CNN to discuss APA task force today

If not bumped by breaking news (e.g., Iraq, Holsinger nomination, Paris Hilton sneezes), I will be on CNN today at approximately 1:40pm Eastern Standard Time opposite psychiatrist Benjamin McCommon. Topic: The APA task force and the initiative of the religious coalition reported in last week’s AP article.

Video of the segment is now up on You Tube:

  • ken

    Do you know if the segment will be posted to the CNN website? Or if a transcript will be made available? (for those of us who won’t have easy access to a TV at 1:40PM).

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    No, don’t know.

  • Drowssap

    1:40pm Eastern Standard time?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Yes, I added that clarification to the post. Thanks!

  • Drowssap

    Awww crud, I’ll still be out in the field.

    Good luck!

  • Mary

    Warren,

    I pray that this invites others true practitioners of client centered therapy to come forward. This all reminds me of some Ayn Rand story where society has come to believe in the rule and guidelines of a some group and abandoned all self creativity and invention.

  • NickC

    Scheduled time was two hours ago. (I assume Warren meant Eastern DAYLIGHT time, not standard time.) Did the segment air?

  • Lynn David

    Here is the URL for the transcript.

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0707/17/cnr.04.html

    Search on “Throckmorton” and it will take you down to near the end….

  • Lynn David

    The piece actually starts at this statement:

    “HOLMES: Can therapy change your sexual orientation?”

  • Lynn David

    It seems that Drs McCommon & Throckmorton came to a tacit agreement at the end:

    So, Dr. McCommon, do you ever — are you ever working with a man or a woman who — where you just say, look, you’re gay. Embrace it. This is who you are?

    MCCOMMON: Well, I think that it’s important to recognize that for some people that’s not easy. It’s not the role of a psychiatrist to tell somebody what to do. I think it’s our role to give them the best information that we can. For instance, we know that it’s very hard to change sexual orientation, by which I mean desires for same- sex desires or same-sex romantic attractions, that’s going to very hard to change.

    It might be possible for some people to change their sexual behavior, although most people find even that to be quite difficult.

    I would be interested in exploring with the patient why it is they want to do so, and seeing if it might be possible to help them find ways to lead a life that’s more in congruence ens with their sexual orientation.

    PHILLIPS: Dr. Throckmorton, is that how you would handle a patient as well?

    THROCKMORTON: It’s very similar. I would certainly want to ask the individual their reasons for wanting to explore change. I think the concept of congruence mentioned by Dr. McCommon is a good one. The congruence for some clients will be with their sexuality. The congruence for others will be with their religious beliefs.

    Clearly, some people feel that the most core aspect of them is their sexuality.

    Others, on the other hand, believe that their religious values and religious beliefs are most core, and they would rather explore congruence of their behavior with those beliefs and values.

    PHILLIPS: Dr. Warren Throckmorton, Dr. Benjamin McCommon, we’ll follow the decisions that’s made toady. Thanks for talking with me about it.

    So perchance, so too, the APA”s commitee might come to a compromise also.

  • NickC

    Well, Warren, I’m glad you and McCommon have cleared up THAT controversy!

  • http://www.transformingcong.org Karen Booth

    I was able to watch the clip today and for as much as you can get into a few minutes, I thought it went pretty well. Referring to Exodus without any background material was kind of surprising. Have we made that much of a splash in the culture that we don’t need to be defined anymore?

    One interesting contradiction of sorts – while the reporter stated that both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association “oppose” reparative and conversion therapy, the trailer (or whatever you call those little words at the bottom of the screen) kept flashing that the APA DOES NOT (my emphasis) “denounce” the therapy.

    Like she said … confusing,

  • Lynn David

    Sean O’Donnell who was quoted at the beginning of this piece on therapies concening homosexuality was further interviewed by CNN at the Phoenix “Love Won Out” conference. That interview aired in June on CNN Newsroom as part of a larger discussion of homosexuality, and a discussion with Dr Clinton Anderson representing the APA. See the URL:

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0706/23/cnr.06.html

  • jayhuck

    Warren,

    I’m a little confused – you lump people into two camps: those who make religion a core value and others who make their sexuality a core value?

    Aren’t there religious people, who, still embrace their homosexuality, who don’t necessarily make their sexuality a core value?

    You seem to try to draw a distinction between faith-based and sexuality-based people, and I’d have to disagree. Just because a person accepts their homosexuality doesn’t mean that that is their CORE value – Good Grief!

  • jayhuck

    If a straight person accepts their heterosexuality and embraces it, does that mean their core value is their sexuality???????

  • Mark

    Warren:

    Nice segment on CNN. I thought you were able to make some important distinctions. It would be helpful if all exchanges were as rational and moderate.

