Montel Williams Show to again focus on sexual orientation

Tomorrow Alan Chambers joins a guest panel to discuss homosexuality on the The Montel Williams Show. The show will also feature Tom and Donna Cole, former homosexuals who have a ministry to Christians struggling with sexual and relational issues. I am pretty sure Richard Cohen may have some role on the program.

This comes from an Exodus News Release. Nothing is on the Montel Williams Show website about the segment as yet.

UPDATE: 2/28/07 – Unless Montel’s website is wrong, the appearance by Alan Chambers is most likely being taped today for later broadcast.

Ted Haggard’s team clarifies the situation

I missed this February 19, Denver Post article regarding clarifications in reports that Ted Haggard might see himself as being free of same-sex attractions. Frequent commenter gordo brought this to my attention on a previous post.

This quote indicates a more process view than the earlier reports: “”There should be no confusion that deliverance from habitual, life-controlling problems is a journey and not an event,” Stockstill said. “Ted will need years of accountability to demonstrate his victory over both actions and tendencies.”

It appears he may see himself as heterosexual with a homosexual problem. However, he sees himself, one thing I am impressed with is the transparency of the New Life Church.

American Psychological Association responds to “external organizations”

The American Psychological Association has issued a call for nominations titled: Call for Nominations for the Board of Director’s Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. The charge of the Task Force is threefold:

(1) To revise and update the APA resolution Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation (1997);

(2) To generate a report that includes the following:

(a) The appropriate application of affirmative therapeutic interventions for children and adolescents who present a desire to change either their sexual orientation or their behavioral expression of their sexual orientation, or both, or whose guardian expresses a desire for the minor to change;

(b) The appropriate application of affirmative therapeutic interventions for adults who present a desire to change their sexual orientation or their behavioral expression of their sexual orientation, or both;

(c) The presence of adolescent inpatient facilities that offer coercive treatment designed to change sexual orientation or the behavioral expression of sexual orientation;

(d) Education, training, and research issues as they pertain to such therapeutic interventions;

(e) Recommendations regarding treatment protocols that promote stereotyped gender normative behavior to mitigate behaviors that are perceived to be indicators that a child will develop a homosexual orientation in adolescence and adulthood;

(3) To inform the Association’s response to groups that promote treatments to change sexual orientation or its behavioral expression and to support public policy that furthers affirmative therapeutic interventions.

Why convene a task force?

The call for nominations refers to a need to revise the APA guidelines on therapeutic responses and to “research and scholarship” relating to conversion therapy. What I think is amazing is this lenghty sentence:

Several external organizations have recommended that APA update its policy, because of their concerns about the continued visibility of reparative therapy practitioners and treatment facilities and about the role of advocacy for reparative theory in attempts to shape public opinion about the nature of sexual orientation and to support an anti-gay activist role in legislative and judicial arenas.

I wonder which extermal organizations did the recommending? I wonder what they want the APA to say?

I know of several individuals that have asked the APA to consider the need for guidelines when religion and sexuality conflict. However, I do not see this issue in the call for nominations. I hope there will not be a move to prohibit sexual identity therapy.

UPDATE: 2/23/07 – Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink interviewed APA’s Clinton Anderson who identified PFLAG and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force as two groups who recommended that the APA review their policies. This was a short report and so I understand my concerns over sexual identity therapy could not be fully articulated. As any regular reader of this blog will know, I am not an apologist for reparative therapy but I am concerned that advocacy groups can move the APA to form a task force to craft scientific policy for political use.

Soulforce, TWO, APA, ACA & NASW to hold teleconference

Soulforce and Truth Wins Out plan to coordinate a teleconference including representatives of the American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, and the National Association of Social Workers to discuss their view of how social conservatives misrepresent research. The teleconference will be held at 10:00am EST on Monday, February 26th and will be open only to credentialled media. Later in the day, audio will be available on the Soulforce site. I confirmed this with Cathy Renna of Renna Communications who is providing the teleconferencing services. I asked to listen in but was told there was not enough space.

The following panelists are slated to be involved: Dr. Judith Stacey, Department of Sociology, New York University Dr. Serena Volpp, Chair of the Committee on Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Issues, American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Clinton Anderson, Director of the Office of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Concerns, American Psychological Association, Jean K. Quam, PhD, LICSW, Dean of the School of Social Work, University of Minnesota, NASW Board and Chair of the National Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues, Dr. Brian J. Dew, American Counseling Association, Jeff Lutes, Executive Director, Soulforce, Wayne Besen, Executive Director, Truth Wins Out.

How often does sexual orientation modification occur?

I wanted to clarify an earlier post about the experience of Nicholas Cummings at Kaiser-Permanente. This revised article suggests a 13.4% rate of change for homosexuals who sought sexual reorientation from Kaiser therapists in the 1960s-1980s.

Dr. Cummings estimates as many as 16,000 clients sought therapy due to dissatisfaction with their sexuality during that period and that 67% reached a good outcome (meaning they either achieved a heterosexual adjustment or affirmed a gay identity). Of those, 20% were assessed as having redirected their sexuality toward a heterosexual adaptation, yielding a figure of 13.4% for the entire group. There were many more homosexual clients who sought therapy for the usual reasons people do and these people are not included in the numbers above.

The article is still draft at this point but I thought it might make for some good discussion.

People magazine on Ted Haggard and reparative therapy

The February 26 issue of People magazine has a story on Ted Haggard and reparative therapy. The article references the comments or views of Rev. Haggard, his overseers, Richard Cohen, Joe Nicolosi, Bob Spitzer, Jack Drescher, Peterson Toscano, and Dan Gonzales.

As with most pieces on the subject, this one oversimplifies the intersection of faith and sexuality. I do note that psychiatrist Jack Drescher is getting more creative in his characterizations of change programs — “it’s a giant infomercial,” he says. But this article, like so many before it, comes down to the same opponents saying about the same thing: one side says change doesn’t work and the other side saying homosexuality is a reaction to being wounded in childhood, thus requiring lengthy therapy to undo. Sure seems like deja vu all over again.

It is sad and frustrating to me that this polarity is generally all that people in conflict ever hear about.