Conversion therapy, therapy that attempts to coerce a person to become heterosexual, is banned in only 16 states. This is long overdue since the APA took homosexuality out of their list of mental disorders. I’d like to propose that a lot of therapy is conversion therapy in disguise.
Can we all look back for a minute and recall being told in our therapy sessions, “You feel sad because you have a disease called depression,” or, “You aren’t engaging in therapy because of your depression.” Here, very normal human feelings and behavior such as sadness and disliking therapy is interpreted as a “symptom” of depression. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. What is happening is subtle coercion to get the patient to believe they have a real disease that requires “treatment” that is detectable and can now be used as an excuse.
Looking back, I can recall being told that my dislike of eating disorders treatment (getting locked up and stared at while I do private thing) was “ED speaking.” It wasn’t, of course, as there is no “ED” that I’m secretly married to or who speaks to me. The idea of the personification of ED, to me, is anti-woman and degrading. I am not married to an evil, invisible Devil figure who barks commands at me to do terrible things. I’m not bewitched or possessed. Imagine telling that to a child, that they have an evil spirit inside them that makes them intrinsically bad! Imagine how it feels for the family to be told their child is possessed! This kind of thing belongs in fiction only, not as “healthcare.”
Therapy for ED consists of an attempt to coerce a young, vulnerable person that they have this “ED” inside them. It is indeed conversion therapy given how many unfortunate patients buy into this.