Brisbane psychologist Paul Martin has helped children as young as 14 who have been severely affected by the therapies and is contacted by a new patient every few weeks.
"The psychological damage being done to Queenslanders under our noses as we speak is just horrendous," he warned.The therapies treat homosexuality as a psychological disorder that can develop from factors such as sexual abuse as a child or a lack of strong parental figures. In some cases, therapies involve banning males from kitchens or instructing people to wear more masculine or feminine clothes.
"With Christian reparative therapy, being gay is not only a psychological disorder but it is inherently sinful, which means every time they have a thought about a boy or girl they believe there are going to hell," Mr Martin said.
"If you start saying that to a kid at that age during puberty, it instils a belief that they are defective and that can cause depression and turn the volume up much higher in suicide and mental illness."
Exodus Asia Pacific's website lists five ministries in Queensland, two in NSW (of which one is the Sydney Anglican Liberty Christian Ministries Inc organisation) and one in Victoria that claim they can help people overcome homosexuality.
The Australian Psychological Society recommended in 2000 that practitioners refrain from therapies that attempted to change a person's sexuality.
But a research project set to be released within months has found Australian psychologists and psychiatrists are covertly using or recommending the therapies.
Sydney-based Anthony Venn-Brown - who went through therapy, warns of its dangers - and said online courses were "the most dangerous of all".
"People don't know who they are contacting," Mr Venn-Brown said.
"These people are not professionally trained - not psychologists. I know of people who have attempted suicide after trying it."
WHAT THESE GAY THERAPY ORGANISATIONS BASE THEIR BELIEFS ON...
* Ex-gay ministries treat homosexuality as a failing that can be overcome like an alcohol, drug or gambling addiction
* They link homosexuality to sexual abuse as a child or the search for a father figure
* Along with worship and prayer, gay Christians are encouraged to go to regular meetings on topics such as the true feminine and the true masculine
* Often, participants are bombarded with testimonials from former gay leaders who claim they have transformed their sexual orientation
* Participants also can enter 12-week courses or go away on weekend retreats. Groups are aware of the scrutiny and some offer participants the option to pay in cash or via PayPal to avoid linking the person back to the organisation
The 'addiction cure' therapy sounds a bit sus...because it was a complete failure in curing Sydney Anglican's of their gambling problem.
Darlene ... addiction therapy in Sydney only works with sexual urges ...their puritanic view of sex would emotionally castrate anyone...regardless of their sexual orientation. I see Melbourne is holding "A Different Conversation"...it's wasted on Sydney Anglicans who only have one conversation...and a bigoted one at that!