Is a Ban on Reparative Therapy a Violation of the First Amendment, Part One

Does a ban on reparative therapy infringe on the First Amendment rights of reparative therapists?

This question is at the heart of the debate (and a couple of lawsuits) regarding California’s law banning reparative therapy for minors. The law was set to take effect tomorrow but has been postponed pending a full hearing.

According to Eugene Volokh, the issue of professional-client speech has not been well-defined by the courts. In 2004, Volokh offered an excellent summary of issues relating to what the state can do to regulate professional speech to clients.  In the post, Volokh noted that professionals are subject to speech restrictions that other do not experience. For instance, the state can impose penalties when health care professionals offer harmful advice. Outside the professional context these expressions would be protected opinions.

According to Volokh, the Supreme Court has not been specific about important aspects of professional-client speech. He wrote:

Such restrictions and compulsions may in fact be properly upheld: There may be something in a professional-client relationship that would justify such extra regulation. But the Court has never explained (1) exactly what speech restrictions and speech compulsions would be allowed in such a situation, or (2) exactly when this reduced protection would be triggered. In Lowe v. SEC, 472 U.S. 181 (1985), a three-Justice concurrence (written by Justice White and joined by Chief Justice Burger and Justice Rehnquist) suggested this rule (paragraph break added):

One who takes the affairs of a client personally in hand and purports to exercise judgment on behalf of the client in the light of the client’s individual needs and circumstances is properly viewed as engaging in the practice of a profession. Just as offer and acceptance are communications incidental to the regulable transaction called a contract, the professional’s speech is incidental to the conduct of the profession. If the government enacts generally applicable licensing provisions limiting the class of persons who may practice the profession, it cannot be said to have enacted a limitation on freedom of speech or the press subject to First Amendment scrutiny.

Where the personal nexus between professional and client does not exist, and a speaker does not purport to be exercising judgment on behalf of any particular individual with whose circumstances he is directly acquainted, government regulation ceases to function as legitimate regulation of professional practice with only incidental impact on speech; it becomes regulation of speaking or publishing as such, subject to the First Amendment’s command that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

Then Volokh offers a problem which seems relevant to the issues active in the current debate over conversion therapy.

b. Problem: Counseling That Advocates Race-Based Decisions

A state has long required all marriage and family counselors — defined as “any person who offers advice related to marriage and family matters in exchange for money” — to be licensed, and to follow rules prescribed by the state’s Marriage and Family Counseling Licensing Board.

The Board learns that some marriage and family counselors are advising clients not to enter into interracial marriages or interracial adoptions. Some are even advising clients who are in interracial marriages that the interracial nature of the marriage may be a source of the problem, and are suggesting in some instances that divorce may therefore be the only solution.

The Board believes that such advice is offensive, and harmful to the patients. It therefore enacts the following rule: “Any marriage and family counselor who uses the patients’ race, or the race of the patients’ spouse, children, or prospective adoptive children or stepchildren, as part of the basis for the counselor’s recommendation, shall have his or her license suspended for six months.”

Based on this rule, Mary Moe, a counselor who had engaged in such advice, has her license suspended. Her former patients, Laura Loh and Richard Roe, who divorced each other partly on Moe’s advice (Loh is East Asian and Roe is white), but who have since reconciled, sue Moe for emotional distress caused by her advice, which they claim constituted malpractice. The judge awards them $100,000 in a bench trial. One of the judge’s findings of fact is that Moe’s advice was unreasonable by the standards of the profession, and the sole evidence that the judge relies on is the Board’s rule.

What should be the proper analysis be under the First Amendment?

Did Mary Moe suffer a violation of her First Amendment rights?

When reparative therapists tell minor clients that they can change sexual orientation if they engage in deep emotional therapy, are they offering unreasonable advice which can be regulated by the state? When reparative therapists tell clients that homosexuality is a disorder of gender identity, can the state intervene? Should the state intervene when licensed therapists tell clients that pounding a pillow with a tennis racquet while screaming will help them get in touch with repressed memories underlying their homosexuality?

In this post, I want to raise the issues and generate some discussion. In part two, I will write about my views on the matters.

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  • Boo

    “When reparative therapists tell clients that homosexuality is a disorder of gender identity, can the state intervene?”

    Or to rephrase, should licensed professionals be allowed to lie to children in a professional relationship?

  • ken

    I think it is important to note that the law doesn’t prevent anyone (including therapists) from expressing their views on homosexuality in non-theraputic settings.

    as for the case of Mary Moe, I would say, no she did not. When she applied for (and accepted) her license she agreed to adhere to certain standards, thus this isn’t a 1st Amendment case.

  • Teresa

    Warren, I’m confused concerning this issue. Wouldn’t the issue be more of the limits of parental rights of their children. Why is this devolving on the therapist side of things?

    There are many parents who seek alternative medicine for their children’s health issues; and, those alternative medicine professionals are oftentimes ‘credentialed’. Those professionals can be M.D.’s, D.O.’s, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, etc. This goes on all the time in the world of autism; which, in many ways, can be seen as an analogue to sexual orientation. No one is limiting the rights of parents in seeking ‘edgy’ health cures, which have been known to cause, in some cases, more harm than good, btw.

    So, we’re now faced with parental freedom regarding the health of their child vis-a-vis the State/DSM constraining that parental right … under any guise possible.

    Who’s the final arbiter of ‘First Do No Harm’ when the teams on the court are the Parents versus the State? Home-schooling seems to scored a victory for the Parents in this contest.

    Is this a First Amendment issue? I have no clue. But, it’s sure as heck a Parental Rights Issue; whatever, Amendment that falls under. I think parents have every right, without State censure, to pursue the best health options for their child, whatever that looks like. The only caveat being: Buyer Beware.

  • Ann

    Dr. Throckmorton,

    Are you still going to write something that a lay person can understand about the current egigenetics research? In one of the articles, it said the validity of the research and testing should be complete in about 6 months.

  • Ann

    sorry – should read “epigenetics”

  • ken

    Teresa says:

    December 31, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    “Wouldn’t the issue be more of the limits of parental rights of their children. Why is this devolving on the therapist side of things?”

    Because the therapists are the ones performing the potentially harmful treatment. Treatment that could be much worse for teens, whose brains are still developing, than for adults.

    “No one is limiting the rights of parents in seeking ‘edgy’ health cures, which have been known to cause, in some cases, more harm than good, btw.”

    If you know of other cases where children are being harmed by questionable treatment, then you should bring that up and attempt to address those cases (online line, with professional organizations, with your political representatives, etc). However, simply saying “well you don’t help in this case, so why should you help gay teens” is a poor argument.

  • David Cary Hart

    I can argue this either way. I’ll choose the path that I find most comfortable while relishing the entertainment and intellectual values of an energetic argument among peers.

    As a society, we already accept the notion that minors have limited constitutional rights. We also accept that parents have limited rights. For example, we do not give parents the right to give children access to alcohol. Moreover, it is settled law that unemancipated minors cannot give legal consent. We also accept the premise that a licensed therapist or physician is limited by law in many ways. He or she is also limited by economics. Expect to see more riders specifying that carriers will not pay for reparative therapy.

    The desires of the minor are likely to reflect the interests of the parent. Children want the approval of their parents. The competing interests are the VERY REASON that this law is necessary.

  • Lynn David

    I am sure that you could make the same privacy claims concerning “reparative therapies” as one does concerning abortion. If you want to throw in a First Amendment right to free speech, then go ahead, but I fail to see how free speech has anything to do with what is purported to be a scientific “therapy.” But then that is the rub. Abortion has a scientific basis, does so “reparative therapy?” Evidently, it does not. In banning a non-scientific therapy, then, how is freedom of speech in any way abridged or in any way come into play?

    Now if you don’t want to claim your therapies to be in any way scientific, then a therapist might have a first amendment argument to make. But then what good is the therapy – if it could be called that – which is provided? One then may as well call it “art,” which is an out I have seen on some consents I have signed when I have had surgical procedures in the past.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Not a free speech issue. Teresa the State does not allow parents unlimited rights to medically experiment on their children. What religion is it that does not believe in any medical intervention, they rely on prayer to cure? Is it Christian Scientists? Anyway the State will step in and override parental authority and parental religious beliefs and the State will make sure the children are receiving proper medical care. I have read several stories of this happening over the years.

    The State will step in and tell parents that their forms of child punishment are not acceptable. So a parents right to pursue any old medical treatment for their child is not unlimited.

    If Health care providers want to keep their license they better follow the law. In this instance, the State has stepped forward and said that this “therapy” for children is too risky. It is not a First Amendment issue as doctors cannot say any old thing they want and the State turns it’s head and looks the other way. This is simply regulation the medical profession which we want the State to do, we want the medical profession regulated.

  • Gus

    Strange, no one is claiming it violates a physician’s speech rights when Florida makes it illegal for the doctor to ask about gun safety in the home. He/she may ask about all kinds of injury prevention, just not about guns.

  • Dave

    A couple of thoughts ..

    While I appreciate minors being protected from unprofessional therapies this , to me, would seem to be an issue best regulated by medical licensing boards, not political action. Even so, I don’t see it as a free speech issue.

    The (perhaps) *hidden* issue here is why faith based organizations would be concerned about it anyway .. at least in the case of the California ban which only applies to proffessional therapies. JONAH issue aside .. perhaps the main driving force is that certain faith based change ministries that are masquerading as profesional ones don’t want to be exposed as non-proffessional ones.

    IMO .. the suit against JONAH seems least likely to succeed since pure faith based approaches do not require medical or legal liscensing. Otherwise (looking at issues other than the change one) faith based organizations could be sued because their prayers for an individual were not answered or because Jesus did not solve the individual’s problem the way the organization said He would.

    Dave

  • David Cary Hart

    Dave brings up a good point. Why should faith-based organizations care if they can simply provide reorientation therapy as religious counselling?

    I was wondering the same thing myself. Often, in our society, answers are found in economic logic. I am wondering how much reparative therapy is paid for by insurance companies under employer-paid family coverage. We just don’t know.

    Is that the simplest explanation? I don’t know.

  • Gus

    This fight IS really about funding. These ‘faith based’ therapies need the government to approve in order to charge private health insurance. Pray the gay away will not profitable for these folks.

  • inca nitta

    Dave,

    I’m somewhat confused by your statement that lawsuit against JONAH, might succeed: the deal is that they were violating a state law by offering services that did not produce beneficial results to consumers, thus they committed a fraud. But, if JONAH, is an official religious organization, then, the state has no jurisdiction over their services, legally speaking.

  • Dave

    @ inca nitta .. Reread what I wrote .. I said it was *least* likely to succeed (all IMHO of course)

    Dave

  • Matt

    Why would an Advanced Informed Consent process (as described in SIT) that thoroughly involves both parent and child not be a way of taking every ethical precaution necessary while respecting the choices of both the parent and minor? It seems that legal legislation (a bit of an overreach on the part of the government it seems) against conversion therapy for minors does cross the line a bit when it comes to client self-determination.

