U.S. Joint Statement by Professional Organizations Warning against so-called Conversion Therapy
The United States Joint Statement (USJS) is a pioneering educational partnership denouncing so-called “conversion therapy” and espousing affirmative treatment for LGBTQ+ people. The USJS partners are 28 influential medical and mental health provider associations of the US. The USJS unifies those associations for the first time in educating against conversion efforts and offers a framework for the associations to guide their members in the treatment of sexual and gender minorities. People who undergo conversion efforts have been known to suffer from a higher incidence of depression, suicidality, anxiety, alienation and other problems. The USJS uses education and awareness to end conversion efforts.
The term "conversion therapy" is the most widely used term to describe practices aimed at changing sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Scientists have tried to distance themselves from this faulty expression because there is nothing therapeutic about these practices. The term conversion efforts better represents the misguided efforts to coerce change. Because "conversion therapy" is such a widely used and recognized term, putting it under quotes reflects its unfortunate popularity.
The USJS is modeled after a similar 2015 partnership in the United Kingdom. It inspired two members of Gaylesta, psychologist Guy Albert and psychotherapist Jim Walker, to launch a similar initiative in the United States. With the help of a few volunteer advisors, they started the largest national educational partnership against “conversion therapy.”
From 2015 through 2023, the USJS engaged the major national healthcare provider associations into the first educational partnership against “conversion therapy.” The American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and 24 other leading health provider associations have joined this partnership.
The USJS supports national ethical treatment standards to protect sexual and gender minorities. The USJS is the most comprehensive bulwark protecting patients against “conversion therapy.”
The USJS is possible because of the support of many champions within the partnering associations and from the generous funding of the members of Gaylesta: The Psychotherapist Association for Gender & Sexual Diversity.
To find out more about the USJS and read the current version of the initiative, please visit the USJS website at https://usjs.org.