A new report from The Trevor Project found that the prevalence of conversion therapy across the country is still disturbingly high. Findings from the study published in December found that there are around 1,320 conversion therapy practitioners in the USA, Around 46% of these practices hold active professional licenses and 54% operate at a ministerial or religious capacity. Those who hold licenses are oftentimes professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, social workers, and psychologists. The states identified to have the highest number of practitioners were Pennsylvania, Texas, Missouri, Ohio, and Minnesota.
Conversion therapy is a medical or mental intervention meant to alter a LGBTQ+ person’s sexuality. These therapies can be extremely traumatizing, physically and emotionally abusive, and have lifelong effects for those exposed to them.
A 2018 study from The Family Acceptance Project found that young LGBTQ+ people who have undergone conversion therapy have higher rates of attempted suicide and higher levels of depression. “While public awareness of the harm and unscientific foundation of conversion therapy has grown dramatically over the years, many believe it to be a thing of the past. This new report shatters this misperception, revealing troubling evidence that conversion therapy is far from being a relic of history,” said the Trevor Project’s Director and Law of Policy, Casey Pick.
“The findings of this report underscore the urgent need for policymakers, state licensing boards, professional associations, accreditation agencies, healthcare leaders, and faith communities to take action today to end this insidious and exploitative industry.”
The Trevor Project’s 2023 U.S. National Survey on Mental Health of LGBTQ Young People found that 1 in 20 young queer people are subjected to conversion therapy, and an additional 10% are threatened with it.