Monday, July 11, 2011

Reparative therapy and politics

I try not to post anything too political on this blog. But the recent revelation that Marcus Bachmann, husband of current presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann, practices reparative therapy is something that I feel is of interest to those who are concerned with mental health as a profession. 


Reparative therapy--psychotherapy designed to "cure homosexuality" by helping same-gender-loving people learn to repress their feelings and act like heterosexuals--has been discredited by every major mental health association in the United States. It is unethical and damaging. 


This article in The Daily Beast by Michelle Goldberg sums up nicely what the problem is with reparative therapy, and why it's a big deal that the husband of a presidential candidate owns a clinic which practices it. A quote:
Why does any of this matter? Bachmann may be dishonest about his practice, but he’s not the one running for president. Yet in describing herself as a small-business owner, Michele Bachmann clearly takes partial credit for Bachmann & Associates, and so its activities reflect on her. 
Consider what it would mean for GLBT citizens of the US to have Marcus Bachmann, PhD, living in the White House. It is not hard to imagine that giving Mr. Bachmann access to a national microphone could be detrimental to the mental health of millions of queer Americans. 


Original article here. 

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