Conversion “therapy” (sometimes called reparative “therapy”) kills.

The goal of the practice – which is nearly universally shunned in the medical community – is to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and is particularly harmful to youth. It has often led to suicide.

It is bogus. No study has demonstrated that the practice has a healing therapeutic purpose. Instead, studies have shown that it causes real harm to minors.

Leading Federal Public Health Agency Denies Effectiveness of Conversion “Therapy”

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. In a report released October 2015 titled Ending Conversion Therapy: Supporting and Affirming LGBTQ Youth, SAMHSA asserts the following:

  • Same-gender sexual orientation (including identity, behavior, and attraction) and variations in gender identity and gender expression are a part of the normal spectrum of human diversity and do not constitute a mental disorder
  • None of the existing research supports the premise that mental or behavioral health interventions can alter gender identity or sexual orientation
  • Interventions aimed at a fixed outcome, such as gender conformity or heterosexual orientation, including those aimed at changing gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation are coercive, can be harmful, and should not be part of behavioral health treatment

Scientific and Professional Organizations Shun The Practice

In 2000, the American Psychiatric Association stated, “In the last four decades, ‘reparative’ therapists have not produced any rigorous scientific research to substantiate their claims of cure.”

In 2007, the American Psychological Association released a study titled Sexual Orientation Change Efforts. The study reports the following:

  • Efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm
  • Attempts to change sexual orientation may cause or exacerbate distress and poor mental health in some individuals, including depression and suicidal thoughts

In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, The American Counseling Association and the American Medical Association have all condemned conversion “therapy” – in particular when practiced on minors.

Reporting Conversion Therapy

One way we can demonstrate how harmful this therapy is in Ohio is to go through the proper channels to file a complaint.

If you have gone through conversion “therapy” in the last 8 years and want to file a complaint with the licensing board read on.

The first step is to fill out the form below.

Complaint/Investigation Form

For a complaint to be effectively investigated, it should not be anonymous and the complainant must be willing to cooperate.

  • Include copies of any documentation you feel is relevant to your complaint.
  • Complete and sign the release included. The release will allow the Board to speak to the licensee about your concerns and give the Board access to your client file, if applicable.
  • Include names, addresses and telephone numbers of any individuals who have knowledge of the situation. The Board may communicate via email whenever possible.

The completed form, along with the release of information (in the same file above), can be mailed to the address below.


ATTN: Bill Hegarty
Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage & Family Therapist Board
77 South High Street, 24th Floor, Room 2468