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PACFA LGBTIQ position Statement updated

The PACFA Council has approved updates to PACFA’s Position Statement on therapeutic support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people and their families.

The updated Position Statement is available for download.

The Statement was initially developed in 2014 by members of the Research Committee as a response to concerns raised that a clear statement was needed from PACFA that reparative therapies were not to be practised by PACFA Registrants as these were are known to cause harm.

The Research Committee considered the development of a Position Statement an effective means to provide clarity for members and for consumers about the agreed ethical standards of practice in the profession relating to LGBTIQ+ clients, aligning PACFA with similar professional bodies nationally and internationally.

As with any living document, updates are required from time to time to ensure the currency of the content. In the four years since the endorsement of the Statement, changes have occurred internationally, nationally and within PACFA, that impact the currency of the Statement. These include:

  • the issue of a new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM5), in which important changes were made to the category of gender dysphoria
  • the passage into federal law of marriage equality (December 2017)
  • the PACFA restructure, including the establishment of the LGBTI Interest Group
  • revision of the PACFA Code of Ethics which now makes it clear that it is an ethical requirement that PACFA Registrants follow the LGBTIQ Position Statement

The Position Statement reflects the consensus of leaders in the profession and is supported by international research and policy, citing the United Nations and the American Psychiatric Association. As PACFA is a diverse community, the consideration of the diverse views of the membership were considered in the formulation of the updated Position Statement.The impetus remains on PACFA as a peak body and a health promotion charity to act in the best interests of the entire Australian community and to champion the wellbeing of all members the community. PACFA therefore aims to be publicly visible on the key issues that affect our community such as the wellbeing of LGBTIQ people. This is central to who we are as organisation, and aligns PACFA with other similar professional bodies.

The Position Statement is informed by PACFA’s Code of Ethics to support safe and ethical practice. The Code of Ethics emphasises that practitioners are responsible for learning about human diversity, are aware of their personal values or beliefs in relation to lifestyle, gender, sexual orientation or identity, and are aware of the impact of these on the therapeutic process.

All PACFA Registrants are encouraged to review the updated LGBTIQ Position Statement as it is an ethical requirement to work to this document.