    I recently read a very potent quote from Douglas Haldeman, PhD, in the SIT Framework document on this website:

    “We must respect the choices of all who seek to live life in accordance with their

    own identities; and if there are those who seek to resolve the conflict between sexual orientation and spirituality with conversion therapy, they must not be discouraged. It is their choice, in consultation with their therapists and/or pastoral care providers, to develop goals in treatment as they see fit, without undue interference from the practitioner. These goals may amount to attempting to change sexual orientation outright, aspiring to celibacy, or managing homoerotic impulses and feelings in the context of a heterosexual marriage (previously referred to as sexual identity management).” (Haldeman, D. C.: Gay rights, patient rights: The implications of sexual orientation conversion therapy. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 264. Quoted on p7 of the SIT Framework document: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/sexual-identity-therapy-framework-pdf-file/ on 1/2/2013)

    If this it taken for granted, it seems to me to be incoherent to ban en mass any kind of conversion therapy for minors (disregarding both theirs and their parents’ wishes) and then suddenly to honour the wish of the ‘adult’ once they turn 18, or 21. However, the charge of ‘incoherence’ may simply reflect be the first stage in an ethically-driven legislative battle against something many believe to be an errant form of therapeutic practice, in which case I can sympathize with pro-legislators.

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

      Matt – Haldeman made that quote in 2000; not sure what he would say now.

      However, your point is respected and if reparative therapists operated in accord with advanced informed consent, I would have little problem with them. The fact is that most of them don’t. They tell clients why they are gay and fail to inform them of studies which contradict their theories. They use techniques which are not mainstream and have evidence against them without informing the clients of this.

      In part, I blame the Christian community for this. Instead of insisting on professionally validated treatments, Christians have bought into every crazy notion about homosexuality for decades. If it make gays look bad or sick, then they are all for it. Beat pillows and scream? Sure, if it links gay to repressed memories of child abuse. Grab oranges and say you are taking your balls back? Sure, that must be ok because gay males aren’t real men. Coerce clients to strip naked or use porn as a part of therapy? Sure, it sounds strange but the end surely justifies the means.

      I don’t blame licensing boards and others when they go after these things. At best, they are questionable and more likely they are harmful and reflect the worst of those using the techniques.

  • inca nitta

    Sorry, Dave, I truly missed that part. Now, it makes sense.

  • Jeremy

    This law is complete travesty.

    I can’t believe ANYONE who claims to be a “Christian” would support it.

    I am sad for the many young people who struggle with Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction who will be denied the help they really need.

    Warren you need to be honest with people. I am shocked and appalled that Christians from Exodus and Courage follow your blog and think it is non-biased “Christian” resource. I have had to explain many times that your blog is just a slightly less crude version of Wayne Besen. You are both on the same side and supporting the same agenda. I can’t understand how anyone could not see that.

    I have been following your blog for over a year and I have yet to see you post anything positive. You describe Reparative Therapy through radical distortions of information that you gathered via hearsay. I know many who have benefited from Reparative Therapy. I have never seen anything that could possible be harmful to anyone.

    You attack every attempt to help people with SSA and yet you have no alternative to suggest except to embrace the false identity of homosexuality which is absolute destruction. I can’t guarantee that Reparative Therapy will eliminate SSA but I can promise that it will HELP and that ANYTHING is better than embracing the gay lifestyle.

  • Dave

    @ Jeremy: If you think Warren’s blog compares in anyway to Wayne Benson then you have, IMO, severe perception issues. I will skip commenting on all your emotionally charged but factually unsupported claims in the middle of your post and just address the last one. I can’t imagine how anyone can follow this blog for over a year and not recognize that Dr. Throckmorton and Dr. Yarhouse do have an alternative to reparative therapy. .. its called SITF .. you can check it out for yourself .. see the links on the right side. Unlike the non-professionally supported methods that you applaud .. this therapy *is* accepted by the APA. I might also add that at its core it does not embrace gay identity .. not that doing such a thing would create the absolute destruction that you claim.

    Dave

  • Jeremy

    @Dave, I have read the synopsis on “Sexual Identity Therapy” from the link http://sitframework.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/sexualidentitytherapyframeworkfinal.pdf

    I do not see how this amoral approach could be considered an alternative for Reparative Therapy. The fact that it is endorsed by the APA (which believe homosexual behavior is healthy) should be cause for alarm for any Christian with SSA. The links here are rather vague and offer little information about what the therapy offers. In many cases it appears to be a pro-gay approach masked in patronizing language toward those who are unwilling to let go of their constricting religious views.

    This is exactly what I wish everyone at Exodus and Courage would pay attention to. Despite the patronizing language of “respect” – this is a pro-gay activist blog just like Wayne Besen and it needs to be clear in everyone’s minds that this is a very biased source. If I had the time, I’d start my own blog – but it would be a full time job correcting all of the errors and misinformation presented here on a daily bases.

  • Teresa

    Jeremy, I thought you had your own blog. Are you the Jeremy Schwab, actor, who commented here sometime back? Somehow, I suspect you are, minus your last name.

    I’m a bit stymied by what you think of SITF, and who you think Warren Throckmorton is. You do realize Warren is a conservative Christian Professor at a conservative Christian College, right? That he spent a considerable number of years as a NARTH member?

    Where did you get the idea that this blog or Warren are promoting a ‘gay lifestyle’?

    You do realize, right, that some of us here believe that chastity/celibacy is our best choice for living our lives as persons with same sex attraction?

    If Reparative Therapy (RT) has helped you, Jeremy, that’s great. The Blog Post currently under consideration here is, does RT for minors violate First Amendment Rights of therapists. Can you address that issue, Jeremy? We would like to hear your comments on that issue.

  • Jeremy

    Teresa,

    I fully support those who choose chastity/celibacy as a way of dealing with SSA. That has been my path for the last two years as well and will be for a while.

    He has been relentless in his attacks and based most of his “reports” on hearsay. I realize that some people have chosen not to pursue Reparative Therapy and I respect their choice. I find it incredibly frustrating that this blog is used as a source of information – when it is clear the Warren opposes any and all attempts at change and gets excited and giddy over any potential for a scandal. This is a tabloid.

    Every time I look at this blog, there is another post attacking people that I know personally and misrepresenting everything they do. His entire last paragraph is a great example of this bias. His three rhetorical questions all presuppose the belief that change is impossible and that healing the underlying wounds that drive SSA is somehow a bad thing.

    The question should be whether free speech protects Gay-Affirmative therapy. The most harm is when a counselor tells a youth (or anyone) that they are “Born Gay.” There is no evidence to support this claim. There is more evidence of genetic links to drug addiction, but no one claims it is healthy.

    When I was 14 years old a “Christian” counselor told me I was “Born Gay” and “couldn’t change.” It would have been far better if she had told me I was “Born to be a Heroin addict” and then shoved a needle in my arm. Homosexual “relationships” are more destructive to the individuals involved than Heroin or other drugs – yet Warren focuses all of his energy on attacking those who would try to help someone avoid that fate. It does matter what method they use, he attacks them all. People need to understand that and stop forwarding me links to him.

    As for being a “Conservative” – I have yet to see a conservative post in the entire history of this blog. That’s irrelevant though. I’m not asking him to be a conservative. I’d just ask him to be honest about the fact that he biased against any form of Change.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Teresa, Damn girl you ARE sharp, even remembered Jeremy’s last name. Hi Jeremy we have met here at Warren’s place before (waves hand). Are you still attending Mass everyday? I know you are very protective of Nicolosi’s son who you are consulting with, I think I remember that part correct, that you are being, “treated” by the son not Nicolosi himself.

    I remember you writing last time about how it would be better to be a heroin addict than gay. As you will recall I sent you away with my very best wishes, and I still wish that for you. I believe that you have been informed via the internet of how unlikely it is that you are going to have and/or maintain sexual attractions towards women and NOT towards men, you have charted the path you wish to walk. Does Dr. Nicolosi tell you that when you finish therapy with him that you will loose your attraction to men? Does he encourage you to find a nice woman and get married?

    What I think is inappropriate Jeremy is to blast away at Throckmorton without understanding his methods, and I and others are telling you that you are grossly misinformed on the therapy offered by Dr. Throckmorton. Best of Luck in your future endeavors.

  • ken

    Jeremy’s blind devotion to NARTH and Reparative Therapy only serves to highlight why teens should not be subjected to this sort of “therapy.” As I recall, he didn’t start therapy until his late 20s. Just imagine what that kind of treatment could do to the mind of an impressionable teenager.

  • Jeremy

    I was far kinder in my brief assessment of Warren’s therapy than he has been to anyone else. 95% of this blog has nothing to do with his therapy, but is instead a rampage of attacks on what he THINKS or hears about other therapists. He relentlessly attacks anyone and everyone who attempts to provide real help for SSA.

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

    Jeremy – Since you don’t know what my sources are, I can assume one of two things. One, you have constructed a narrative about my work that seems convenient for you or two, you have gotten your information from your NARTH, etc., contacts. Believe it or not, my information comes from the reparative therapists themselves via personal conversations or the clients who have been to see them. I was a member of NARTH for one year, received their highest award in 2002, and presented at their conferences from 2002-2004. I was once offered a seat on the board of NARTH and until I became a public critic of NARTH was an active member of the listserv. In my posts, I also provide evidence to back up what I write. Actually you acknowledge some of it (pillow beating and the like) but we differ about the value of such things. At the end of the day, the evidence is there on the merit of those techniques and I stand on that.

  • Norm!

    Warren said: “…In part, I blame the Christian community for this. Instead of insisting on professionally validated treatments, Christians have bought into every crazy notion about homosexuality for decades. If it make gays look bad or sick, then they are all for it. Beat pillows and scream? Sure, if it links gay to repressed memories of child abuse. Grab oranges and say you are taking your balls back? Sure, that must be ok because gay males aren’t real men. Coerce clients to strip naked or use porn as a part of therapy? Sure, it sounds strange but the end surely justifies the means….”

    Wow. Thank you for this statement, Warren.

    While I’m no longer a conservative Christian and detest the ‘ex-gay’ movement, I would have more respect for conservative Christians if they were more sincere and ethical about honestly helping LGBT Christians (i.e. celibacy, mixed-orientation marriage, etc.). The recent split at Exodus over the honest discussion of effectiveness of change efforts and questioning of reparative therapy confirms that many conservative Christians seem primarily devoted to anti-gay ideology than research.

  • Jeremy

    Warren, we both know that the modalities and techniques you describe are not the basis and foundation of Reparative Therapy. They are presented here entirely out of context and with a heavy emphases on the bias that change is not possible and homosexuality is healthy. I’m not going to attempt to argue with you about that. I just wish you would be clear with everyone that your criticism presuppose those conclusions.

