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Monday, June 29, 2015

When the Therapist Is a Quack

By Olga Khazan
The Atlantic
Originally published June 4, 2015

Here is an excerpt:

Some conversion therapy practitioners are bona-fide psychologists or counselors. But many operate on the fringes, pitching themselves either as religious mentors or, in Downing’s case, as mere “coaches.” In some ways, the rise of therapeutic-sounding titles like “life coach”—with its patina of personal growth and near absence of accountability—has allowed conversion therapy to flourish.

“To my knowledge there is no regulation of the [life coach] title, nor are they licensed by any state,” said Jack Drescher, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who helped write the American Psychological Association’s reports on conversion therapies. “As far as I know, life coaches can say and do pretty much whatever they want.” In most states, he added, even the title of "therapist" is not regulated: Anyone who wants to hang a shingle, can.

The entire article is here.