In this second post about therapeutic neutrality, I want to discuss what it does and doesn’t mean in sexual identity therapy. Again, I want to react to some of the thoughts from Dr. Nicolosi in his article, Why I Am Not a Neutral Therapist.
Dr. Nicolosi writes:
What will happen when the uncommitted (“neutral”) therapist hears his client revealing self-destructive behaviors that are statistically proven to be associated with SSA? How will he interpret these behaviors? Staying out of philosophical territory with the client would require a sort of “Rogerian neutrality” that even Carl Rogers himself couldn’t live up to. I can’t imagine any psychologist who actually does this therapy on a regular basis believing that such an approach would be successful.
This needs to be unpacked a bit. First of all, when clients, either gay or straight or in between, describe self-destructive behavior, I believe therapists should confront the consequences to the client and others of this behavior. Asking clients about the consequences and pointing out denial is a standard therapeutic stance. SIT can be used by directive and non-directive therapists. There is nothing in the SIT framework that prevents the confrontation of self-harm.
What Dr. Nicolosi seems to be implying about the behavior of homosexuals in this paragraph, he make more explicit in the next:
Along the way, clients always report a host of maladaptive, self-defeating behaviors that restrict their maturation. The successful clinician must have an understanding of the meaning of these common factors. He will also observe fundamental distortions of self-identity. Once seen, how can these factors — including their meaning and likely origins — be ignored?
Apparently, he sees self-destructive behaviors in all of his clients. I do not, and in my research investigations, I have not found this to be invariably true. Statistical association is not cause nor does statistical significance implicate an entire group of people. I have addressed elsewhere on this blog, to wit:
Thus, it would be inconsistent with the research on psychiatric risk to deny members of at-risk groups “even the possibility” of a “fulfilling life,” whether partnered or not. Higher risk, yes; inevitable mental health maladjustment for all members of a group of people? No.
To further address Dr. Nicolosi’s question: when maladaptive, self-defeating behaviors are evident, therapeutic respect for the client’s value position does not mean that these behaviors are ignored. They are not. However, not all clients who are attracted to the same sex have the same issues. The SI therapist does not assume that all same-sex attracted clients have the same concerns, problems, issues, behaviors or backgrounds. This is more like theoretical neutrality; the SI therapist interprets the literature to depict a varied clinical landscape, not one of uniform histories and dynamics. We also do not tell clients that being attracted to the same sex assigns them to a life of despair and promiscuity. Nor do we tell them that their attractions to the same sex mean one thing. In the advanced informed consent phase, we discuss the research on the health and mental health correlates of behavior. Thus, if we have a client who is engaged in risky behavior, we inform them of the risks. If we learn that a client’s draw to the same sex has some historical referent, we certainly help that client process the issue. However, we do not assume that all attractions to the same sex mean the same thing, or that such attractions are of necessity tied to some historical set of deficits.
Dr. Nicolosi then contrasts himself further:
As Charles Socarides once said, the therapist must be neutral in judging the client, his behavior, and his choices; but he cannot be neutral about the condition of homosexuality.
Indeed the SI therapist is open to the distinct possibility that sexual preferences derive from multiple pathways and follow multiple trajectories. The SI therapist agrees with APA past president Nicholas Cummings who said: “There are as many kinds of homosexuals as heterosexuals. Homosexuality is not a unitary experience.”
So to summarize, SI therapists are not neutral when confrontation of self-destructive behavior is warranted, but we do not presume a uniform set of antecedents and outcomes of homosexual attractions. I guess you might say, we have an “Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
57 thoughts on “Sexual identity therapy and neutrality, Part two”
Jayhuck replied to me: “I get the real impression that your everyone-does-it-argument is a way of demeaning what happens to gay people – I hope I’m wrong here.”
Remember when men blamed women’s liberation on their unemployment??
thanks Jayhuck – and I am sorry if I misunderstood.
I never said that gay people weren’t the only oppressed minority – I’m sorry if I even suggested that
It doesn’t matter who the oppressor is – that’s not the point – the point is that gay people are the oppressed right now and there is no excuse for that whatsoever.
The point is that gay people are not the only people who are oppressed right now. That is a fact. Your perception of Eddy’s comments are interesting. Since I wasn’t looking for something to pick on, I didn’t perceive his comments the same as you did.