    I realize it is possible that you may have valid criticisms of particular modalities or techniques and or particular claims of efficacy. It is difficult to take ANY of your criticisms seriously when it appears that you are simply giddy about reporting the latest accusation or scandalous claim – every single week. We both know that most of what you have to report is no significance at all, but you sensationalize it like a tabloid.

    We both know the foundation of Reparative Therapy is emotional healing and utilizes the same modalities that all therapists use. The retreats and experiential processes you describe are not the bases of Reparative Therapy itself. They are very helpful to some but they are far outside the scope of any therapists’ work. You overemphasize them and present them here for shock value (i.e. “orange therapy” and “pillow beating”). While you may disagree with the therapists who recommend these supplemental programs. It is disingenuous to use these are a representation of Reparative Therapy and allege that anyone has claimed these are the “cure” for SSA. These modalities were developed in non-SSA programs long before anyone thought to recommend them for help with SSA. The therapists who recommend them are not claiming that these are specific to SSA, but they believe healing of emotional wounds will be helpful to one’s life overall.

    Many therapists recommend their clients integrate their healing in a variety of ways outside of the clinical session. A therapist recommending his client go to a retreat or join a support group is different from the therapist claiming that these are a “cure” for SSA.

    Many Reparative Therapists believe that healing of emotional wounds and strengthening of one’s self-esteem and confidence will help reduce SSA and build assertiveness. That is different from saying it is a “cure” or will eliminate all SSA. Even if one were to assume your view, it is difficult to understand why you would oppose this therapy except that it does not reinforce the “gay” identity.

  • Jeremy

    The fact you would use Colbert’s ridiculous caricature refutes ANY credibility you might have been able to claim from you ONE year of membership in NARTH. It is very clear that you are purposefully misleading everyone with ridiculous caracatures that you KNOW are false.

    As you know, the gauntlet process is purposefully misrepresented in the Colbert piece. It is a process demonstration used by various retreats and programs (mostly NON-SSA related) and has nothing at all to do with Reparative Therapy. I have led many non-SSA men through that same process and I am not a therapist. If you disagree with that technique, fine – but you relished the opportunity to use it to distort and misrepresent Reparative Therapy – when it is not even remotely connected.

    There are some secular counselors that recommend exercise as a supplemental means of dealing with Depression. Your blog is the equivalent of an expose’ on Pilates classes. It has nothing to do with the actual therapy process – as you are well aware.

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

    Jeremy wrote:

    If you disagree with that technique, fine – but you relished the opportunity to use it to distort and misrepresent Reparative Therapy – when it is not even remotely connected.

    Jeremy, are you aware that the SPLC complaint against JONAH includes the gauntlet and oranges process? Apparently the JONAH counselors and coaches do not agree with you. They must believe it does have something to do with reparative therapy.

    You have your head in the sand. Reparative therapists being defended by NARTH refer their clients to these weekends and believe these processes will help their clients become more masculine and thereby reduce their SSA. I never said all reparative therapists do these things but some pretty prominent ones either do this or recommend retreats where it will occur.

    You wrote:

    Many Reparative Therapists believe that healing of emotional wounds and strengthening of one’s self-esteem and confidence will help reduce SSA and build assertiveness. That is different from saying it is a “cure” or will eliminate all SSA.

    You yourself said SSA is a disorder so why make this distinction without a real difference. You acknowledge here that RTs refer clients to these workshops to pursue therapeutic ends. Why? Because they believe SSA clients are disordered and need this kind of help.

  • Jeremy

    I know many “gay” identified men who are part of New Warriors and have benefited from the techniques you attack (“oranges therapy” etc.)

    While we would disagree on the topic of homosexuality, they’d be just as appalled at the way their work is misrepresented and mocked through your caricatures.

  • Jeremy

    I well aware of the frivolous lawsuit. JONAH is not a Reparative Therapy organization, but it does a lot of good in providing supplemental support and referrals for those seeking help. The techniques you described are completely misrepresented here and in the lawsuit (as we both know). They were developed decades ago and are not connected to Reparative Therapy. I have found them helpful as have many others. It is a separate topic though from Reparative Therapy.

    Am I correct in assessing that your view is that Homosexuality is NOT a disorder?

    Do you believe that gay “relationships” are healthy?

    I am not trying to argue either point. I have many liberal friends and even a few “gay” friends. I think it’s really important that people understand where you stand and that you are not a “Conservative Christian” who supports those who choose change. I have you watched you mock every attempt at recovery and healing by everyone I know. Your goal is to convince us all to give up on everything and embrace defeat. Is that correct?

  • David

    @Jeremy, Wow, Jonah not a reparative therapy organization? You are piling it up deeper and deeper. I know Jonah and have had long conversations with the founders. Of course it is reparative, more than most groups who try to change orientation.

  • Jeremy

    David, JONAH is a great organization. I love Arthur, Alan, Elaine. They are three of the most selfless people I know and have given their all to help many in recovery. I have seen them go out of their way to sacrifice and help friends of mine across the globe. I was simply pointing out that they Refer out to Reparative Therapists rather than conduct Psychotherapy themselves. The processes described here and in the lawsuit are supplemental exercises that have been used in a variety of contexts including by many gay-affirmative therapists. These do not represent the core of Reparative Therapy.

  • Teresa

    Lynn David stated:

    Now if you don’t want to claim your therapies to be in any way scientific, then a therapist might have a first amendment argument to make.

    Lynn, et. al., yes, I can see the point you made here. However, how would that impact their licensing? Could they, in fact, consider themselves Spiritual Directors?

    Hasn’t the American Psychological Association (APA) given some recognition to Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) at least in some positive ways. Now, I realize we’re talking about minors in this lawsuit; but, if SOCE changes language about ‘change’ to language regarding amelioration … would that be helpful?

    And, clearly, pre-adolescence and adolescence is a confusing time, just because of all the body changes going on. Because of our hyper-sexualized society in all the media ways (TV, Movies, Music, Porn, Dress, Language, etc.) I think children would be more at risk and really confused as to what’s happening to them and why.

    I think children today can consider themselves gay, or bi and really they’re not. They need someone to clarify their emotions, feelings, etc. to wade through our sex-saturated society.

    Warren, how does SITF help in this area for parents seeking help for their children; remembering, every parent is seeking the best for their child. It’s not being anti anything to want your child to be str8, if possible.

    If many of us are confused, changing our minds, growing into new insights; imagine the difficulty for a child throughout puberty being assaulted with all kinds of things they can’t manage. Remembering, also, the age of puberty is dropping significantly; especially, for girls.

    If SOCE is totally off the table, what’s left, Warren? SITF? Where does a parent go to help a child work thru this stuff?

  • stephen

    Jeremy offers a case study in how internalized shame corrupts the soul.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Teresa-

    “If SOCE is totally off the table, what’s left, Warren? SITF? Where does a parent go to help a child work thru this stuff?”

    I think you have hit the nail on the head, it is the “parents” desires. We have seen that religion will largely dictate where the parents will drag their child to.

    Teresa-

    “It is not anti anything to want your child to be str8, if possible.”

    Te, I think times have changed. While deeply religious people of Fundamental Faiths may really want their gay child to be st8, if possible, I think the majority of parents who are not tied into “gay sex is a sin,” the majority of them will not wish this for their children. They will love and accept them as they are, no therapy needed.

    I also question your suggestion that maybe some youth are simply confused, or go through a period of confusion unsure of their sexual orientation, thinking they might NOT be straight only later to discover, “Oh yeah I really am straight”. Maybe (?) Anything is possible I guess, but speaking as a straight person when pre-puberty and puberty hit, there was no confusion at ALL in my mind which team I batted on. I may be wrong but I think it is very unlikely that straight people, straight youth, question if they are gay or not.

  • ken

    Jeremy says:

    January 4, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    “Warren, we both know that the modalities and techniques you describe are not the basis and foundation of Reparative Therapy.”

    If you had paid attention on the Equine thread you would have seen that Warren wasn’t claiming this therapy (and the other treatments) are “Reparative Therapy” (although, they are part of “reparative therapy” which has become the new catch-phrase for “conversion therapy”). what he was doing was highlighting that those off-the wall treatments have just as much scientific evidence to support them as Reparative Therapy has (which is really none at all). However, he has pointed out that Reparative therapists have recommended some of these off-the-wall techniques as part of their therapy.

    Nor have I ever read Warren claiming that “change in orientation is not possible.” At best he has said that “change in orientation is not likely” AND there is no evidence to support that therapy can be effectively used to cause a change in orientation.

  • Teresa

    Ken said:

    Nor have I ever read Warren claiming that “change in orientation is not possible.” At best he has said that “change in orientation is not likely” AND there is no evidence to support that therapy can be effectively used to cause a change in orientation.

    Very succinct, spot-on of Warren’s position, Ken. Thank you for that neat summation.

  • Teresa

    SGM, can we talk?

    I suspect you grew up in a Leave It to Beaver world. You grew up when Gone With The Wind was rated a ‘C’ movie by the Catholic Legion of Decency. You grew up when the boundaries of acceptable behavior, speech, dress, comportment, etc. were clear, accepted, and generally adhered to. That’s pretty much my world, too.

    However, today’s children/youth are immersed in a tidal wave of cultural flotsam and jetsam. Everyday, in some way, their senses are assaulted by course language, provocative dress, obscene behavior, raw and disturbing music, broken homes/relationships, violence, porn, and everywhere beyond edgy cultural decay: where, in fact, gay may be the new cool. All of this, at a child’s fingertips and in their backpack with their latest electronic gadget, spread virally by the latest social networking.

    So now, SGM, you, Zoe, Warren, whomever has a child who’s brave enough to tell you they’re confused about how they feel. They’re, perhaps, 8 or 10 years old and they have a crush on a teacher of the same sex. (Remember, the average 8 year old today is comparable to a 12 or 13 year old of yesteryear). As a loving parent, who doesn’t want their child to be gay (I contend, no parent really wants their child to be gay) what are their choices?

    So, I’m asking a couple of questions:

    One, can a clinician ever know, through talk therapy, if someone is truly gay; or, are we left with self-diagnosis?

    Two, is it unreasonable for a parent to want someone to help them and their child sort through this problem?

    Three, what are the parents’ choices with this?

    Four, where and how would SITF help parents and children?

    Last, are there any pediatric sexual orientation studies available?

  • Emily K

    ” As a loving parent, who doesn’t want their child to be gay (I contend, no parent really wants their child to be gay) what are their choices?”

    Teresa, why wouldn’t a parent want their child to be gay? What is wrong with having a gay child?

    “gay” is most certainly NOT “the new cool.” How else can you explain the rash of suicides that have occurred in the last 2 years? Children who come out do so at the risk of their very lives – they don’t do it to gain social acceptance, unlike all other “cool” behaviors they might engage in.

