Illinois Bans Conversion Therapy for LGBT Youth

The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) congratulates Illinois in becoming the 5th jurisdiction to ban conversion therapy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth – joining California, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington D.C. Minors in the state of Illinois will now be protected from the long-discredited practice of conversion or “reparative” therapy.

“There is nothing to ‘repair’ or ‘change’ about one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression,” said Mark Smaller, Ph.D., president of the American Psychoanalytic Association. “Unfortunately, in 2015 we still have to confront prejudice, ignorance and misinformation and that is why our organization issued a position statement in 2012 stating clearly that conversion therapy doesn’t work and can cause serious psychological harm. Our statement affirmed everyone’s right to their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.”

Dennis Shelby, co-chair of our Committee on Advocacy Relations, worked tirelessly with state legislators, leaders, advocates and other mental & medical associations to push this important legislation to the Governor’s desk. Through his efforts, APsaA and the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis were both signatories on the historic joint statement by a dozen Illinois mental health, medical associations and educational institutions.

“We join President Obama in supporting a ban on conversion therapy for LGBT youth across the U.S.,” said Smaller.

The American Psychoanalytic Association is a professional organization of psychoanalysts with approximately 3,300 members. The Association is comprised of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, educators, researchers and students who have an interest in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic therapy. Visit for more information.

Media Contact: Wylie Tene Director of Public Affairs 212-752-0450 ext. 29 [email protected]

APsA Staff