OPEN ACCESS
Opinion

A New Family Systems Therapeutic Approach for Parents and Families of Sexual Minority Youth

October 1, 2018
Edition: Fall 2018
Volume: 33
Issue: 2
Article: 5

Table of Contents

Abstract

Recent legislation introduced in the United States, and abroad, to restrict “conversion” or “change” therapies for clients under the age of eighteen has brought upon increasing challenges for religious and/or rejecting families of children who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ), or experience unwanted same-sex attractions or gender identity conflicts. Currently, fourteen states, the District of Columbia, and forty-four cities have passed laws to prohibit such therapies, with more legislation being introduced every year. While reports of abuse and/or forced therapy with licensed clinicians are hard to verify, outcome studies on the effects of  “conversion” or “change” therapy for minors have not been published in the scientific peer-reviewed literature, and even less is known about successful therapeutic interventions for religious and/or rejecting families of such youth. With the increasing scrutiny brought about by such laws, licensed mental health practitioners should consider adopting innovative models of family systems therapy in order to safely and effectively work with sexual minority youth, and their families. This article presents one such family systems therapeutic model, while also addressing several important ethical considerations for working with religious and/or rejecting families of sexual minority youth.

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About the Authors

Affiliation: A preliminary report based on this paper was presented at the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Pediatricians Matthew Bulfin Conference on October 1, 2017 at Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. Correspondence should be addressed to: Institute for Healthy Families, P.O. Box 3223 Manassas, VA 20108; phone: 703-367-0894; e-mail: IHFINFO@instituteforhealthyfamilies.org.