    Children being around “cultural decay” has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Gay people have existed since Leave It To Beaver times, and beyond that. We’re not around because we’re exposed to hyper-sexualization. We’re around because… we’re around.

    I had a crush on another girl as a 9 year old. And as a 14 year old, and as a 17 year old, and… well, I’m 27 now, and it hasn’t stopped yet. And you know what? My experiences have pretty much been the same as my straight counterparts – you develop crushes, you want to hold the person’s hand, you want to give them gifts, to get closer to them.. you get a funny feeling in your stomach when you’re around them, and maybe you suddenly lose the ability to make small talk in a non-awkward sense.

    I summed it up in this comic, actually. http://sadfunnytrue.tumblr.com/post/18768765375

  • Emily K

    My previous comment is awaiting moderation, but I wanted to respond to this:

    One, can a clinician ever know, through talk therapy, if someone is truly gay; or, are we left with self-diagnosis?

    Yes, you can know. The same way you know that you’re straight. How do you know you’re straight? Think back on when you had your first crush. The longing for your first kiss. The anxiety and the giddiness of being attracted to someone romantically, and sexually. It’s THE SAME THING – except the genders are swapped.

    Why can you know, despite being left with only “self diagnosis”? Because being gay is not something that needs to be “diagnosed.” It’s not a mental illness. It’s not ANY kind of illness, and it’s no more an aberration than being left-handed or born with heterochromia. Being left-handed is only different from being right-handed in that a different hand is used primarily. Having two eyes that are a different color doesn’t affect how strong your vision is.

    Likewise, being gay is no different than being straight, except one is attracted to humans of the same sex, and the other, to the opposite sex.

  • Mary

    The idea of a person identifying as gay or straight is not always so simple. Because a girl is your first crush does not mean you’re gay or gay forever. Growing up with so much sexual pressure these days, I can see how some children are confused. While I applaud the efforts to minimize any stigmatization for being gay, some kids do get confused. They are just developing sexually and a whole mess of things can enter into their minds and make them question what they really feel.

  • Teresa

    Mary, yes, to everything you said in your comment above. Thank you for sharing.

  • Dave

    I don’t think it is odd of Teresa to assume that many parents might want their child to be straight. Parents can want things .. even if those things are (in their situation) not possible or likely. As for reasons they might want their child to not be gay here are a few.. .. the death of the parent’s dream for their child (PFLAG material identifies this as a coming out stage) … worry over how the church will respond to their child … worry over how the other parent or family members or relatives will respond to the child.. worry over how society will respond to their child .. and whether you like it or not depending on their personal homophobia or religious beliefs .. wishing their child were “normal” (Note that the word “normal” is in quotes). Before I hear a bunch of protests here .. I am talking a parent’s *feelings* not what we might think would be best or right.

    As for Teresa’s questions .. I am not a professional counselor so I can’t answer from that perspective. However .. pastorally speaking .. I believe important counsel for the parents and the child would be aimed at the reduction of shame if present (both the child’s possible shame .. and the parent’s possible shame). Ungodly shame is not a good motivator or guide for someone to come to honest conclusions about themselves To counter that, a thorough discussion of the pitfalls of this journey and the misinformation that many Christians have regarding homosexuality would be needed. This would include the many false ideas about change and what change means in the context of the culture war. Assuming a conservative perspective .. I think a general discouragement of the child to act on these feelings would be appropriate since they are still developing and may not have the skills to sort out all their feelings yet. An encouragement to the parents to love their child no matter what the end discovery is on whether their child is gay/ssa or not would also be needed. Other needed points would be the understanding that the only thing the bible addresses in this area is the sexual activity. Whether to identify as gay or not is a personal choice outside of scriptural boundaries. A very basic Christian concept is that we all have feelings.. and while we cannot choose what feelings we have, we can *always* choose what to do with those feelings. This is true whether a person is gay or straight. This sort of parallels the concept of SITF (especially in terms of acceptance commitment therapy if I understand it correctly) although SITF seems to put this in the context of identity (a point I do not necessarily agree with). The key here is to give an individual a flat canvas from which to operate and find their way into congruence with their faith principles without adding extra (non-biblical) moral imperatives. For some that involves being celibate and not identifying as gay .. for others it involves being celibate and identifying as gay .. for others it may be a different personal philosophical outlook. However, berating one’s self because prayer or other methodologies are not producing the expected change of feelings should be avoided. There may be some nuances of SITF that might help the person better understand their feelings and articulate them. Or there might be other issues that the individual has entangled in with their attractions that need to be worked on .. I don’t know that I can totally speak to that.

    If the years go by and the child grows up and concludes that they are SSA/gay and they chose to follow a different moral path than what their parents would desire then counseling would likely be needed to direct the family on how to get along when moral beliefs are in conflict. There is more I could say on this as it’s difficult to compress it down into one post

    Blessings,

    Dave

  • Jeremy

    Ken, most of the techniques that Warren describes are purposefully out of context and included here only for shock value. They are used in many other areas of therapy that have nothing to do with SSA.

    I had breakfast with a friend who is a Christian Therapist this morning and uses Psychodrama (partially described here as “Oranges Therapy”) with many of his clients and he does not work with SSA at all. If Warren wanted to have a debate on any of those therapies, he could engage the larger community of therapists (including many gay-affirmative therapists) and debate the benefits and risks.

    He uses them here only for shock value. Reparative Therapists have not claimed that these techniques are a “cure.” Most of these are used for issues not directly related to the SSA. Therapists who help men in recovery from SSA deal with the entire person (not just their SSA). For the last six months of my work with Dr. Nicolosi in 2011 we hardly ever talked about SSA because it hadn’t been a cause of distress for me. It is significantly less than it was when we first started therapy. I have been sexually sober for over two years now and do not feel that it is a significant struggle to remain that way. I realize I have to stay healthy overall to prevent the SSA from spiking. It is an illness like Diabetes – preventative personal care keeps it inline.

    The techniques (inaccurately) described here (Psychodrama, etc.) have been incredibly helpful to my healing and to hundreds of men I know. Psychodrama is not the core of Reparative Therapy, but it has been helpful to many of us in reaching our own goals of sobriety and healing.

    I realize that Warren may be coming from a totally different perspective on SSA than I am. He seems to believe that it is a healthy state and not a symptom of emotional injury. I firmly believe that no one is created “Gay”, that homosexual desire is a sign of unmet needs and relational brokeness, and that homosexual behavior destroys REAL love. I have no reason to argue any of those three points here. I just think that the bias of either “side” needs to be clear so people can take the source of the “information” into account.

    The irony is that the first ten pages of his synopsis on “Sexual Identity Therapy” align with what most of the therapists he attacks believe. I have not heard any claim to have 100% “cure” or to guarantee the elimination of SSA, but they have offered real solutions to address the relational brokenness and emotional wounding at the root of the issue.

    It is clear that anyone who believes SSA can be reduced or managed in any degree is likely to end up on this blog sooner or later – as soon as Warren can find something (ANYTHING) to mock them with. It does not matter whether it is true or not or from a valid source. Warren will post anything he can to smear them. He’ll post anything everything he can find that might sound sensational or bizzare. He does not seem to care WHO he hurts as long as he has something sensational or can make something sound comical. The Ninth Commandment does not seem to mean anything to him.

    Jeremy

  • Teresa

    @Dave,

    Thank you, Dave, I appreciate your comment addressing many of the questions I posed. Your response is especially valuable since, if I’m not mistaken, you are a Christian Pastor. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    I think I might add, Dave, and know from personal experience that some (many, most … I don’t know) have a deep sense of guilt concerning having a gay child, or even the possibility that their child may be gay. Certainly, there’s the shame factor that you mention, Dave. But, the one’s I’ve talked to seem to be really tormented by ‘what did we do wrong’, it’s our fault, how could we have done better, etc. It is heartbreaking to hear some of these parents share in a closed, Christian setting the anguish they deal with.

  • ken

    Jeremy says:

    January 6, 2013 at 3:04 am

    “most of the techniques that Warren describes are purposefully out of context and included here only for shock value.”

    You are the only on that doesn’t seem to understand the context of why Warren posted about those therapies. And yes, Warren deliberately choose extreme cases to highlight his points. The primary one being that there is no scientific evidence that any of these therapies (including Reparative Therapy as practiced by NARTH members) have any lasting impact on changing sexual orientation. Further, instead of addressing Warren’s main arguments, you (in typical NARTH fasion) misrepresent him.

    “They are used in many other areas of therapy that have nothing to do with SSA. ”

    In the case Warren pointed out they were being used in therapy to deal with SSA and based on out-dated, stereotypical notions about homosexuality.

    “It is an illness like Diabetes – preventative personal care keeps it inline. ”

    Except SSA is NOT an illness. The fact that Nicolosi (and other reparative therapists) tell their clients that (or otherwise reinforce that idea) is another reason teens should be protected from these “therapies.”

    “I have not heard any claim to have 100% “cure” or to guarantee the elimination of SSA”

    According to Gabriel Arana (My So-called Ex-gay Life) Joseph Nicolosi told his parents “Your son will never enter the gay lifestyle”.

    Between you and Warren, I would say YOU are the far less objective person when it comes to the topic of sexual orientation.

  • Jeremy

    Ken said: “And yes, Warren deliberately choose extreme cases to highlight his points. The primary one being that there is no scientific evidence that any of these therapies (including Reparative Therapy as practiced by NARTH members) have any lasting impact on changing sexual orientation.”

    The therapies represented, specifically Psychodrama is used to support the individuals overall healing and growth – NOT to change sexual orientation. There seems to be an assumption here that any therapy offered by anyone on this subject is geared toward making someone heterosexual. That is not what it is used for.

    Obviously there are many of us with a goal to reduce SSA and develop OSA in a healthy marriage – but there is a lot of other healing and emotional work involved. The “oranges” demonstration that was inaccurately depicted is one example of that work. It was designed to help a man assert himself – regardless of his SSA. It was not promised as “cure” or even claimed to reduce SSA. It is a completely separate topic – but is used here for sensationalism.

  • Emily K

    Teresa, I’d appreciate a more direct response to my response to your comments. And while what Mary says is true – a girl with a crush on a girl isn’t necessarily gay – the same can be said about the opposite: A girl with a crush on a boy isn’t necessarily straight. Afterall, if all this sexual confusion going on can cause one to think they’re gay when they’re not, the opposite could just as easily happen.

    Or are you all trying to imply that being straight is the automatic default, and being gay an “unfortunate” aberration of some sort?

    Also note that I’m not speaking in the context of religion, only secular scientific contexts. I don’t care about what “the Bible” says. SB1077 isn’t about religion, it’s about supposedly scientific therapy.

  • carole

    Emily K:

    “Likewise, being gay is no different than being straight, except one is attracted to humans of the same sex, and the other, to the opposite sex.”

