After a quick and successful campaign and a Change.org petition started by this blog, we are very proud to announce that the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) has had their accreditation pulled.
NARTH was on a list of several hundred organizations which could have provided continuing education credits for Licensed Educational Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Licensed Clinical Social Workers to renew their licenses. This essentially meant that NARTH could be responsible for helping to train the people who have to counsel LGBT youth and families.
For those who don’t know, NARTH is a hateful organization which provides conversion or “ex-gay” therapy for their clients. This form of therapy has been not only disproven as being effective, but many who go through it either commit or attempt suicide. As stated in the note above, this form of therapy has been debunked by the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Counselors Association.
The organization responsible for accreditation of these groups is the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. We put in several calls and sent over 1,100 signatures to demand NARTH be removed from the list. The Sacramento News & Review reports that BBS Spokesman Russ Heimerich said that NARTH was removed from the list as of last week due to “delinquent fees.” In the meantime however, Heimerich said that the Continuing-Education approval process is on the agenda for the next board meeting in September. He also noted “We certainly do believe that there is a lot of room for improvement.”
The following statement was sent to Talk About Equality in response to our Change.org petition:
This is in response to your recent email to the Board of Behavioral Sciences (Board) in which you expressed concerns that the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) appears on the Board’s approved continuing education provider list.
California Code of Regulation, Title 16, Section’s 1887.4 through 1887.14 specifies the requirements to become a Continuing Education Provider. A Continuing Education Provider must ensure its coursework is relevant to a licensee’s practice and is related to direct or indirect patient care. The Board does not have the ability to deny any application that meets these requirements.
Board licensees are permitted to take continuing education coursework from an array of providers such as an accredited or approved school, or an association, health facility, governmental entity, educational institution, individual, or other organization that offers continuing education courses that meet that meet the law’s requirements. Further, if a Board Continuing Education Provider approval has expired, the provider may not present a course for continuing education credit for licensees of the Board. Our records reflect that NARTH’s provider approval expired on October 31, 2010. Accordingly, our continuing education provider list has been updated to reflect provider’s with non-expired approvals.
The Board previously identified concerns with the Continuing Education Program. A discussion about continuing education and possible regulatory changes will be an agenda item for the Board’s September Licensing and Examination Committee meeting. Additionally, the Board will discuss the concept of a continuing competency model at its October Policy and Advocacy meeting. Both meetings will in Sacramento, California. All of the Board’s meetings are public meetings. The agenda and meeting materials will be published on the Board’s website atwww.bbs.ca.gov ten days prior to the meeting.
Thank you for contacting the Board with your concerns.