Conversion therapy ban not enough to stop it
Albertans who have done conversion therapy say it was ‘damaging’ and ‘humiliating’
Wesley Jensen says the four years following his conversion therapy were the lowest point of his life. CALGARY—WESLEY Jensen says the four years following his conversion therapy were the lowest point of his life.
After several sessions with a Mormon church-sponsored counsellor in southern Alberta, Jensen dated women and did everything he could to be “straight” in his early adult years.
He became intensely depressed and borderline suicidal, and started taking antidepressants and anxiety medication.
“I always felt like there was something wrong with me,” Jensen said. “I felt very depressed, very anxious, very upset with myself for not being able to be what my parents and my religion told me I should be.”
Conversion therapy is a controversial pseudo-scientific practice adopted by some religions that aims to change a person’s sexual orientation from gay or bisexual to heterosexual. Men, women and children who have been subjected to it have called conversion therapy damaging, demeaning and insidious.
The Canadian Psychological Association and the College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP) oppose the practice, with CAP deputy registrar Troy Janzen saying scientific research “generally does not support that there is any efficacy in conversion or reparative therapy” and some cases have shown “negative outcomes.”
NDP MLA Nicole Goehring will introduce a bill during the fall legislative sitting that seeks to ban conversion therapy in the province. Full story at thestar.com/calgary