Commonwealth Policy Center

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council will soon move toward banning so-called “conversion therapy.” This act will ban licensed counselors who seek to help minors struggling with same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria. State Rep. Cherlynn Stevenson (D-Lexington) and others label counseling that helps minors sexual identity align with their moral values “torture.” But is this what counselors are doing? Actually harming kids? I recently interviewed Clinical Psychologist Dr. Julie Hamilton who addressed many of the straw-man arguments opponents of what is known as sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE).  Hamilton argues that ethical guidelines already protect minors from harmful counseling practices and that such bans on SOCE actually prevent clients from getting the help to free themselves from unwanted desires their seeking.