“I even theorize that it increases in times of tension and unrest. People are frustrated and feeling powerless. Those who are immature find a ‘quick fix’ in oppressing, bullying, making fun of anyone different from them.”
— Its funny you said this. It reminds me of something Dr. Nicolosi said when he made fun of gay people during one of his speeches 🙂
I get the real impression that your everyone-does-it-argument is a way of demeaning what happens to gay people – I hope I’m wrong here. Everyone doesn’t do it – and sometimes, the way its done to certain groups is far worse than what some other groups receive. Even if everyone really does do it, that doesn’t make it right, and that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight it every chance we get.
It doesn’t matter who the oppressor is – that’s not the point – the point is that gay people are the oppressed right now and there is no excuse for that whatsoever.
Take someone from a minority and give them the opportunity to be the oppressor…and they most often will. It happens more often than you’d think.
This is so true – I also think it comes from a temporary and artificial feeling of empowerment. Somehow if we can re-live our oppressive experiences through someone else, and be the one in power, it gives us a sense of relief.
Sounds like the proverbial “frustration-aggression hypothesis” to me….
Thus, during the times of slavery, the times with the most hangings were the times when the cotton crops were the worst.
People always have and always will pick on minorities–or the proverbial (and actual) little guy. 🙂
The pretty girls vs the plain ones, the rich kids vs the ‘have nots’, the soc’s vs the greasers (Stay gold!), the jocks vs the nerds, Us (us, us…) and Them (them, them…) Sorry, was having a Pink Floyd moment.
I’ve actually come to believe that it’s universal. Take someone from a minority and give them the opportunity to be the oppressor…and they most often will. It happens more often than you’d think.
I agree it’s ugly. I get pretty upset when I see it happening on the blog. You know those times when it seems everybody is bashing one blogger…
I even theorize that it increases in times of tension and unrest. People are frustrated and feeling powerless. Those who are immature find a ‘quick fix’ in oppressing, bullying, making fun of anyone different from them.
You are right Jag – currently illegal immigrants have become the scapegoat for our failing healthcare system, and gay people have become the scapegoats for what some see as a moral degradation in society – It is wrong, but for some reason people find it easy and convenient to blame minorities.
Thank you for your comments, and especially for including the transgendered and intersexed into your commentary – you are right that they are commonly excluded from dialogue.
I am proud to say that my reconciling methodist church is taking active steps to extend a hand to these communities. We have had numerous sermons which include a transgendered or intersexed person, and the societal stigma and unique struggles of the transgendered individual has been the exclusive focus of adult sunday school for the past month…we are attempting to be more welcoming to that population – but do not want to be “ignorant” of the uniqueness.
Evangelicals have been relatively silent, but I have heard very painful commentary on the subject….see this article about a transgendered professor at a christian university that was found “not keeping to christian principles” due to the transition. I position supported by a offshoot of Exodus.
I agree that with the GLBT population, “it hurts when people make jokes, spread misinformation or knowingly ignore issues that they’re not personally affected by. But they’re willing to blame different minorities for all sorts of problems that plague society.”
They are often a convenient scapegoat, but that is unfortunately nothing new in history.
I don’t like the crass jokes made by so called christians either. Those people are not the kind I associate with christianity. I fight against it too.
Yeah I agree there can be bad outcomes from both sides, I guess that’s where the whole issue of neutrality comes in 🙂
Hopefully most therapists will be honest where they stand with their modes of treatment.
I too would like better studies concerning homosexuality, transgender, intersex and similar conditions. I’m actually curious about the silence (or ignorance?) on intersex issues from evangelicals. With intersex people, the debates about ‘nature vs. nurture’ and ‘is it a choice or genetic’ quickly disappear. Maybe because it’s a grey area which poses more questions than it answers, is why many Christians have steered clear of the issue?
I remember talking to someone at church about a documentary about intersex and transgendered people. And asked what choice does someone like this have in pursuing relationships? The adult I was talking to tried to answer, ended up reiterating that homosexuals are sinful, and that in unique cases such as with intersex people, well they’ll have to get used to being alone all their lives. He quickly tried to change the subject and said he didn’t want to talk further or think about such ambiguous and rare problems.
It hurts when people make jokes, spread misinformation or knowingly ignore issues that they’re not personally affected by. But they’re willing to blame different minorities for all sorts of problems that plague society.