    That’s a fairly ridiculous statement from a biological standpoint (and the primary reason, (as Teresa said) that it would be a rare parent that wanted their children to be gay, (as opposed to loving them whether they are gay or straight).

    It’s close to saying that being sterile is no different from being fertile, is even closer to saying that being reproductively successful is no different from being reproductively unsuccessful, and dismisses that parents wish biological parenthood for their own kids (i.e. grandkids) as well as dismissing that this is a hardwired desire that improves the odds our genes make it into the next generations.

    That’s for starters, just the biological….

  • Teresa

    Emily K,

    Yes, you’re absolutely right that a girl having a crush on a boy doesn’t necessarily mean they’re str8. So, this is not a one way street. I agree.

    You asked me:

    Or are you all trying to imply that being straight is the automatic default, and being gay an “unfortunate” aberration of some sort?

    Yes, in fact, I’m doing more than implying that str8 is by far the most common sexual orientation. Str8 orientation being 95%+ of the population certainly seems, to me, to be a default … if that’s the word you choose to use.

    I do not, however, see being gay as an “unfortunate aberration” … at. all. I will add, however, that being gay is a tough row to hoe; and, if I were a parent, I would prefer a child of mine not be gay. Quite simply, because it still comes with a lot of social baggage; and, behavior choices congruent with one’s model for life that take work in living a fulfilling life. Behavior no different, I might add, from being a str8, single person.

    And, yes, I get SB1077 is ‘supposedly’ about science. However, I have a faith belief, which faith belief I try to harmonize with science. They do not necessarily have to be at odds, in my opinion. That’s what I really like about this blog, and SITF.

    Emily K., we are not on the same page as to behavior choices consequent to being gay, I think. But that’s a different discussion for another time; and, you’ve heard it all before.

    SB1077: is it a violation of the First Amendment? I think it may be a bridge too far, yes. Simply, for the impact it has on other clinicians in other areas. Judicial pronouncements tend not to be static; but encroach in areas tangential to the original scope decided upon.

    But, I might add, I have absolutely zero legal knowledge, expertise, and I don’t have a dog in the stake on this particular issue. So, my opinion is based on ignorance.

  • Emily K

    “That’s for starters, just the biological….”

    Well carole, people actually are starting to discover the evolutionary underpinnings of homosexuality, but I don’t really care if you acknowledge it or not. I am interested in the other stuff you left out. “Just for starters,” huh? Do tell, what else is there?

  • carole

    So, you want to change the subject? I think you must since you do know the other ways–socially, psychologically, etc. You live that every day, no? Your comments here suggest you do.

    Let me stick to the subject, or at least offer you the opportunity to re-state your point that being gay is no different than being straight (in the eyes of those who produced the offspring.) Biologically. Offspring. Grandkids. Genes. Posterity. You know.

    I needn’t “tell” in what other ways since you know the other ways–socially, psychologically.

  • Teresa

    Emily K. stated:

    … and being gay an “unfortunate” aberration of some sort?

    I’d more accurately describe gay as being a ‘challenging’ difference. I’ll add that I don’t think any str8 person would opt for being gay, if that were an option for them. And why wouldn’t they? I think it’s fairly obvious, why not.

    Let me step here where angels fear to tread, and pick an analogy that is close enough:

    It’s much like saying autism is an equal variant of being non-autistic. I would hazard a guess that no parent would want an autistic child. I can’t think that anyone who is non-autistic who would opt to be autistic. Autism brings some real mental giftedness, but that comes in a package that can make life very challenging.

    And, yes, I know you’re going to say homosexuality is not a mental disorder, it’s not in the DSM; and, autism is. I say that’s really not the issue, because there are plenty of high-functioning persons on the autism-spectrum who manage to marry and have children, and have good jobs. I’d hazard a guess that a study of those parents would show they wouldn’t want a child of theirs to be autistic.

    Children being around “cultural decay” has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Gay people have existed since Leave It To Beaver times, and beyond that. We’re not around because we’re exposed to hyper-sexualization. We’re around because… we’re around.

    Emily, I can but disagree with your quote above. You can’t actually believe children at the youngest ages with their malleable, neural plasticity brains watching TV shows, movies that extol the wonderful life of gays, au contraire to much of reality, won’t be affected in some significant ways: ways we can’t even imagine. I consider that in many ways sexual abuse of minors … whether str8 or gay sexual behavior is being extolled.

    None, of the things I’ve mentioned above have been scientifically studied, so it’s just my 2 cents … and, I’d like to think some old-fashioned common sense. And, it has little to do with whether SB1077 is a violation of the First Amendment.

  • Mary

    Emily – yes the same could be said for a girl having a crush on a boy. It doesn’t mean she is straight or will always be straight. I was just using one example without having to name ALL examples.

  • Jeremy

    Warren, I want to apologize for the tone of my posts this past week. While I am still angry about the misinformation and distortions, I regret the tonality of my posts. I do not know you personally so it was inappropriate for me to call you a “less crude version of Wayne Besen.” I realize your personal character may be very different from his. The tactics and propaganda on this blog still seem indistinguishable from that of Besen – at least in regards to “change therapy.” The use of overly dramatized stories that show no context and attempts to partial or misrepresented information is one of Besen’s favorite tactics.

    While I stated my personal views that homosexuality is a disorder, I think it is important to note that most of the individuals and programs I have seen attacked here are more in line with some of YOUR views than mine or Dr. Nicolosi’s. You seem to assume that anyone who works with people who have SSA is attempting or promising to “cure” them or that they are calling it a “disease.” It is the same as Wayne Besen’s assumption than any church or organization that attempts to minister to the Spiritual needs of homosexually-oriented persons is attempting to “Pray Away the Gay.”

    Teresa, I want to also apologize to you for my tone. My purpose in posting was to respond to the misinformation about SOCE and RT. I fully respect everyone who has chosen chastity and celibacy without therapy. Also, you are correct that I am the same Jeremy who posted here in the past.

    StraightGrandmother: I didn’t mean to not respond to post. I hope you are doing well.

    Ken: I have experienced significant and lasting reduction of my Same-Sex Attraction. I would say it is “cured” and that I’ll never have another SSA thought, but I am very happy with the results I have seen and I know many many others who would say the same. I also know men who experienced the exact same processes mentioned but chose later to go back into the gay lifestyle. They are also appalled at the misrepresentation and slander directed at JONAH and PCC. While they changed their minds about what they wanted for their own lives, they still feel that they benefited.

  • Jeremy

    CORRECTION to my last paragraph: “I would NOT say I am ‘cured’ or that I’ll never have another SSA thought, but I am very happy with the results I have seen and know many many others who would say the same.”

    I promise my grammar is normally better than this. I have two masters degrees, but for some reason when I type I sometimes miss words and I ended up hitting “Send” before proofreading. Ahhhh! (Gray Zone avoided) ;)

    Jeremy

  • Jeremy

    I realize also that there may be an emotional charge for some when I use the term “Neurosis” or “Disorder” with regard to homosexuality. Most people at PCC / JiM and many in NARTH also seem to be offended by my use of that description. For me it is a more comfortable terminology. I realize some of my deepest emotional wounds are from those who insisted that it was a Spiritual problem when I was in high school and the Churches later who seemed to believe that my SSA was the result of my lack of Faith.

    Reparative Therapy was where I first heard anyone that my SSA was NOT my Fault. I of course had heard that from the “Gay Churches” and others who endorsed gay relationships, but their opinions were not convincing to me (even during the years when I was living that lifestyle). Dr. Nicolosi also did not assign blame to my parents or anyone else. He didn’t actually try to pinpoint any one particular cause. The focus from the beginning was on emotional healing and it was life-changing. EVERY aspect of my life began to improve and has continued to improve even though it’s been a year since my last therapy session.

    I usually get angry emails from one or two people anytime I mention JiM or RT to anyone in Exodus or Courage. To them, it seems as though the need for therapy is insinuating something negative or that they have SSA because they “Mentally Ill.” I rarely mention it there because they seem so easily offended. I’ve realized though that I have an equal / opposite reaction when one of them launches an attacks on RT. The connotation is that I shouldn’t have needed RT or that as my parents’ use to believe: I had SSA because I was an “Evil person.”

    I like to compare SSA/ homosexuality to other conditions (although I’m not trying to belittle anyone with other illnesses). The example I gave in Courage a while back is Epilepsy. For hundreds of years, People of all faiths believed (Incorrectly) that epilepsy was the result of Demonic Possession and they treated it accordingly: Exorcism and Burning at the Stake (If the exorcism didn’t work).

    A few hundred years ago, it was discovered that Epilepsy was indeed a medical condition and not a Spiritual problem. The treatment suddenly changed. It still took another century or two before any effective medical treatments were developed. NOW, people with epilepsy (like my sister) are able to benefit from medications that enable them to enjoy a greater quality of life. It would not be “compassionate” to ban all medical treatments for Epilepsy on the premise that “Epileptics have been through enough. Stop trying to change them.” – Most people with epilepsy that I know are grateful that there are at some medications available to address their symptoms – even though there does not yet appear to be a cure.

    Jeremy

  • Zoe Brain

    Tell me Jeremy – do you believe left-handedness is a “neurosis”, a “disorder” too?

  • Zoe Brain
  • Dave

    @ Teresa .. Yes I am a Christian pastor ..I agree that parental guilt can also be a factor and .. as I am sure you are aware .. the reparative therapist angle would be likely to try to blame the relationship of parent and child.

    @ Jeremy .. I was going to not respond to any of your posts as your intentions here are questionable in my mind. However since you are continually throwing people under the bus .. including people I minister to, I will respond to some of what you have said.

    With regards to your statement: “He (Dr. Throckmorton) seems to believe that it is a healthy state and not a symptom of emotional injury. I firmly believe that no one is created “Gay”, that homosexual desire is a sign of unmet needs and relational brokenness, and that homosexual behavior destroys REAL love.”

    Wow, like no one here knew this about what you believe. You seem to be a poster child for the ideologies of change ministries and reparative therapy in general. I am getting the idea that you are a rather young man who idealistically sees everything through his own lens and has trouble seeing anyone else’s experience as valid. So let’s just walk through this .. Your “I believe” statement is just that .. something *you* personally believe. It is *not* backed up by scripture. The *only* thing scripture addresses is the sexual activity. Scripture does not instruct you in this area ..( re: scripture does not discuss why some people are attracted to the same sex .. whether it is caused by the sin nature or some other causality .. or whether it can be changed or not. Nor does scripture call same sex attraction “sinful”, “a cancer”, or a “sign of mental health problems”) What you believe is not backed up by the APA either. But of course you believe the APA is evil too. Again .. this is what *you* personally believe. But then you also claim that you have benefited by psychodrama .. something you claim that the APA supports. A quick check on their website revealed that they (the APA) do talk about psychodrama and don’t seem to say anything negative about it. So .. in this case the APA is good .. once again .. according to what *you* personally believe .. but the APA’s view on homosexuality and change is bad .. again … according to what *you* believe. The basis (or bias) you have here is *your* opinion according to your alleged personal experience. I say ‘alleged’ because your continued endless glowing reports on JONAH .. NARTH .. Journey into Manhood .. and so forth make me wonder how you can have personal experience in all of these areas. You claim to be familiar with all these therapies and therapists and everything is wonderful. I find that hard to believe.

