Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 2. HEALING ARTS [500 - 4999.129]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 399. )

CHAPTER 1. General Provisions [500 - 865.2]

  ( Chapter 1 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 399. )

ARTICLE 15. Sexual Orientation Change Efforts [865 - 865.2]
  ( Article 15 added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 835, Sec. 2. )


For the purposes of this article, the following terms   shall have the following meanings:

(a) “Mental health provider” means a physician and surgeon specializing in the practice of psychiatry, a psychologist, a psychological assistant, intern, or trainee, a licensed marriage and family therapist, a registered associate marriage and family therapist, a marriage and family therapist trainee, a licensed educational psychologist, a credentialed school psychologist, a licensed clinical social worker, an associate clinical social worker, a licensed professional clinical counselor, a registered associate clinical counselor, a professional clinical counselor trainee, or any other person designated as a mental health professional under California law or regulation.

(b) (1) “Sexual orientation change efforts” means any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.

(2) “Sexual orientation change efforts” does not include psychotherapies that: (A) provide acceptance, support, and understanding of clients or the facilitation of clients’ coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and (B) do not seek to change sexual orientation.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 703, Sec. 3. (SB 1491) Effective January 1, 2019.)


Under no circumstances shall a mental health provider engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a patient under 18 years of age.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 835, Sec. 2. (SB 1172) Effective January 1, 2013.)


Any sexual orientation change efforts attempted on a patient under 18 years of age by a mental health provider shall be considered unprofessional conduct and shall subject a mental health provider to discipline by the licensing entity for that mental health provider.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 835, Sec. 2. (SB 1172) Effective January 1, 2013.)

BPCBusiness and Professions Code - BPC15.