Oz Christian groups trying to cure homosexual teens through treatment
Melbourne, June 10 (ANI): Desperate parents and some Christian leaders in Australia are sending their gay children to counselling in an effort to change their sexuality, through controversial therapies that are facing a ban overseas.
Brisbane psychologist Paul Martin has helped children as young as 14 who have been severely affected by the therapies and is contacted by a new patient every few weeks, News.com.au reported.
"The psychological damage being done to Queenslanders under our noses as we speak is just horrendous," he warned.
Mr Martin underwent - and then carried out "gay recovery" programs - with Exodus ministries in Melbourne 25 years ago but quit and now supports "survivors".
The therapies treat homosexuality as a psychological disorder that can develop from factors such as sexual abuse as a child or a lack of strong parental figures. In some cases, therapies involve banning males from kitchens or instructing people to wear more masculine or feminine clothes.
"With Christian reparative therapy, being gay is not only a psychological disorder but it is inherently sinful, which means every time they have a thought about a boy or girl they believe there are going to hell," Mr Martin said.
"If you start saying that to a kid at that age during puberty, it instils a belief that they are defective and that can cause depression and turn the volume up much higher in suicide and mental illness."
Exodus Asia Pacific's website lists five ministries in Queensland, two in NSW and one in Victoria that claim they can help people overcome homosexuality.
The Australian Psychological Society recommended in 2000 that practitioners refrain from therapies that attempted to change a person's sexuality.
But a research project set to be released within months has found Australian psychologists and psychiatrists are covertly using or recommending the therapies.
Bond University masters student Heidi Jansen said a sample of 268 lesbian and bisexual women from across the country revealed that some were encouraged to complete conversion therapy to "cure" them of their sexuality. (ANI)
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