    Along these same lines you claim that Dr. Throckmorton is revealing these therapies out of context .. How do you know? You actually are aware of all contexts? I doubt that. Especially considering that you earlier tried to justify Nicolosi’s use of pornography as a reparative therapy technique or deny that he promoted it . You refused to acknowledge it even when tapes of this method were clearly supplied. All this because you didn’t personally experience it and thus decided it couldn’t be true. As I recall you ended that thread by calling people liars. I challenged you on the thread to provide the alleged video you had that could show this mysterious context you kept referring to so we could see who was lying. Of course the alleged “evidence” that justified you calling people liars was never produced by you.

    Putting your experiences aside for a moment .. let’s talk about the experiences of people I know who are gay and celibate. Some of these that did experience what you call ‘wonderful’ therapy are still hurting from these therapies .. their very sense of self torn apart by shaming therapies that did not help them at all. The others I know will not get anywhere near the kind of ideology you express. Many of them do not even find SITF useful since they choose to identify as gay even though they are celibate. Turning our attention to participants on this blog ..there are people here who do not believe that homosexuality is evil or the result of an emotional wound or is a cancer as you have cruelly and (perhaps) slanderously described it here just a few days ago. I imagine even those who are celibate and posting here would find your descriptions hurtful and offensive. And the celibate gay Christians I know would most certainly find your remarks offensive. So if you want to see what’s wrong with reparative therapy and the ideologies that come with it .. just look in the mirror. Your over the top statements on homosexuality are very typical of people that come from these therapies. Your actions and words are some of the best evidences against what you are promoting.

    Perhaps your journey has been long and difficult .. I don’t know .. However you are benefiting no one when your basis/bias for discerning truth is your own narrow experience.

    Blessings,

    Dave

  • Emily K

    “I needn’t “tell” in what other ways since you know the other ways–socially, psychologically.”

    Well, the only “other ways” I know about come from parents disowning their children for being gay, and peers bullying their peers into suicide for being gay. All of these have to do with outside factors of non-acceptance, not inherent to being gay. And having never experienced parental rejection, nor been bullied for my orientation, I haven’t experienced these things.

    But do tell, since you seem to know me better than I know myself.

    “You can’t actually believe children at the youngest ages with their malleable, neural plasticity brains watching TV shows, movies that extol the wonderful life of gays, au contraire to much of reality, won’t be affected in some significant ways”

    And what “reality” would this be? That being gay comes with an inherent misery caused from within, separate from the shame heaped upon them from religious and political external forces?

    The reality is that, today more than ever, gays DO live happily married lives. They DO live lives free from misery about their orientation. And if a child should see that, What would be the harm? Do you SERIOUSLY think that a child seeing that some people are gay, AND perfectly happy, is harmful and will create more gay children? And, furthermore, what would be the harm, since they see that being gay isn’t an automatic ticket to desperation and suicide, but rather contingent on whether or not the people around you bully you or shame you into such things (and without any good reason)?

    And for the record, I wouldn’t want to be straight given the choice. I love who I am, and I can’t imagine myself living in any other skin.

  • ken

    Jeremy says:

    January 6, 2013 at 11:55 am

    “The therapies represented, specifically Psychodrama is used to support the individuals overall healing and growth – NOT to change sexual orientation. ”

    According to the JONAH lawsuit, orientation change is what this “therapy” is being used for.

    Jeremy says:

    January 6, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    “I have experienced significant and lasting reduction of my Same-Sex Attraction. ”

    I (nor anyone else here) has claimed you haven’t, nor has anyone claimed you personally haven’t benefited from therapy. However, ALL men naturally experience a decrease in sexual urges as they age. Which begs the question is your reduction in attraction the result of therapy or a naturally occurring event attributed to therapy or perhaps a naturally occurring event hastened by therapy or something else entirely?

  • ken

    Teresa says:

    January 6, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    “SB1077: is it a violation of the First Amendment? I think it may be a bridge too far, yes. Simply, for the impact it has on other clinicians in other areas. ”

    What “other clinicians” in what “other areas” are you referring to? The law was specifically targeted at orientation change therapy. And the wording makes it very clear about that (despite the claims of the law’s opponents).

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

    Jeremy & ken – Ken raises excellent points and a good question. It is astounding that you would deny that the techniques involving nudity and oranges weren’t in the service of orientation change. If not, then were those boys going to Jonah?

    Jeremy, you have mischaracterized me as believing that no change occurs. Some change takes place but there is no proof that therapy brings it about. The change may relate to natural fluidity that some people have as an aspect of their sexual orientation.

    It also may be that some OCD patients who have fixated on being gay are treated for their OCD and then they stop preoccupying about it. This is a surprising number of people who present for sexual reorientation.

    In any case, there are many different situations that may seem like gay to straight change but when examined represent something else or represent a highly idiosyncratic happening which is unlikely to generalize to others (e.g., one guy in an interview told me he knew it was a miracle because he didn’t seek it).

  • Teresa

    First off, a very needed correction for a previous comment of mine:

    The California bill in question is SB1172, not SB1077.

    Ken stated:

    What “other clinicians” in what “other areas” are you referring to? The law was specifically targeted at orientation change therapy.And the wording makes it very clear about that (despite the claims of the law’s opponents).

    Ken, you’ve made my point, perfectly. SB1172 is not specifically targeted at orientation change therapy. It’s specificity is about minors and orientation change therapy. Your unintentional oversight is, in my opinion, exactly what could be precedent setting for any orientation change therapy. It would be a first step for legal problems for any clinician using SOCE no matter what age: which includes NARTH. If I were a NARTH clinician, I’d definitely be worried.

    Since, I don’t know law or the future, or much else for that matter, it’s simply my opinion.

  • Jeremy

    Dave said:

    “I say ‘alleged’ because your continued endless glowing reports on JONAH .. NARTH .. Journey into Manhood .. and so forth make me wonder how you can have personal experience in all of these areas. You claim to be familiar with all these therapies and therapists and everything is wonderful. I find that hard to believe.”

    I lived an active gay lifestyle for 12 years (starting in high school). In 2009, I decided to leave because it was not working for me. It had not brought happiness and I had never felt it was compatible with my religious beliefs.

    I began therapy with Dr. Nicolosi Jr. (son of the author) and began seeing major positive results right away. The first six months we focussed on overcoming Shame (something that had plagued me my entire life). It wasn’t just Shame about homosexuality, but a general sense of inferiority in many areas. My SSA (same-sex attraction) diminished significantly during this time. Prior to July 2009, I had been acting out in extreme sexual addiction for several years. I have now been sexually sober for over two years now and it is no longer a very strong temptation.

    If you would like to understand the approach of The Thomas Aquinas Clinic, I’d highly recommend reading “Shame & Attachment Loss.” I have read it twice and it is an awesome book.

    I went to Journey into Manhood and experienced many significant breakthroughs. It is a truly amazing weekend for healing emotional wounds. I have had the privilege of staffing 8 of these weekends now and several other experiential weekends. I have seen men of all ages experience massive healing.

    I have spent many hours with nearly everyone in JONAH and have seen all of them dedicating their lives to help many of my friends. They are amazing people who have tremendous love for people with SSA.

    Warren: You claim to have respect for those who feel that homosexual behavior is in conflict with their religious and moral views and yet you label any and all attempts to support them as “orientation change” which you seem to believe is harmful. Many of the men who attend Journey into Manhood are not attempting to become Heterosexual. Many simply want help to overcome sexual addiction and/or to live celibate lives.

    When I contacted the Thomas Aquinas Clinic and began working with Dr. Nicolosi my primary goal was to overcome the destructive behavior of sexual addiction. Becoming heterosexual was not even on my radar. I worked with him from July 2009 until January 2012 and EVERY aspect of my life is better as a result.

    I know a few men who have worked with Nicolosi and JiM, etc and later decided to re-enter the gay lifestyle. These men still say they benefited tremendously.

  • Jeremy

    Ken said:

    “you earlier tried to justify Nicolosi’s use of pornography as a reparative therapy technique or deny that he promoted it . You refused to acknowledge it even when tapes of this method were clearly supplied. All this because you didn’t personally experience it and thus decided it couldn’t be true.”

    Everyone who has worked with Dr. Nicolosi or met anyone in his clinic is aware of how ridiculous this accusation is. It is based on a sound bite from a speech where he describes an EMDR technique for reducing the appeal of specific eroticized fantasies or images. I benefited tremendously from this exact technique and it did not involve looking at any porn.

    As you know, I contacted Dr. Nicolosi Sr. back in July when Exodus was spreading that rumor. He copied me on the email he sent to Alan Chambers publically refuting it. Everyone who works in his office is a devout Catholic (except for one Evangelical). All of them would be equally appalled at the idea of using pornography. The accusation is similar to the other accusations reported here. You seem to be willing to post ANYTHING even when you know it is false.

  • Jeremy

    Ken said:

    “Along these same lines you claim that Dr. Throckmorton is revealing these therapies out of context .. How do you know? You actually are aware of all contexts? I doubt that.”

    I have been heaving involved in SSA ministry for the past year and a half. I originally started with one small group meeting at my house and now have 4 groups. One of them is a general guys’ bible study group, one is focussed on sexual sobriety (similar to 12 step), one is an online video-conference group, and one is for emotional healing/ psychodrama (“oranges therapy”) – and that one is only open to guys who have already done that work in experiential weekends, etc.

    I spend about 20 hours or more per week listening to and providing support / prayer to my friends with SSA locally and online. I use most of the processes that have been mocked in this blog and I have no intention of trying to make anyone straight. I am simply helping men heal. I believe that a side benefit of that is that it tends to lead to sobriety and a general decrease in SSA, but that isn’t the primary point. About half of my friends in these four groups are simply seeking to live chaste lives in accordance with our faith. The goal of the group is to support them. It is not about “becoming straight.” The other half believe (as I do) that we were born heterosexual and have the potential to see our SSA reduced. It is not really a controversial issue though in any of our groups. All of us reject the “gay” label and all of us are seeking to live chaste lives.

    Most of the guys in the groups are friends I already knew, but I have several friends who are Christian counselors and have referred their clients to the group. I have been reviewing my meeting plans with four different therapists (including Dr. Nicolosi and others who have differing views) to ensure a balanced approach that is healthy and productive for all. All of them are aware of the full context of the therapies described in this blog and none of it seems extreme or dangerous to anyone. I doubt that it would seem that way to you either if you saw it in person. Arthur Goldberg also calls me frequently to refer people to the group. I talk with him about once a month. He goes out of his to find support for anyone who contacts him from any faith. He usually tries to help find people within their faith to help support them. He has gone out of his way to help four of my Muslim friends and most of my Christian friends in at least 8 countries.

