“Boy Erased” and “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” – Two Films Expose Harm of “Conversion Therapy”

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Mental Health Abuse

As I learned more about the history of social work, one thing that always stood out to me is how people of color access mental health services less often than majority populations. The reasons for this is many-fold, but one reason that stands out to me is a historical abuse of minorities by mental health practitioners who were not ethical by today's standards.

The author of the memoir "Boy Erased" has stated that he does not see a therapist because "because it bothers [him] to even enter a therapy setting now." (source: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/06/26/why-forgive-parents-sent-me-gay-conversion-therapy-cult/) This clear, present-day example was such an excellent illustration of why some populations may distrust the helping professions, and why cultural competence is so important for social work.

In addition, I think it is a call to action for advocates of the helping professions to disavow and denounce any harmful practice that is not evidence-based, if we are to be taken serious as professionals.

Kevin Lee more than 4 years ago

Conversion Therapy

During the past two years I have been horrified by many of the events that have been witnessed and normalized by some individuals in this atmosphere of hate. I must have been living in a bubble because I really thought we were moving to a more inclusive and accepting place. We must work to make sure laws are passed in every state to ban this dangerous and cruel therapy. Thank you SaraKay for keeping us aware and encouraging us to work on ending these harmful and abusive practices.

Marianne Anthony more than 4 years ago


Thanks so much for writing, Marianne! Yes, there is much hard work to continue to do in many spheres. I so agree -- in many ways we lived in a bubble of idealism after WW!!, but in 1968 dangerous cracks ignored too long began to appear. These cracks were not adequately addressed. I am sure that we will do the hard work necessary to restore hope, and awareness that we in America are only as strong as our most vulnerable links. It will take time, but it will happen.

SaraKay Smullens more than 4 years ago

Barbaric practice

It's hard to believe that anyone could practice conversion therapy in 2018. Anyone who does should be arrested. We need laws that protect young people from this barbaric practice.

Kathy LaMotte more than 4 years ago

Conversion Therapy

Thanks very much for your comments, Kathy! Here is an updated map showing the states that allow this horrific violation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._jurisdictions_banning_conversion_therapy_for_minors

SaraKay Smullens more than 4 years ago

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