(First) RefAnnBib-Conversion Therapy

1. Bibliographic Entry
Drescher, Jack, et al. “The Growing Regulation of Conversion Therapy.” Journal of Medical Regulation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5040471/

2. Background and Credibility of Author & Source
Jack Drescher, MD, is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. Dr. Drescher is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons and Faculty Member, Columbia Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. He is board certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
“The Growing Regulation of Conversion Therapy” Journal of Medical Regulation (2016) is quite reliable, as Drescher collaborated with many scientists from different organizations. Considering the fact that they are from different affiliations but contribute supporting ideas, this strengthens the credibility of this article. Furthermore, this was published in 2016, which is neither too recent nor outdated.
I chose this source because it provides technical details to support the lacking ethicality of conversion therapy. As Drescher is a psychiatrist, he includes scientific reasoning to support the idea that conversion therapy is not an ethical solution to “curing” homosexuality.

3. Précis
Drescher starts this article by providing background and historical context of homosexuality through the perspective of psychology; Sigmund Freud viewed homosexuality as a form of developmental arrest, which prompted many psychologists and believers of psychology to view homosexuality as abnormal. After decades of debating, the American Psychiatric Association ultimately decided to remove homosexuality from the DSM-II in 1973. And although people became more tolerant of homosexuality, some still believed that homosexuality could be cured. Drescher proceeds to introduce the origin of conversion therapy that supposedly converted the sexual orientation of 200 individuals. He states that multiple organizations have found conversion therapy to be ineffective; rather, these treatments can produce harmful consequences towards survivors.

4. Reflection
I agree with Drescher’s view, as he disproves the science behind conversion therapy. As an avid believer of psychology, I believe that psychology can aid an individual in many aspects; the goal of psychodynamic therapy, for instance, is to help one become cognizant of the past’s influence on present behaviors. This may help an individual develop healthier habits in order to achieve their goals. In other words, psychology is generally used to help people achieve their true potential and grow as human beings. Conversion therapy, on the other hand, does the opposite. It dehumanizes homosexual individuals and causes them to feel self-hatred. It often leads to depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts.

5. Quotables
“Patients who do not change may feel worse and blame themselves, question their faith or their motivation. This may lead to depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation”
“Ethical violations in these treatments include:

“Subjective informed consent, i.e., telling patients that homosexuality is a mental disorder because of practitioner beliefs.
Breaches of confidentiality, i.e., counselors in religious schools informing administration officials about a patient’s sexual behavior discussed in therapy, sometimes leading to expulsion.
Improper pressure placed on patients, i.e., threatening to end treatment if the patients do not submit to the therapist’s authority.
Abandoning patients who eventually decide to come out as gay or lesbian, i.e., unwillingness to refer a patient to a gay or lesbian affirmative therapist when conversion therapy fails.
Indiscriminate use of treatment, i.e. regardless of the probability of success, conversion therapists will recommend their treatments to anyone.
Typically, low patient motivation, rather than the skill of a therapist or efficacy of the conversion treatment, is credited as the primary factor interfering with change. This is a set-up for “patient blaming” as most people who try to change do not”

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