Sorry I’m upset, I just spent an hour reading a Christian forum where the talk about these things descended into comedic banter about pink shirts, village people and the evil gays brainwashing our children, thankfully there were at least two voices of reason trying to keep the discussion serious and realistic.
Jamie Sartre –
You made a statement that I wholeheartedly agree with:
“What really troubles me about therapists like Nicolosi and American Evangelicals when they talk about homosexuality, is their very rigid views on gender roles.”
This has been a problem for quite some time, but it is interlinked with much of the faith…they often see gender differences in church roles or positions (women cannot be priests, etc..) as well, and it translates into life.
Unfortunately, it is further drudged into some odd notion of where homosexuality comes from – or that it can be intervened if only we teach men to be more butch or girls to be more feminine. Alan Chambers of Exodus even states that teaching men to play football is a “healing tool.” Does it get more ridiculous than this?
If we follow scientific studies instead of our own fears, rumors and fairytales, maybe then – we will start learning more about same-sex attraction and have less exploitation of the GLBT population.
Until then, circus organizations like Exodus will continue to gladly take the money of the most desparate, oppressed and frustrated.
Someone needs to shut them down.
It reminds me of the church attempting to cure mental illness with exorcisms…another silly strategy for a serious problem. Try as you might, schizophrenia isn’t going to go away because you are calling the demons out.
It’s modern day demonology – the same false beliefs leading them by the nose…and sadly, claiming God’s name at the helm.
God gave you a brain…read, study, and use it. These are the reasons so many people see science and religion as so dichotomous – but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Speaking of NARTH, they have a conference coming up. They have named it, “Responding to Misinformation…
Should I send them a mirror?
Well, Jaime Sartre, there is that risk. And what about children who go to a gay affirming therapist?? Or children that go to a doctor that suggests, promotes, allows, a child to start gender reassignment before their brain is fully developed?
The case can be made for both sides and children are caught in the middle of it. That is sad. But children are being raised by parents and parents have to make some sort of choice. And I am not raising every child in this nation or on my block for that matter. So, I leave the decision up to parents. Guess what – parents are not perfect. What I would choose for my children is probably not what my own mother would choose for my children. Nor would you or anyone else make the same decisions with the same information. By the time we all became adults, we looked back at our childhoods and threw some things into the good category and some things into the bad category. I suppose my child/children would do the same. A parent can only do what they think is best. How you or I might assign that into a category may be different.
What just happened to my previous reply to Mary? :/
Erm…okay I’ll post that again, and Dr Throckmorton, can you tell me if I said something bad in the post?
Isn’t the concern greater when children are dragged to therapists against their will? A child, even an older teenager might not be able to go against the pressure from the parents or community.
(I’ve changed the name from ‘Jamie’ to ‘Jamie Sartre’, as it was a little too generic, and my posts might get mixed up with other people called ‘Jamie’).
What really troubles me about therapists like Nicolosi and American Evangelicals when they talk about homosexuality, is their very rigid views on gender roles.
The type of stereotypes where little ‘Sue’ must always be in a frilly dress, play with her dolls and want to be a mother when she grows up. Little ‘Tommy’ should play football, not cry, definately not play with dolls and grow up to be the headstrong father who tells his family what to do.
Okay I know, now I’m generalising about those views. But my point is that to see homosexuality as something caused by a boy not being given the right toys, sports gear and being mothered too much is absurd. And this seems to be the type of explanation that ex-gay groups and therapists generally give.
But reality isn’t that black/white, it’s far more complex. I get annoyed when people who are anti-gay aren’t informed but talk like they know it all. They usually refer to the promiscuity, narcissism of gay men and abuse of children. They’re very focused on destructive behaviour and the choice to become gay. These various groups, churches, therapists etc also seem to be very obsessed about gay men, with issues of lesbianism being brushed over.
Their appraoch in terms of explanations and “solutions” is about defeminising gay men and making them “real men”, not weak wristed pansies. Yet why oh why this stereotype of gay men being effeminate?? To me it speaks of a fear of anything remotely associated to women, just like in past cultures where women were second class citizens. Are some of their attitudes to homosexuality just a thinly disguised misogyny?
Isn’t it ironic that in Greko-Roman culture it was considered at times, ‘effeminate’ for a man to be so preoccupied in wanting/having a relationship (sexual at that) with a woman.
