List of professional organisations opposing conversion or reparative therapy targeting transgender and gender non-conforming individuals
The following list is a compilation of professional organisations which oppose conversion or reparative therapy targeting transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. The list does not include statements which do not clearly and explicitly prohibit practices targeting gender identity. As such, statements which only mention sexual orientation change efforts are not included. If you wish to suggest an addition to the list, please contact me on Facebook.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Policy Statement:
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry finds no evidence to support the application of any “therapeutic intervention” operating under the premise that a specific sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression is pathological. Furthermore, based on the scientific evidence, the AACAP asserts that such “conversion therapies” (or other interventions imposed with the intent of promoting a particular sexual orientation and/or gender as a preferred outcome) lack scientific credibility and clinical utility. Additionally, there is evidence that such interventions are harmful. As a result, “conversion therapies” should not be part of any behavioral health treatment of children and adolescents
American Academy of Family Physicians,
American Academy of Nursing,
American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists,
American Counselling Association,
American Medical Association,
American Medical Student Association,
American Psychoanalytic Association,
The Association of LGBTQ Psychiatrists,
Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Issues in Counseling,
Clinical Social Work Association,
Gay and Lesbian Medical Association,
The Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Addiction Professionals and their Allies, &
World Professional Association for Transgender Health,
Joint Statement (Draft):
The signatories of this statement share a commitment to protecting the public from the risks and harms of conversion therapy and to ensuring full access to the benefits of ethical, affirmative healthcare for sexual and gender minorities. Given the fact that same-sex desire and behavior and gender-variant identity and expression are not mental disorders, and given the lack of evidence showing that conversion therapy can effectively change sexual orientation or gender identity, and given the strong indications that such change efforts can increase stigma and cause other harms to patients and their families, we urge all healthcare professionals to commit themselves to ensure that: […]
American Academy of Pediatrics, Policy Statement:
In contrast, “conversion” or “reparative” treatment models are used to prevent children and adolescents from identifying as transgender or to dissuade them from exhibiting gender-diverse expressions. […] Reparative approaches have been proven to be not only unsuccessful but also deleterious and are considered outside the mainstream of traditional medical practice.
American Group Psychotherapy Association,
American Mental Health Counselors Association,
Gay and Lesbian Medical Association,
National Association for Children’s Behavioral Health,
National Association of School Psychologists, &
National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery,
To Whom It May Concern:
There is virtually no credible evidence that any type of psychotherapy can change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and, in fact, conversion efforts pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, including depression, shame, decreased self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, risky behavior, and suicidality
American Medical Association, Policy H-160.991:
Our AMA: […] (c) opposes, the use of "reparative" or "conversion" therapy for sexual orientation or gender identity.
Expert consensus regarding the treatment of adults has been arrived at after many years of clinical experience. Attempts to engage individuals in psychotherapy to change their gender identity or expression are currently not considered fruitful by the mental health professionals with the most experience working in this area and legal bans of therapies aimed at changing sexual orientation have recently been extended to therapies aimed at changing gender identity or expression in a number of U.S. states and Canadian provinces. Currently, psychotherapeutic involvement with adults with GD is primarily used to assist in clarifying their desire for, and commitment to, changes in gender expression and/or somatic treatments to minimize discordance with their experienced gender, and to ensure that they are aware of and have considered alternatives.
*This document only explicitly opposes conversion or reparative therapy for adults.
American Psychoanalytic Association, Position Statement:
Psychoanalytic technique does not encompass purposeful attempts to “convert,” “repair,” change or shift an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Such directed efforts are against fundamental principles of psychoanalytic treatment and often result in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing damaging internalized attitudes.
American Psychological Association &
National Association of School Psychologists,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists support affirmative interventions with transgender and gender diverse children and adolescents that encourage self-exploration and self-acceptance rather than trying to shift gender identity and gender expression in any specific direction;
American School Counsellor Association, Position statement:
It is not the school counselor’s role to attempt to change a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity. School counselors recognize the profound harm intrinsic to therapies alleging to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity […] and advocate to protect LGBTQ students from this harm.
Association of Christian Counsellors,
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy,
British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies,
British Psychoanalytic Council,
British Psychological Society,
College of Sex and Relationship Therapists,
GLADD (The Association of LGBT Doctors and Dentists),
National Counselling Society,
Royal College of General Practitioners, &
UK Council for Psychotherapy,
Memorandum of Understanding:
For the purposes of this document ’conversion therapy’ is an umbrella term for a therapeutic approach, or any model or individual viewpoint that demonstrates an assumption that any sexual orientation or gender identity is inherently preferable to any other, and which attempts to bring about a change of sexual orientation or gender identity, or seeks to supress an individual’s expression of sexual orientation or gender identity on that basis. […] Signatory organisations agree that the practice of conversion therapy, whether in relation to sexual orientation or gender identity, is unethical and potentially harmful.
Australian and New Zealand Professional Association for Transgender Health, Standards of Care:
In the past, psychological practices attempting to change a person’s gender identity to be more aligned with their sex assigned at birth were used. Such practices, typically known as conversion or reparative therapies, lack efficacy, are considered unethical and may cause lasting damage to a child or adolescent’s social and emotional health and wellbeing.
Canadian Association of Social Workers &
Canadian Association for Social Work Education,
Any professional’s attempt to alter the gender identity or expression of a young person to align with social norms is considered unethical and an abuse of power and authority. Specifically, social workers should reject any attempt to prevent a child from growing up to be transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, gay, lesbian, bisexual or queer.
Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health, Submission in support of Bill 77:
Clearly, conversion “therapy” and clinical or “therapeutic” interventions that counsel parents to make their affection, love, and support conditional on restricting a child’s gender identity or expression, or that instill shame on children and youth for their gender identity or gender expression are inconsistent with overwhelming consensus of major mental health organizations have no place in professional practice.
Canadian Psychiatric Association, Policy statement:
The CPA opposes the use of reparative or conversion therapy, given that such therapy is based on the assumption that LGBTQ identities indicate a mental disorder and (or) the assumption that the person could and should change their sexual orientation and (or) their gender identity and gender expression.
College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, Practice Standards:
Seeking to change or direct a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity are not ‘therapy’, are not supported by the profession and do not respect the diversity and dignity of all persons.
International Federation of Social Workers, Statement of Principles:
Social workers must not allow their knowledge and skills to be used for inhumane purposes, such as […] conversion therapy […].
Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec (Order of social workers and conjugal and family therapists of Quebec), Public statement (translated):
Last September, the board of directors of the OTSTCFQ endorsed the Joint Statement on the Affirmation of Gender Diverse Children and Youth, adopted by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE-ACFTS) and by the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) in 2015.
Ordre professionel des sexologues du Québec (Professional order of sexologists of Quebec), Public statement (translated):
The Professional order of sexologists of Quebec wishes to inform individuals who might want to receive [conversion or reparative therapy] for themselves or their child […] that they are prohibited by many regions of the world and by most professional associations in psychology, psychiatry, and medicine as well as professional orders including the Professional order of sexologists of Quebec, as the present statement evidences.
National Association of Social Workers’ National Committee on LGBT Issues, Position Statement:
The term sexual orientation change efforts (or SOCE) include any practice seeking to change a person’s sexual orientation, including, but not limited to, efforts to change behaviors, gender identity, or gender expressions, or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward a person of the same gender.
The practice of SOCE violates the very tenets of the social work profession as outlined in the NASW Code of Ethics. […] The National Committee on LGBT Issues asserts that conversion therapy or SOCE are an infringement of the guiding principles inherent to social worker ethics and values; a position affirmed by the NASW policy statement on “Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues” (NASW 2014).
NHS England, Service Specifications:
Providers will not deliver, promote or refer individuals to any form of conversion therapy. The practice of conversion therapy is unethical and potentially harmful.
*This document only explicitly opposes conversion or reparative therapy for adults. For a statement including youth, see NHS England’s endorsement of the Memorandum of Understanding.
Royal College of Psychiatrists, Position Statement:
The term ‘conversion therapy’ has also been used to describe treatments for transgender people that aim to suppress or divert their gender identity — i.e. to make them cisgender — that is exclusively identified with the sex assigned to them at birth. Conversion therapies may draw from treatment principles established for other purposes, for example psychoanalytic or behaviour therapy. They may include barriers to gender-affirming medical and psychological treatments. There is no scientific support for use of treatments in such a way and such applications are widely regarded as unacceptable.
Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, Position paper:
Reparative “therapy,” which attempts to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity, is inherently coercive and inconsistent with current standards of medical care
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Consensus Statement:
Interventions aimed at a fixed outcome, such as gender conformity or heterosexual orientation, including those aimed at changing gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation are coercive, can be harmful, and should not be part of behavioral health treatment. Directing the child to be conforming to any gender expression or sexual orientation, or directing the parents to place pressure for specific gender expressions, gender identities, and sexual orientations are inappropriate and reinforce harmful gender and sexual orientation stereotypes.
It is clinically inappropriate for behavioral health professionals to have a prescriptive goal related to gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation for the ultimate developmental outcome of a child’s or adolescent’s gender identity or gender expression.
World Professional Association in Transgender Health, Standards of Care:
Treatment aimed at trying to change a person’s gender identity and expression to become more congruent with sex assigned at birth has been attempted in the past without success […], particularly in the long term […]. Such treatment is no longer considered ethical.
Alphabetical list of organisations (46)
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Nursing
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists
American Counselling Association
American Group Psychotherapy Association
American Medical Association
American Medical Student Association
American Mental Health Counselors Association
American Psychiatric Association*
American Psychoanalytic Association
American Psychological Association
American School Counsellor Association
Association of Christian Counsellors
Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Issues in Counseling
Australian and New Zealand Professional Association for Transgender Health
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies
British Psychoanalytic Council
British Psychological Society
Canadian Association for Social Work Education
Canadian Association of Social Workers
Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health
Canadian Psychiatric Association
Clinical Social Work Association
College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario
College of Sex and Relationship Therapists
Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
GLADD (The Association of LGBT Doctors and Dentists)
International Federation of Social Workers
National Association for Children’s Behavioral Health
National Association of School Psychologists
National Association of Social Workers’ National Committee on LGBT Issues
National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery
National Counselling Society
Pink Therapy Professional
Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec (Order of social workers and conjugal and family therapists of Quebec)
Ordre professionnel des sexologues du Québec (Professional order of sexologists of Quebec)
Royal College of General Practitioners
Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Addiction Professionals and their Allies
The Association of LGBTQ Psychiatrists
UK Council for Psychotherapy
World Professional Association for Transgender Health
*Only for adults.