Healing Spiritual Harms: Supporting Recovery from LGBTQA+ Change and Suppression Practices


The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, February 2021

This research report presents findings from a project conducted in partnership with the Brave Network, the Australian LGBTIQ+
Multicultural Council (AGMC) and the Victorian Government on recovery support needs of survivors of LGBTQA+ change and
suppression (conversion) practices.

Studies suggest that at least one in ten LGBTQA+ Australians are vulnerable to religion-based pressures and attempts to
change or suppress their sexuality and/or gender identity.

Psychological research has demonstrated that LGBTQA+ change and suppression efforts do not reorient a person’s sexuality
or gender identity and an increasing body of literature has documented the negative impacts that these pressures and attempts
have on LGBTQA+ people’s lives. Little formal research evidence exists regarding what supports are needed to enhance the
recovery of people who have been harmed by LGBTQA+ change and suppression practices.

This study investigated survivors’ experiences of recovery through interviews with survivors and with mental health practitioners.

The report provides a detailed account of survivors’ support needs. Its findings are intended to inform health practitioners and
others working to meet the support needs of LGBTQA+ people who are recovering from the harms associated with h LGBTQA+ change and
suppression practices.

Download report here

By J Pope

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