No, I personally don’t find it a problem when other men exhibit effeminate mannerisms (in the 20th centuary, western sense). It gets more interesting with the fact that many of the men I’ve met that are like this are straight!
Isn’t the greater concern the fact that children, unlike adults don’t always get a choice, but are forced by parents to go to a certain therapist? And so are at risk of having psychological damage done if they go to some quack who espouses the parents views.
(I’m posting again, the larger reply doesn’t seem to have gone through)
The way I interpret NARTH’s position that each client/individual has a choice to decide for themselves also means they can elect a therapist who is not neutral or select a therapist who is gay affirming (not neutral again) or select a therapist of their choosing. That Nicolosis puts it right out there for a person to know his position is good. If you don’t want a therapist with that “foundation” then move on to the next interview with someone else – and that is your choice and right to do so.
Most suicidal persons are ambivalent about killing themselves. But of course, actions to stop a client from suicide is something we can all agree on. (However, there are supporters of assisted suicide)
Speaking of NARTH, they have a conference coming up. They have named it, “Responding to Misinformation
with Good Science and Demonstrable Clinical Experience” [see: http://www.narth.com/docs/2007confsched_rev.pdf ].
Dr T, have you seen what constitutes a talk by Christopher Rosik, Ph.D., titled: A Proposal for the Development of Treatment Guidelines for Unwanted Same-Sex Attractions (Weak Father?).
And Dr Herrin (Herrin-Hamilton) is giving her talk, “Homosexuality 101: What Every Therapist, Parent, and Homosexual Should Know but Aren’t Being Told.” An Exodus speaker [TBA] will speak on “Helping Male Strugglers.” The Case Studies Discussion Groups is “For Therapists Only” and Moderated by Janelle Hallman, MA, LPC, with Group Leaders: Norman Goldwasser, Ph.D., Mary Beth Patton, MA, LPC, & Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D.
James Phelan, LCSW,BCD, ICDAC, Psy.D. & Philip Sutton, Ph.D., LP, LMFT, LCSW will discuss, “A Comprehensive
Response to Objections to the Treatment of Homosexuality.” Other discussions on the following days include items which are to me unconscionable, dealing with aspects which derive more from the psychologists homophobia than any problem a homosexual should have. But then there is the highlight of the conference the 30 minute “Welcome Address” Guest Speaker, Michael Glatz (aka Glatze).
And of course finally, NARTH Position ptatement: “NARTH respects each client’s dignity, autonomy, and free agency…every individual has the freedom to claim a gay identity, or to diminish their homosexuality and to develop their heterosexual potential. The freedom to seek therapy to change one’s sexual adaptation is considered self?evident and inalienable.” How does that fit in with Nicolosian “neutrality?”
Yet again we have to remind you that “identity” does not equal “behavior”.
We agree yet disagree:
“Dr. Nicolosi is right in that adults have no right to affirm a minor’s homosexual behavior, because parents have a right to forbid sexual behaviors.”
Parents do have a right to forbid sexual behaviors of all types (hetero, homo, etc..), however, they also have the right to affirm the person.
In case you are not aware, but homosexual “behavior” is a lot more than just having sex. It is that giddy attraction to another person, holding hands, having “crushes,” wanting to be intimate, etc….
Parents affirm this all the time when their children date.
Sorry – ignore my last message – I was thinking we were on a different topic 🙂 OY
The answer is not that simple. What if the client wants to kill himself? We’ve been down this road before – stopping at just client-centered therapy is wrong – there has to be more discussion than simply finding out what the client wants – and I know Warren would agree with me.
Dr. Nicolosi is lucky to be practicing. He will stop at nothing to further his own belief and agenda regardless of what science seems to say. Children should never be forced into therapy for something that is not a disease – to do so is frightening.
He does not seem to care for the client, rather he gives supreme authority to his belief system and does everything he can to affirm that, even as far as disregarding truth.
Dr. Nicolosi is president of a radical and fringe psychological movement that most of the scientific community gives no respect to – and why should they?
Yes, I agree. Also what the client wants when they initiate therapy is sometimes different than when they conclude it.
Dr. Nicolosi is upfront & parents who bring minor sons to see him do so because they would never fully knowingly & willfully send them to an affirmation therapist. He has written that what is dishonest is when psychologists affirm a minor’s H&L identity against their parents wishes by not being upfront that they are affirmation therapists. Dr. Nicolosi is right in that adults have no right to affirm a minor’s homosexual behavior, because parents have a right to forbid sexual behaviors. Minors must get parental permission before they can play football, boxing or participate in martial arts or be on the school track team.