  • jayhuck

    I do agree with Mark, Warren. It was a very nice segment, and I was happy to hear everything you said except that comment above which I consider to be important. If you have the time, it would be nice if you clarified what you meant. Thanks

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Jayhuck – I responded to the concept of a client in conflict. The dichotomy I mentioned is a frequent one. However, that does not preclude the resolution you hint at. You only get so much time on these segments :)

  • jayhuck

    Ah – ok – that makes sense. I understand about the time limit, it just sounded initially like all people who choose to be gay have their sexuality as a primary core value and those who choose otherwise have religion – I know some very pious people of faith who are gay, so I’m glad to hear that’s not what you meant.

    Thanks for clarifying :) I just realized that is the first time I’ve ever heard you speak.

  • Ann

    I agree with you Mark – it was nice to see this subject discussed without the usual bantering that we see on tv. In fact, if this kind of diaglogue continues, who know, perhaps there could be a place of agreement. How cool would that be?

  • ken

    The piece was interesting. I realize there were time constraints, but I think another sentence introducing you and Dr. McCommon would have been helpful. Additionally, I think it would have been useful to hear from someone who claimed that the therapy was successful as well.

    and why were they running a loop of gay weddings while you spoke?

  • Ann

    because the media is very biased and ill informed on this subject.

  • Drowssap

    Good job Warren!

    That 5 minute piece can be boiled down to just two statements.

    Benjamin McCommon: “I would be interested in exploring with the patient why it is they want to do so, and seeing if it might be possible to help them find ways to lead a life that’s more in congruence with their sexual orientation.

    Warren Throckmorton: “Clearly, some people feel that the most core aspect of them is their sexuality. Others, on the other hand, believe that their religious values and religious beliefs are most core, and they would rather explore congruence of their behavior with those beliefs and values.”

  • Ann

    interesting but not too popular to realize that some people hold different values than others and are asking for help in exploring congruence of their behavior with those religious beliefs and values. Does it really matter what a therapist or religious leader or anyone else for that matter believes or thinks if this is what the person seeking help wants?

  • gordo

    Does it really matter what a therapist or religious leader or anyone else for that matter believes or thinks if this is what the person seeking help wants?

    Does it matter if thousands of people fly off to Guyana to drink poison koolaid?

    I may sincerely believe that God wants me to mutilate myself, but that doesn’t make it ok for a therapist or religious leader to lend me a razor blade.

    The faulty assumption is that any personal or religious belief is legitimate.

    Many people on this board can demonstrate that a change in religious belief is possible. I used to believe the Bible. Now I don’t. I can tell you how change is possible if you’re interested.

    Timothy and Michael used to believe that homosexuality was sin. Now they don’t. I’m sure they’d be happy to help you.

    Why spend years of effort and thousands of dollars pursuing a change that will not happen at the expense of change that demonstrably can?

  • jag

    The segment made you both look like very similar people…only one believed that somehow that choosing religion as their “core” value might change someone’s sexual preferences….

    sadly, it doesn’t.

    There are many people who choose religion as their core value who are gay. Gay christians are out there…and churches who support them. Why align yourself with intolerance? In the end Warren, you’re going to be on the wrong side of history…

    along with those who thought that the Bible supported slavery…and that those of different races should not marry.

  • Ann

    Gordo,

    Your answers seemed extreme compared to the simple question I asked. If I want to explore ways to have my behaviors be in congruence with my individual faith and belief, what is the matter with me going to see someone like Dr. Throckmorton for help? Why is it anyone else’s business to comment on? Also, regarding the mutilation theory, do you hold the same standard for those doctors who participate in sex re-assignment surgery?

  • Ann

    Jag,

    I don’t think changing sexual preference is the issue – rather how to be in congruence with that which you hold as your core values. It is a personal thing. That goes for all issues, which I believe we everyone is prone to at some time or another in our lives.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    The segment made you both look like very similar people…only one believed that somehow that choosing religion as their “core” value might change someone’s sexual preferences….

    sadly, it doesn’t.

    Jag,

    I don’t think Warren is claiming that choosing religion changes orientation. I think he would argue, instead, that values based therapy can change behavior and provide contentment and satisfaction.

    In other words, he would help a client with same-sex attraction find a way to craft a satisfying life that reflected their religious and moral values – whether or not there was any diminishment or change in same-sex attractions.

  • Lynn David

    A big part of the problem is that something that is normal in humans – homosexuality – is sought to be denied/suppressed in order to fit or ‘uphold’ the norm – heterosexuality. Honestly now… should not the need to dispute a normal part of human life and even suppress it be seen as a mental disorder?

    YIKES!!! Now where are we going with that?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Timothy – You nailed it. I would do that if that is what the client wanted to do. Until then, I would simply do what therapists do in circumstances where values are unclear. Give the best information I can and help the person sort through things.

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