    It seems that everyone here is simply offended that we are not reimposing a “gay” label and therefore we must be trying to “change” people. I just don’t understand the animosity here toward helping people heal. If a person finds healing of their emotional wounds and finds themselves happier why does it matter that they don’t reaffirm a “gay” label or wave a rainbow flag everyday? Does that make them homophobic or “in denial?”

  • carole

    Carole: I needn’t “tell” in what other ways since you know the other ways–socially, psychologically.”

    __________________________________

    Emil K : Well, the only “other ways” I know about come from parents disowning their children for being gay, and peers bullying their peers into suicide for being gay. All of these have to do with outside factors of non-acceptance, not inherent to being gay. And having never experienced parental rejection, nor been bullied for my orientation, I haven’t experienced these things.

    But do tell, since you seem to know me better than I know myself.

    _____________________________________________________

    Well, there now. Your words support what I said. You *do* know about the other factors, the reality of them. You’ve mentioned them in many previous posts and you’ve re-stated them here in this post.

    The very social and psychological factors you note are more reasons beyond the biological foremost reason I pointed out that parents would prefer their children be straight, (the point you origically took issue with Teresa about) and which led you to say that there’s no difference between gay and straight except the persons to whom they are attracted, the comment which led me to take issue with your statement about “no difference.”

    I note, however, that you are still not dealing with the primary point, the biological. All the others proceed from that reality.

  • Teresa

    Warren said:

    It also may be that some OCD patients who have fixated on being gay are treated for their OCD and then they stop preoccupying about it. This is a surprising number of people who present for sexual reorientation.

    Gosh, the things one learns from this Blog.

    Warren, would the OCD fixation for some persons with same sex attraction be a result of non-acceptance of same sex attraction? Is this, again, another manifestation of internalized shame for being gay?

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

      Teresa: The OCD is the problem with these folks, usually men. They are straight men who might have a gay friend, or are called gay by someone or many other triggering events. Their OCD thinking process latches on to a worry and it grows from there. Some men talk themselves into trying gay sex and they never like it but they worry they don’t dislike it enough or the thought sticks with them that since they tried it they must have liked it (even though they didn’t). Treat the OCD and the preoccupations disappear. Some of the success stories are probably due to this phenomenon. I have worked with several men like this over the years.

  • Jeremy

    Dave and Warren: Here is a synopsis from the People Can Change website about what THEY mean by “Change”: http://peoplecanchange.com/change/whatwemean.php

    To me it appears to be in line with what both have said you support. Yet the practices of this organization are constantly maligned here as “change therapy.”

  • Teresa

    Jeremy stated:

    Yet the practices of this organization are constantly maligned here as “change therapy.”

    I think, perhaps, your use of the words ‘constantly maligned’ is more your perception than the reality of what Warren believes and how he has stated over and over many times on this blog.

    And, I think it’s somewhat deceptive on your part to only access the one page of the website you linked to. Oh, yes, your linked page sounds very SITF-like, but let’s looks at the following page and then draw some conclusions as to what they really believe and why:

    Causes of Same Sex Attraction from the People Can Change Website

  • Jeremy

    Teresa,

    What I meant by “constantly maligned” is that he takes snippets of information and uses them without context to make them sounds strange or laughable and then insinuates that we are claiming to have a “cure” for homosexuality. The retreats, processes, and therapies he describes are not intended to provide a “cure.” They are simply helpful for overall healing and growth regardless of what an individual’s personal goals are. He seems to love to mock the psychodrama process (i.e. “oranges therapy”) because those are easy to take out of context. They are generally created/modified on the spot as an individual explains what emotions they are feeling and what conflicts in their life they want to work through.

    The link I provided shows that most of the individuals who seek this help are not necessarily expecting (or even trying) to become “heterosexual” but they have decided that this type of healing would be helpful for their individual goals (which usually begin with chastity).

  • Teresa

    Jeremy stated:

    It seems that everyone here is simply offended that we are not reimposing a “gay” label and therefore we must be trying to “change” people. I just don’t understand the animosity here toward helping people heal. If a person finds healing of their emotional wounds and finds themselves happier why does it matter that they don’t reaffirm a “gay” label or wave a rainbow flag everyday? Does that make them homophobic or “in denial?”

    Jeremy, can you point out anywhere on this blog from Warren casting aspersions on any term used to describe oneself? I’m a regular viewer and commenter on this blog, and no one has ever called me out with how I describe myself, or denigrated my choice of celibacy. I continue to use any labels I like, and it runs the gamut of homosexual, gay, same sex attracted; whatever, and still I’ve never experienced what you’ve described on this blog.

    You do realize, Jeremy, this blog has commenters that have come to different conclusions regarding their being homosexual? Am I right?

    So, definitely there may be some spirited debate about life choices as a result of our being gay; but, that’s called life, Jeremy. I’ve chosen celibacy as a life choice, and I can tell you, I sometimes find that choice unintelligible. Is it shame driving that choice, or is it primarily living a choice based on the love of the God of my understanding … which is Christian and Catholic.

    Jeremy, how you address those decisions in your life rests entirely on your shoulders. But, I think you’re perception is inaccurate about Warren and his Blog.

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

    Jeremy wrote:

    As you know, I contacted Dr. Nicolosi Sr. back in July when Exodus was spreading that rumor. He copied me on the email he sent to Alan Chambers publically refuting it. Everyone who works in his office is a devout Catholic (except for one Evangelical). All of them would be equally appalled at the idea of using pornography. The accusation is similar to the other accusations reported here. You seem to be willing to post ANYTHING even when you know it is false.

    – That Nicolosi uses client supplied porn is not debatable. He has acknowledged it and there are NARTH leaders who are not happy about it. A google search using the terms nicolosi, porn, client and chambers will provide you with proof. There are posts freely available on the web where Nicolosi acknowledges using client supplied porn and where one of his colleagues at NARTH, Phil Sutton, publicly disagrees with it based on Catholic teaching.

    Frankly, your comments are getting tiresome. Maybe you really believe everything they tell you, maybe you are just a good soldier for the cause, I don’t know. But you clearly have been misled and it shows.

  • Jeremy

    Teresa, you said “Jeremy, how you address those decisions in your life rests entirely on your shoulders. But, I think you’re perception is inaccurate about Warren and his Blog.”

    I think you and I have very similar views on most things (other than this blog). :)

    My perception of Warren’s blog as a less crude version of Wayne Besen’s has only been reinforced by his comments here. It’s clear that he views anyone attempting to help reduce SSA or suggesting that SSA may be helped as the enemy. I’m not going to argue with him about that, but his reporting is just slanderous. He believes that end justifies the means. The end (destroying those who disagree with his view on homosexuality) somehow justifies spreading every rumor and accusation he can find.

    It seems like most of the participants here have tremendous anger toward those who share my views and are willing to believe anything that is said of them.

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

    Jeremy – Have you looked up the link I described? In case you need some help, here it is.

  • ken

    Teresa says:

    January 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    “Your unintentional oversight is, in my opinion, exactly what could be precedent setting for any orientation change therapy.”

    It was not “unintentional” nor an “oversight” it was merely an attempt at brevity. And we have plenty of laws that only apply to children that haven’t expanded to adults (min. driving age, drinking age etc). And to suggest a therapist would misinterpret the law as applying to adults is a stretch at best.

  • AJ

    Jeremy said:

    “I went to Journey into Manhood and experienced many significant breakthroughs. It is a truly amazing weekend for healing emotional wounds. I have had the privilege of staffing 8 of these weekends now and several other experiential weekends.”

    “I have spent many hours with nearly everyone in JONAH and have seen all of them dedicating their lives to help many of my friends.”

    “I originally started with one small group meeting at my house and now have 4 groups.”

    “I spend about 20 hours or more per week listening to and providing support / prayer to my friends with SSA locally and online.”

    …and you spend a lot of time on here.

    Dude, how do you have time for anything else? You seem completely obsessed with reparative therapy and every group out there. Do you think maybe you’ve traded one addiction for another?

  • ken

    Jeremy says:

    January 7, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    “Dave and Warren: Here is a synopsis from the People Can Change website about what THEY mean by “Change”: ”

    Just to qualify, that is what they say them mean by change NOW, but 10 years ago their website was full of testimonials that said change meant a change in orientation. And it was very clear, “change” meant a change from gay to straight. Although, they did admit not everyone will change they were VERY misleading about the success rate. Never actually giving it, but implying failures were few (“occasional”).

    btw, you attributed several comments to me, but they were actually from Dave. Since the comments were from Dave, I’ll let him reply.

  • Teresa

    Ken said:

    Just to qualify, that is what they say them mean by change NOW, but 10 years ago their website was full of testimonials that said change meant a change in orientation.

    Ken, excellent observation. I’m beginning to see the same thing happening in most of the ex-gay world now. Somehow, NARTH, Exodus (Love in Action) Courage, Evergreen, etc. can no longer get away with the gay to str8 change mantra. Even their own client results over a lengthy period of time must have finally convinced them, that the vast majority of their clients still deal with same sex attractions.

    However, as Warren has pointed out, their conceptual framework of why people are gay has not changed. It is still the recipe of an emotionally distant or absent father; the smothering mother, and a dose of sexual abuse that makes one gay.

    It is, however, pretty remarkable that these groups have, however reluctantly, backed off their original claims. Gee, ‘change’ really does happen.

  • Zoe Brain

    Where are the numbers? The long-term follow-ups? Ccntrols, double-blind assessments?

    What does the R in NARTH stand for if they don’t do basic research?

  • Jeremy

    Teresa said: ” Even their own client results over a lengthy period of time must have finally convinced them, that the vast majority of their clients still deal with same sex attractions.”

    As I mentioned, I began my journey in July 2009 and have benefited from all of the organizations you mentioned. I have never experienced having anyone promise me freedom from all same-sex attractions. I do not know what others experiences were prior to July 2009, but my experiences have all been positive.

    While my SSA has not been eliminated completely, I have however seen it reduced significantly and have been able to live a sober life for the last two years. This is not just from turning 30. It has resulted in conjunction with major emotional healing.

    I’m not sure I understand the attacks on these organizations for continuing to study the potential causes of SSA, but I’m not going to attempt to argue about that though. That is not my fight.

    You asked in your post the other day whether I had my own blog. I had forgotten about that, but this experience inspired to resurrect it. I posted today and mentioned my discussions on this blog (without mentioning names). The blog url is: http://www.myexgayjourney.blogspot.com

    To StraightGrandmother, Dave, Ken, and Teresa: I wish you all the best. My only purpose in commenting here this past week was to point out the inaccuracies and misrepresentations in the blog’s reporting. I did not intend to offend any of you personally or even to argue with you directly. I respect your views and I think we may agree on many things. I will try to avoid this blog in the future, but I’d love talk offline sometime.

