Statement on Ban on Conversion Therapy, By Scott Williams

KW Counselling Services and the OK2BME program applauds the federal government’s decision to introduce legislation amending the Criminal Code to ban conversion therapy.

The government defines conversion therapy as “any practice, treatment or service designed to change an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, eliminate, reduce sexual attraction or sexual behaviour between persons of the same sex. It does not include gender reassignment surgery or any related service.” Conversion therapy is a dangerous practice. The Canadian Psychological Association has deemed conversion therapy a serious threat to the health and well-being of those affected.

Conversion therapy does not work. These kinds of “pseudo therapy” can result in significant harm to people who are exposed to it. It can increase the risks of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, self-harm, and suicidality.

As always, those in Waterloo Region who are interested in receiving counselling to support them around issues of gender or sexuality, are welcome to connect with us by calling 519.884.0000 or filling out our online intake form. For the last 15 years we have provided affirmative and supportive counselling to the LGBTQ2+ community.  We are able to provide no cost counselling to youth ages 5-29, but will support adults outside of that age range as well.

OK2BME’s services are provided by the staff and supervised placement students at KW Counselling Services. All of the psychotherapists at KW Counselling Services have Masters level education and experience working with kids, teens, and families on a variety of topics. The placement students at KW Counselling Services come from Master of Social Work or counselling programs.