Destructive Trends in Mental Health and book reviewing

Here’s an example of “an expert is only someone who agrees with me” kind of thinking. This opinion piece mentions the book Destructive Trends in Mental Health edited by Rogers Wright and Nick Cummings but then seems to damn it because it was reviewed by Dean Byrd on the Narth website. Does this guy even know who Wright and Cummings are?

12 thoughts on “Destructive Trends in Mental Health and book reviewing”

  1. Nathan: I believe you are correct about Wright and Cummings and yes I would like you to post your experiences. Send them in an email and I will post them separately.


  2. Hi Warren,

    It’s been awhile. Finally got my computer up and running again…

    Anyways, the review was another tired, cliched, collection of straw man arguments. The author was stupid enough to ask the following question (paraphrased): if a patient wanted to go from straight to gay, would Wrights and Cummings help him out? The author was making a poor attempt at wit, as he expects the reader to see this as a rhetorical question (he thinks the answer would be an obvious “no”). However, little does he know that Wright and Cummings WERE involved in supporting gay rights within the APA, and so the answer to the author’s question would be a resounding YES.

    You are right, he has no idea of who Wright and Cummings are. Ignorance is (un)bliss.

    YES they would help a patient go gay, and YES they would help a patient go straight.

    By the way, if you want, I can give you the details about my re-orientation therapy, and maybe you can post it or something.

    In fact, most people would be surprised at what actually goes on.

    Here’s a hint: the line between re-orientation therapy and gay-affirmative therapy gets seriously blurred, but in a way that helps me create the type of life I want to live.


  3. Pftt, sorry, work phone calls at 8am — what is the World coming to?

    I also wanted to ask what your opinion was of Exodus quoting of Paul Cameron (and they do that a great deal, actually). I understand you said you do not use Cameron — I assume there must be a reason — and neither would I. But Exodus does.

    Paul Cameron’s joining of the harijans occured 20 years ago. Academics avoid him like the plague. Yet Exodus does not?

  4. Leaving Paris alone … (please)

    Are you saying you see the Paul Cameron issue as a political one?

    I know there are loons out there. I deal with several each day. But Cameron was “done” over the worst possible professional “crime” — if he was just a loon that wouldn’t matter. I’m talking about his “body of work”.

    If you are not too familiar with hs work — you should be.

    Ditto, Paris Hilton. Forewarned is forearmed.

  5. No, no, no.

    This is VERY SERIOUS.

    You will NOT export Paris Hilton. Starbucks was more than enough.

    Wars have started over less. If you have any influence, please pass this on.

  6. I have reviewed articles for Psychological Reports before and they have taken my suggestions very seriously on a host of subjects. I have published there in part because I am too cheap to pay for those pages. I don’t have a strong opinion on the issue of whether work should or shouldn’t be published due to the political nature of the subject matter. I do wonder about the generalizability issue and how it made it through peer review if there wasn’t something to it. Without reading it, that is all I can do at this moment – wonder, that is.

  7. I have nothing to do with Paris Hilton; actually exportation (or would it be deportation?) sounds ok, with me.

    Believe it or not, I do not know much about the Paul Cameron ordeal. I do not reference his studies in my work.

    It seems to me that the most recent work on AIDS cannot be generalized to homosexuals as a group. Any work that looks at disease types and then generalizes to an entire group of people has to be questioned. Behavior is the key, you are at risk if you do certain things, not matter what your sexual feelings are.

  8. Also: just as quietly as a public blog can be…

    Do you PERSONALLY agree with Paul Cameron’s work?

    Do you PERSONALLY think he should be be published? Even when he pays for the page space, as with Epstein’s Psychology Today?

    (Pleased don’t give me a “free speach” blah blah. It’s America — Paul Cameron has the same right to say any nonsense he wants. I’m asking about YOUR opinion.)

  9. No probs, we’ll remember that when we start our own 🙂

    After today’s shopping spree with two teenage nieces, snippy doesn’t even come close…

    (BTW: stop exporting Paris Hilton Inc!!!)

  10. His comments should reflect who Wright and Cummings are and their accomplishments within the APA and indeed for gays and lesbians. The book is clear that Cummings supports gay rights and yet he holds the position he does regarding reorientation therapy. Reminds me of how Robert Epstein was treated when he dared to suggest that evidence exists for sexual orientation change.

    Snippy? Well, it is a blog after all 🙂

  11. I’m sorry Warren, but I’m not following you.

    Mel Seesholtz appears as equally qualified to talk about the social bias that people bring to a definition of mental health as you are to talk about the theraputic bias that people bring to a discussion of society.

    Why do you think he is a “good example”, and what makes you think he is uninformed about Wright and Cummings?

    Without this your post unfortunately seems only like a snippy comment. (?)

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