Dr. Nicolosi has also said that what is sad is that rather than psycholosists curing GID, they advise patients to undergo sex change maimings. Psychologists have even advised parents of minors that they can’t treat GID & that the minor should get sex change surgery, which Dr. Nicolosi & Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons have cited cases of. Apologists of sex change maimings see nothing wrong with this.
The answer is simple – what does the client want.
I’m assuming that, if the client is married and same-sex attracted, and still wants to be a part of the family (assuming the couple has children), but can’t live being married anymore, you would also help them out of the marriage, correct?
“Where we might differ from other therapists is that we do not refuse to work with clients who hold values that lead them to maintain their marriages even though they are same-sex attracted.”
You don’t differ from other therapists in this way. I would not refuse to work with someone who wished to maintain their marriage…and my friends (who are psychologists also – although many not christian) would not refuse either. You see, an ethical therapist allows the patient to direct their own destiny (aside from issues of suicide – you know that risk to self and other thing). Real life isn’t an episode of Dr. Phil with his pious statements of direction “you need to…,” etc… I allow my clients to make mistakes all the time. Many prefer to stay in non-ideal marriages for many reasons.
Where you and I would likely differ Warren, is that if that person who is same-sex attracted felt that being more authentic and aligned with their beliefs meant leaving their marriage – I would be equally involved therapeutically also. I would help them in developing coping strategies to tackle what they will likely face in society, follow them through the “coming out” process, and be there as they begin dating and maybe eventually marriage to their partner.
SIT seems to have the right “speak,” but in the end, seems to always fall short of true neutrality. That’s why they get lumped in with reparative therapy – because in the end, it seems like that is what it is protecting.
If the SI therapist cannot equally be present and therapeutic for a client and allow them to know that they can have a happy, healthy, committed same-sex relationship and family under God – just the same as if they were heterosexual – then, I’m not sure what the use of it is…except to covertly protect those doing reparative-type therapies.
I haven’t heard much talk about the challenges of SI therapy in being present for gay/lesbian clientele as they begin the process of “coming out,” committing to their life partner, etc…
maybe I just missed these? If so, please advise where I might find more information on this.
perhaps there are
Mark – thanks for your response. That is exactly how I approach these issues.
Lynn David – I think what are describing happens but I do not believe it is inevitable. The SI therapist does not tell the client “just hang in there and it will all be worth it.” The clients tells us that. If the client doesn’t believe that we don’t try to push them into it.
I think the biggest misconception is that SIT is a new form of reparative therapy. We would not be consistent with our framework if we just applied different strategies of argumentation. Where we might differ from other therapists is that we do not refuse to work with clients who hold values that lead them to maintain their marriages even though they are same-sex attracted.
I don’t think I’m making my concerns about religion and science clear. I agree with what you said and am busy with other things at the moment, so let’s return to this discussion sometime soon!
Thank you for sharing that. That sounds to me exactly the way situations like that should be handled. I was simply worried about kids being forced into therapy despite their wishes – your story alleviates some of those concerns!!
I cannot speak for Warren, but let me share a little about how I work with adolescents through the SITF. Essentially a minor must assent to therapy. So even if the parents give consent, the minor still must give assent. If he or she does not, then therapy should not continue or it should be renogotiated around what the minor is willing to work toward.
Sometime ago I met with parents who brought their 17-year-old son in for therapy because of gender and sexual identity concerns. What they meant by that was that, among other things, he was effeminate in his mannerisms and voice inflection, reported some gender dysphoria, and was attracted to the same sex. I informed them that the major mental health organizations do not consider homosexuality to be a mental illness, and I asked them to elaborate more on what their concerns were for him, recognizing that a person could still request services to explore and potentially resolve conflicts between sexual and gender identity and personal beliefs and values.
When I met with their son I asked him what he would like from therapy if he chose to participate in it. I specifically asked him if he shared his parents beliefs and values and whether he wished to be in therapy to address the gender and sexual identity concerns they were raising. He said he did not wish to address those concerns and that he had questions about his identity but that he did not share his parent’s beliefs.
He was willing to participate in therapy to address symptoms of depression and to improve communication with his parents. Over time, once trust was established, he wished to discuss his sexual and gender identity questions, but he did not change his beliefs and still saw the issues differently than did his parents.
