Our Child Is Gay – Should We Consult a Psychiatrist or Psychologist?


Our Child Is Gay – Should We Consult a Psychiatrist or Psychologist?

Consulting a therapist in the hopes of changing your child’s sexual orientation is pointless. Homosexuality is not a disease to be “cured.” Homosexuality is a natural way of being.

Because homosexuality is not “chosen,” you cannot “change your child’s mind.” The American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association have taken the official position that it would be unethical to even try to change the sexual orientation of a  gay person. In 1997, the American Psychological Association again publically cautioned against socalled “reparative therapy,” also known as conversion therapy.

But there are situations where it can be helpful to consult people experienced with family issues and sexual orientation. You may want to talk to someone about your own feelings and how to work through them. You may feel that you and your child need help communicating clearly through this period. Or you may recognize that your child is unhappy and needs help with selfacceptance.

Once again, gay people often have trouble accepting themselves and their sexual identity. In this circumstance, self-rejection could be a dangerous emotional state. In all of these cases, you have a number of options and resources.

A therapist can also provide the confidentiality and, to a degree, the anonymity that you may feel you need at first. There are a variety of resources for help, information and advice. We encourage you to explore your options and to use those best suited for you and your family.

 

Adapted from “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People” written by PFLAG

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