Dr. Jack Drescher writes about Sexual Conversion Therapies in a series of articles posted over at Fr. Marty Kurylowicz’ blog Early Childhood Development and Growing Up Gay. In part 4 of 6 Dr. Drescher addresses the issue of harm and conversion therapies.
One significant issue is how conversion therapists establish a situation that leads to patient-blaming. Rather than emphasizing the skill of a particular therapist or the efficacy of treatment, patients are frequently told that their own motivation (or faith) is the primary factor leading to change. These therapists often label a patient’s difficulties as “resistance” to change. Then, when treatment fails—and based on their own reports, most treatments do not lead to change—even if the therapist does not overtly blame the patient, in many cases patients blame themselves. Again, according to anecdotal reports, after treatment fails, patients feel worse than when they started. In such cases, patients report a worsening of depression, onset of anxiety, and feelings of suicide. Significantly, these results are not reported in any of the published reports or on the websites of sexual conversion therapists
In an in a bizarre overlap of surreal worlds, this video supplies narratives of former high level members of Scientology who speak about their experiences of self-hypnotising and getting blamed for not reaching the levels of healing promised. Much like the ex-gay world, this is a world within a world with its own language and reality.
(hat tip to Daniel Gonzales)