Position Papers

The LGBQTI community

The Expression of Regret

The President, on behalf of the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association of Australasia (PPAA) and its Member Associations, extends to members, colleagues, trainees and candidates an expression of deep sorrow and remorse for any harm done to those in the community whose sexual orientation or gender identity differs from a heterosexual norm, by the publication and promotion of psychoanalytic theories that misrepresented them and were prejudicial against them.

The contemporary perspective

This document accompanies the PPAA Expression of Regret and demonstrates how the PPAA has learnt from the past. The items noted below demonstrate the contemporary philosophy, policies, and actions taken by the PPAA that highlight the commitment of PPAA to welcome, support and stand up for our LGBTQI colleagues in the professional and public arenas.

Psychoanalytic perspectives on current issues

Conversion Therapies

The Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association of Australasia (PPAA) is an organisation whose members are experts in the area of mental health as registered professionals and psychotherapists, and as such encounter individuals of different sexual orientations and identities in everyday clinical practice. Many of these individuals struggle with these identities as a result of the significant discrimination and bias against them. As a result, these individuals experience overwhelming distress and are especially vulnerable. This is particularly the case in LGBTQI+ youth.

The transgenerational trauma of Aboriginal and First Nations Peoples

The members of our organisation are highly trained clinicians in the area of mental health. Psychoanalysis assumes humans to be constituted as social beings in a primary and continuing interdependency with others (Rustin, M. 1991) and with their social, cultural and spiritual environments. Our experience and our knowledge of current research make clear that certain events can be traumatising to individuals, families and communities, and that those who experience such events will most likely be dealing with the consequences for the rest of their lives, as well as having an effect on subsequent generations. Such events constitute transgenerational trauma.

PPAA Position Statements

The Continuing Detention of Refugees

The Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association of Australasia (PPAA) opposes the detention of children and adults in Nauru, Manus Island and on the mainland of Australia. The PPAA notes that detention of children contravenes the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the detention of people seeking asylum contravenes the Refugee Convention. Both of these were signed by Australia in 1990.

Marriage Equality

Members of the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association of Australasia (the PPAA) are in a unique position to observe the impact of discrimination, in all its forms, and the contribution of such discrimination to a variety of mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicidality. The PPAA respect the rights of all people— regardless of sexual orientation, religious belief, age, gender, ability, lifestyle choice, cultural background or economic circumstances – to live with dignity and safety, and to enjoy healthy relationships in all their diversity.

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