Public Apology


The Finnish Psychoanalytical Society (SPY) apologizes for all views expressed within its

sphere of influence, which have contributed to individuals belonging to sexual and

gender minorities being stigmatized as diseased, disturbed, developmentally challenged

or in any other way abnormal, based on their sexual orientation or gender diversity. This

apology is addressed to all those individuals, whom these views have violated and to

whom these same views have caused suffering and harm. It is especially justified to

apologize for harmful treatments based on these pathologizing theories. This includes all

those treatments, which in the name of psychoanalysis have suggested the changing of

sexual orientation or, without question or otherwise, have sought to implement a person’s

own wish of such a change, by suggesting that such a change would indeed be possible

or desirable or by in any way suggesting that homosexual orientation would somehow be

wrong or in need of being fixed. These wrongful treatments also include treatments

whereby a person’s symptoms and problems have been explained by reference to their

homosexuality. This apology also concerns an equivalent attitude toward trans and gender 

diversity. The apology also covers all other individuals belonging to sexual and gender 

minority identities that have been harmed. We now know and understand how harmful such 

views and treatments have been and how much suffering they have caused and how they have 

violated individual autonomy, human dignity and the right to equality. Indirectly they have 

also had other harmful consequences, such as long-term financial losses or professional 

obstacles. They have also prevented and hampered seeking or receiving appropriate help.


The International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA), whose ethical rules bind all 

psychoanalysts belonging to The Finnish Psychoanalytical Society, has approved a position 

statement against conversion therapies on April 26, 2022. It states unequivocally that 

purposeful attempts to convert or change an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or 

gender expression, are not in accordance with the fundamental ethical principles of 

psychoanalysis nor consistent with the explorative aims of psychoanalysis. (The statement can 

be read in full on the IPA webpage – IPA Position Statement on Attempts to Change Sexual 

Orientation, Gender Identity, or Gender Expression.)


The Finnish Psychoanalytical Society also apologizes for not at an earlier date publicly

resigning from views which maintain out of date and harmful notions and prejudices

about sexuality and gender within health services and society at large. Psychoanalysts

are responsible for the consequences of the theories and views that they

express, and they must therefore carefully be ethically checked to make sure that

no group of people be ostracized or stigmatized by prejudices and discrimination as a

consequence of them.


Helsinki, June 29, 2022

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