I do not see it as a problem or conflict to use science to help with unwanted homosexual feelings. That you do is your choice. And I am an adult and can make those decisions for myself. I do choose some holistic health practices over western medicine. I do choose prayer as a part of my health regiment. I do choose to go to a Christian therapist. I don’t think really – that the two can be separated for me. But neither should either be imposed. And choice is the key here.
That is right, the problem is when science tries to take the place of faith and vice versa. For example, some religions won’t allow sick children to see doctors – for me, that is faith getting in the way of someone’s well-being, although I’m sure the proponents of that faith would see it differently.
People of faith, especially those who deal with unwanted orientations, have always had people to go to – priests, pastors, family and friends. I just see it as problematic when you try to bring scientists into this equation
Warren asked: “Lynn David – What do you think the differences would be?”
Yooh boy…. I’d like to say that if you’re lucky there are no differences, it’s the same as any interpersonal relationship. I would like to think that the Roman Catholic ethic, which I grew up in (or rather a loose example thereof), should apply to a gay relationship, or dating or anything else. But it doesn’t.
LOL…. it just struck me that in part is where your determination of a person’s values/goals lie. In part because a person’s values/goals may still result a determination of what is a self-destructive behavoirs. Even so there is always a point which is likely close to the same for either in which self-destructive behavior manifests after all we are in the end all simply human.
Ok… but here’s were I get conflicted. You wrote that article about leading “a life of value rather than seeking out a life of happiness.” I tried that, and it well it lead to a rather conflicted life with what I now (and even then) considered self-destructive behavior on the homosexual side. And yet I would place the problem with that self-destructive homosexual behavior on the door-step of the value-based straight life. So the problem for me comes to be how to apply my straight (Christian) values to a gay life.
You’re putting up values first and attempting to style goals (specifically a fulfilled & happy life) that fit those values. You’d just like to think that they go hand in hand that values result in fulfilled goals but for a homosexual person trying to live a straight life, they don’t in the short-term. And trying to tell a homosexual person that the long-term goals will result in looking back and being happy about the value-based life they led doesn’t help the situation, short-term. And thus you end even create the self-destructive behavior in that attempt and likely end up with so may broken marriages.
Ok… those last two paragraphs were tangential to the main thought…. but I’ll let them stand.
. . .
I have to say that I commend the SI Therapy for this:
“However, not all clients who are attracted to the same sex have the same issues. The SI therapist does not assume that all same-sex attracted clients have the same concerns, problems, issues, behaviors or backgrounds. This is more like theoretical neutrality; the SI therapist interprets the literature to depict a varied clinical landscape, not one of uniform histories and dynamics. We also do not tell clients that being attracted to the same sex assigns them to a life of despair and promiscuity.”
I just wonder if SI therapy goes further to support and work therapeutically neutral with a client who decides to pursue his/her same-sex attractions, marry their partner, adopt children or build a life but continue to need resources to cope with the difficulties they find in society.
SI therapy seems to have gained more acceptance from the “reparative therapists” out there (who tend to show support), but I am wondering if these same individuals – Warren included – could really remain neutral and therapeutic as a client grows and matures into a happy, healthy gay/lesbian relationship. I am most assured after reading this blog that they are comfortable, if not ambitious, in trying to assist clients who wish to change their orientation….I just wonder if the pendulum swings the other direction as well. I would anticipate more of a struggle, and I don’t see much – if anything – written on this.
Imagine, assisting a lesbian christian woman to cope with her self-acceptance and the stigma of her environment – it would be revolutionary from a “christian therapist.” Writing on that would certainly get you onto the lips of every christian therapist out there.
As for Nicolosi, he has always been met with skepticism (if not ridicule), and this article further demonstrates why.
Even your statements can be taken by anyone to support their own ideas.
Science has it’s place – and so does faith. For example, if I need an operation to save myself or child then by all means please proceed but I am going to have a community of friends praying for the doctors, surgical staff, patient and caregivers, too. Both aspects are vital in the healthcare and well being of people – from my chair where I sit.
You never really addressed how adolescents would be addressed under the SITF! I believe you said something about the therapist taking on a parental role, but it seems so dangerous to bring in an adolescent, who doesn’t want to be in counseling, just because some parent’s religious beliefs dictate otherwise – are we going to allow religion to dictate who should be in therapy against their will? Does anyone else see a problem with this? I don’t know of anything else like this – being gay isn’t dangerous and it isn’t a disease – so should children be forced into therapy by their parents????
