alter an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity — has been in the news recently as New York state enacted a ban on the controversial therapy.

Now, there’s increasing attention on the harmful nature of this practice, which an increasing number of psychology and medical professionals are classifying as harmful.

This Conversion Therapy billboard was displayed outside of Atlanta, GA.

This Conversion Therapy billboard was displayed outside of Atlanta, GA.

Many members of the LGBT community have been subjected to the harms of conversion therapy, which can be especially damaging for young people because the child is being told by a medical professional that they are “flawed,” “unwell” and suffering from a “condition” that must be “cured.”

This form of “therapy” can result in the rejection of what comprises a large part of an individual’s identity, resulting in depression, poor self-esteem, self-loathing, emotional distress and even suicidal ideation.

Conversion therapy, which is sometimes called “reparative therapy,” can be extremely harmful to young people in particular, as┬áthe practice brings about internal conflict and emotional distress at a time when the child’s psyche and mind is developing.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently spoke on the matter, saying that he is proud to have “rejected fundamentally the absurd notion that being gay is a psychiatric disorder and that they should be treated.”

The new legislation in New York bans health care insurance providers and Medicaid from covering conversion therapy involving children under the age of 18.

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