    Warren: I noticed your post about the Voices of Change site. My video is temporarily offline because I’m planning to record a new one, but here is my original video: http://www.youtube.com/dallas75248. It is also part of the third post on my blog (I originally recorded it as an interview about the JiM weekend.) http://www.myexgayjourney.blogspot.com I will record a new video more specifically for VoC later this week.

    God Bless,

    Jeremy

  • Dave

    Jeremy … if you really want to be a help to a broad variety of people you are going to need to see things through a much wider lens. You are 30 .. I am 53 almost 54. When I was your age I nievely believed everything I heard from a multitude of ministries and resources that carried the name of Christ. But while I still love Jesus I do not regard many of these ministries in the same light. Maybe its a matter of personal security or may be its just too much to imagine that sources that have been a help to you .. perhaps because you match their template…are not always espousing bibilcially or psychologically sound ideas. Thus the many that apparently match up with what is supposedly helpful to you have the very opposite effect on many others.

    You still haven’t answered Warren on the link he gave you to the NARTH email stream. .. which very clearly shows your buddy Nicolosi does indeed use porn. I will take Dr. Throckmorton’s verifiable references and his ability to respectfully dialog with people in multiple disciplines over your emotional rants any day of the week. When you stop the starry eyed support of peoplenad ministries resources and are willing to see the errors as well .. you will IMO be much better off.

    Dave

  • ken

    Jeremy says:

    January 8, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    “I’m not sure I understand the attacks on these organizations for continuing to study the potential causes of SSA”

    Because NARTH is NOT “studying the potential causes of SSA”, NARTH is distorting what the real research says about sexual orientation to push their own unproven ideas about orientation and change therapy. And that is why NARTH (and other ex-gay organizations) get “attacked.” funny how you can see all sorts of bias in Warren’s posts, but can’t see any in NARTH’s statements.

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

    The link to the NARTH posting which described how porn is used by Dr. Nicolosi in RT has been changed by NARTH. For now, Google’s cache has it but this will go away soon. I have it saved so I can verify it but for now here it is again..

  • StraightGrandmother

    Wow, I just checked back and am totally surprised what a robust discussion was had.

    Jeremy, I think you better check yourself son. It seems to me that you are practicing medicin (psychology) without a license. The things you are doing in these groups you are leading, they way you describe them sure seems like you are playing armature psychologist to me. You better find out in Texas if that is legal. It is far far different to offer a religiously based ministry than to be practicing, what did you call it drama psychology (?) (the thing with the oranges). Did you ever hear the saying Jeremy that a little knowledge can be dangerous? You could be messing with these men’s minds, they could come back and sue you one day, you know how everybody sues everybody.

    Teresa, way way up in this thread you asked about if straight parents would ever want their kids to be gay. I think you are right that when we are pregnant we don’t say, “I hope my child grows up to be gay”. However I would like to share with you that I have a close friend who is about 10 years younger than me and she said from about the time her son was 6 that she thought he was gay. Her son, a dear dear friend in fact did turn out to be gay, she just plain asked him when he was 16. And she, and I and everyone in her family and in our circle of friends is perfectly FINE with it. She never “wished” her son was straight, she had an early intuition that he was gay and she was right. And he isn’t a really girly type of young gay man either.

    You so busted me on Leave It To Beaver, one of my favorite shows in the past. Times have changed and people and parents have changed along with the times. Why have times changed? Because sexual minorities have educated us. Ken educates me almost every time he posts.

    I do think it is like Carol described (I think it was Carole) about her being 9 years old and having a crush on a girl, it was the same thing for me but I liked a little boy. We would have to find more straight people commenting to say that when they were young they were confused, as far as I know all the straight people commenting here were never confused, we only ever went for the opposit sex. Warren’s comment about people with OCD being confused makes a lot of sense to me though.

    And it is exactly because of Warren’s comment about OCD that worries me about Jeremy running his “support groups”. Jeremy you are not qualified to do the kinds of therapies you are doing, you could be counseling people with OCD and not know it because you are not trained. Jeremy, you very well could be doing harm.

  • Zoe Brain

    Straightgrandmother wrote

    as far as I know all the straight people commenting here were never confused, we only ever went for the opposite sex.

    (Zoe shyly puts her hand up…)

    I was confused.

    My body looked like a boy’s.

    I knew I was a girl at age 10.

    I never really understood sex.

    I didn’t actually mind pretending to be a boy, till I was in my teens.

    I fell in love with another woman at age 22.

    We married.

    Before that never dated.

    I didn’t realise my genital anatomy was so far outside a male norm.

    I was anorgasmic.

    I still didn’t “get” sex.

    at age 27 I was diagnosed as Intersex, but male.

    At age 47, I had a somewhat female puberty, and no longer looked male.

    I was re-diagnosed as Intersex, but female.

    At age 48, puberty really hit, boys started looking cute, there were involuntary physiological as well as psychological responses. Suddenly a lot which I’d only understood as an intellectual construct became very real.

    I’m still in love with the woman I married. I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life without her. But yes, I’m straight.

    So yes, I’m confused, but I think anyone who’s in that situation who isn’t confused must be really really odd.

  • David Roberts

    Straight Grandmother said:

    “It is far far different to offer a religiously based ministry than to be practicing, what did you call it drama psychology (?)”

    Unfortunately, in most states it is far to easy (and legal) to call yourself a psychotherapist and hang up a shingle. The onus is completely on the patient to determine the bone fides of the prospective therapist. And since SOCE is unorthodox and homosexuality not considered a disorder, it is far more likely that one will be talking to a “laymen playing pdoc” if they offer such services.

    There really should be more regulation in this area, but then all those pastors playing doctor would cry infringement on their religious freedom. I know first hand what kind of bizarre stuff some of them dish out in the course of their counseling.

  • Ann

    She never “wished” her son was straight, she had an early intuition that he was gay and she was right.

    SGM,

    In having this early intuition about her son, was your friend ever concerned, should she be correct, how this might affect him as a child or adolescent and how she could prepare to help support or guide him through the acceptance of or modification away from what her intuition was telling her? If so, how?

    Also, you mentioned: And he isn’t a really girly type of young gay man either.

    Why would this make a difference?

  • Teresa

    Ann asked of SGM:

    … of or modification away from what her intuition was telling her?

    I’ll let SGM answer your question, Ann. But, I’m wondering what you mean by your phrase … “modification away from”.

  • Ann

    Teresa,

    I’m not sure what I mean by my question except that if a parent is concerned about their child’s sexual identity at the age of six, they ususally do one of two things – they either accept/support/encourage it or they use their maternal instincts to teach/guide them in another direction. I do not know, with any degree of certainty, how these efforts can affect the outcome of how a child will grow into their own identity.

  • Ann

    “When reparative therapists tell minor clients that they can change sexual orientation if they engage in deep emotional therapy, are they offering unreasonable advice which can be regulated by the state?”

    In my opinion, yes, they are offering unreasonable advice and should be regulated by some agency. Is it ethical – ever – for a therapist to pre-determine the outcome of any therapy?

    “When reparative therapists tell clients that homosexuality is a disorder of gender identity, can the state intervene?”

    Yes, I think they should because not enough is known about homosexuality to make any kind of determination like this and share it with a client. I think the state or some agency should create a legal form that both the client and therapist sign that indicates this.

    “Should the state intervene when licensed therapists tell clients that pounding a pillow with a tennis racquet while screaming will help them get in touch with repressed memories underlying their homosexuality?”

    Again, not enough is known about homosexuality to make any kind of determination about causation or methods to treat it or if it even needs to be treated. I think any time a therapist acts in an unethical way, there should be intervention to stop it. Having said that, there will always be two sides to the story should there be an accusation.

  • David Roberts

    Again, not enough is known about homosexuality to make any kind of determination about causation or methods to treat it or if it even needs to be treated.

    Do you agree with this, Warren?  I think the entire premise is wrong, but I would like to know your thoughts.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Ann, “In having this early intuition about her son, was your friend ever concerned, should she be correct, how this might affect him as a child or adolescent and how she could prepare to help support or guide him through the acceptance of or modification away from what her intuition was telling her? If so, how?”

    SGM- To be honest with you she was not concerned at all. I am very close to the mother and she always kinda knew he was going to be gay and when she asked him when he was 16 his answer was merely a confirmation of what she already knew to be true. He was always well liked by his schoolmates and never experienced any bullying or anything like that so there was nothing to “guide him through”. When he went off to University he called home and complained about his boyfriends. Really nothing any different than any other young person goes through, the only difference being his love interests were guys. I don’t know for sure but knowing his mother I am quite sure she gave him a big AIDS lecture.

    Ann, “Also, you mentioned: And he isn’t a really girly type of young gay man either.”

    Now that I think about it, it was kind of an odd thing to say without the contex that was in my mind. I think straight people kind of stereotype gay men, and think that most gay men are kinda girly, they don’t realize that just like straight ppl gay men fall somewhere on a spectrum of what we think of as stereotypically masculin. I thought it might be an interesting fact to mention that even though he was not asking for dolls (and there is nothing wrong with that) she still had a sense that he would grow up gay, and she was right.

    Huggs to Zoe you’re one in a million. Your wife must really truly deeply love you to stay by your side during your journey.

  • Warren

    RE: Knowledge of sexual orientation causation. Not much is known in the sense that the molecular factors which trigger the direction of orientation can be identified. However, we know a good bit about what is not behind it and that is something that can be shared with clients other stakeholders. For instance, since we know that parental relationships don’t cause it in any general sense, we don’t need to spend time in ex-gay ministries that focus on those issues.

    Regarding treatment, I don’t see SSA as a disorder or disease. I especially don’t see it as something that could be treated via psychological means, if by treatment you mean changing it.

  • Ann

    Regarding treatment, I don’t see SSA as a disorder or disease. I especially don’t see it as something that could be treated via psychological means, if by treatment you mean changing it.

    Dr. Throckmorton,

    My comment was to answer some of the questions you posed. I do not think enough is known about homosexuality for a therapist to say, with any degree of certainty, the causation of it or recommend treatment for it. If they do offer themselves up as an expert, independant of medical, scientific or psychological finding, then I think they should be held accountable by the state or a state agency.

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

    Ann – In general terms, we are close to agreeing there. As noted, it is certainly permissible for a therapist to say what is known about what does not cause something to occur (y is not caused by z). This is not the same as saying a more positive statement of knowledge (x causes y).

    And I agree that if someone offers themselves as an expert via a license, then the state has something to say about limiting their speech. This, I think, is going to be a very important part of this case.

  • Ann

    As noted, it is certainly permissible for a therapist to say what is known about what does not cause something to occur (y is not caused by z). This is not the same as saying a more positive statement of knowledge (x causes y).

    Exactly.


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