The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recently called for a national ban on gay conversation therapy. This week, survivors of this controversial practice sat down with Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani at HuffPost Live to talk about their experiences.
Josh Sanders underwent conversation therapy at the now defunct Exodus International in his late-20s. Part of that therapy included participating in a gay exorcism.
“It’s not like The Exorcist,” Sanders said. “It’s not like what you see on TV, but a very intense time of prayer, holy water, a dark room with candles.”
“It’s traumatic,” he continued. “For me, I experienced religious trauma syndrome … it’s similar to PTSD, so there’s triggers that I would have.”
As a result, Sanders says he’s now in therapy to work on managing those emotions.
“I go to therapy now just to work through and navigate through my really unhealthy experiences I went through in conversion therapy,” he said.
Watch the interview in the video below.