That is why we need to separate science from religious beliefs – it causes nothing but problems. People can believe whatever they like, but that doesn’t mean that science supports their beliefs.
And I’m not sure what you mean by biblical Christianity, but if you conservative Christians then yes – But it all depends on how you interpret the Bible – and believe me, EVERYONE interprets it.
If one ardently believes – and knows – something to be wrong, how could they possibly counsel someone who wants to accept that wrong?
The idea of tolerance (“your beliefs are true as long as they are true to you”) doesn’t stand up with biblical Christiantiy, and opponents know it. That’s why tolerance never seems to apply to evangelicals these days.
Sexual identity therapy framework
Also, use the blog search engine, you will find lots.
I agree with Lynn David.
As best I can tell, it is not that Nicolosi observes self-destructive behavior separate from and resulting from homosexuality, but rather that Nicolosi sees any behavior related, however remotely, to homosexuality as being by definition self-destructive.
Thus, to Nicolosi, any sexual expression within the confines of a committed relationship is self-destructive. In fact, simply saying, “I am gay” is a self-destructive behavior (Exodus holds the same view but calls it sinful rather than self-destructive).
With that sort of self-referential definition, Nicolosi is alway fully justified (to himself, anyway) in being non-neutral.
It’s sort of like the inquisition feeling justified in burning those who disagreed with them as heretics – because disagreement with them was hetetical. If your definition of “self-destructive” includes any aspect of homosexuality, then it becomes quite easy to condemn homosexuality for being self-destructive.
Granted, a person may disagree with a psychologist’s methods, perspectives, beliefs etc… that is why there are so many “schools of thought” on the subject. And a person DOES NOT have to go see that psychologist for therapy.
I don’t agree with my shrink on everything nor do I ever expect to agree with her on everything. I don’t agree with Warren on everything but think he has some value. I don’t agree with Nicolosi on everything but at least he says he is baised and puts his opinion out there for evaluation. If you don’t like it – don’t use his services. Very simple.
I do think he is mistaken in the way he writes about neutrality and I also think you cannot do reparative therapy in the way he describes it and be in conformity with our framework.
However, saying someone is practicing unethically requires requires a level of detail about specifics that I do not have.
I understand that “unethical” has a different meaning when referring to another therapist’s behavior. Thank you for clarifying.
That said, I find your answer interesting. When you speak of your “framework”, what is your framework? And when you speak of “our” framework, whom are you referring to? Just curious. (This is where a FAQ might come in handy!)
“I do not mean to imply that Dr. Nicolosi is doing anything unethical in his practice.”
This is to say that you do not mean to imply that Dr. Nicolosi is doing anything wrong, immoral, or evil in his practice, correct? I just want to clarify if you think, as I do, that “unethical” is an umbrella term which encompasses “wrong”, “immoral”, and “evil”.
I understand – I wasn’t suggesting you were saying any such thing – but it is clear in almost everything he write’s that he embraces his beliefs above science, fact and being rational. The man actually scares me, and too often, like his organization, borders on being unethical.
Jayhuck – I do not mean to imply that Dr. Nicolosi is doing anything unethical in his practice. I am simply contrasting views of homosexuality and how they change your stance.
Lynn David – What do you think the differences would be?
I guess if you wrote a guideline for neutrality concerning behaviors, you might necessarily state that those for the homosexual should be little differrent than those for the heterosexual with perhaps consideration for certain differences in habits.
Nicolosian neutrality ends in an almost Cameronesque fashion where the mention of anything homosexual transpires. Being in a gay chorus would likely be seen as destructive behavior from his viewpoint.
You know, this just seems like more of the same from our friend Dr. Nicolosi – I have to wonder sometimes how he is able to keep his license to practice!
Anti-Gay folks go out of there way to try and make a direct connection between bad behaviors and one’s sexual orientation. For some reason, they don’t do this with OSA folks, just those with SSA – more examples of hypocrisy if you ask me.
Anyway, I agree with all of Dr. Throckmorton’s comments – and Thank God that he is willing and able to stand up to the likes of Nicolosi.
I still wonder what the relationship was like between the late Dr. Socarides (of NARTH) and his openly gay son.
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