Sexual Identity Therapy Framework resources

Peter LaBarbera today reprints Laurie Higgins critique of an article by Mark Yarhouse regarding the application of our sexual identity therapy framework (SITF). I am aware he does not mean to promote the framework but his articles have increased my emails about the framework and requests for referrals to therapists who practice in that manner. I refer them to the registry of practitioners who claim to use the SITF at the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity. However, a quick look will confirm that many areas of the country are unrepresented there. This area clearly needs to be developed.

Those affiliated with ISSI include people working in several graduate programs in counseling and we aware of other programs who inform students about the SITF. By far, the largest organization that offers information regarding the SITF is the American Association of Christian Counselors. Mark and I presented a preconference workshop at the 2007 AACC conference titled, Introduction and Clinical Application of the Sexual Identity Therapy Guidelines.”  A 3 CD set of that workshop is available on the AACC website. In 2008, Mark presented the SITF at the AACC West Region conference. A audio of that workshop is also available on the AACC website.

The website supporting the SITF is There we have posted articles consistent with the SITF and a list of presentations regarding it. On YouTube, there is a two part demonstration of how I worked with BBC reporter David Akinsanya in 2005. Akinsanya had just left Love in Action early because he felt it did not fit him and his values. This interview was conducted in 2005 as the SITF was being developed. 

Wall Street Journal reporter has followed the development of the SITF with a 2007 article in the LA Times and then a 2009 piece in the Wall Street Journal. Wikipedia has an entry on the SITF. The APA’s 2009 sexual orientation task force cited the SITF favorably as a means for clients to therapeutically explore their options.

Much needs to be done to develop the model and describe how existing models are applied with it. Between us, Mark and I have trained several hundred mental health and ministry professionals in the model and look forward to providing more opportunities for supervision and training.

4 thoughts on “Sexual Identity Therapy Framework resources”

  1. Mark–

    I would think that not knowing LaBarbera or Higgins personally would suggest that their ‘portrayal or critique’ was not personally motivated…and, it seems that they’ve expressed their own conflict pretty clearly.

    It seems that supporting the individual’s choice, even if it includes embracing and integrating homosexuality, is central to SIT –and LaBarbera and Higgins are expressing concerns about the embracing and integrating. While I do believe that, as a courtesy, they should have addressed this with you personally or via the link, their concerns revolve around the issue of ‘sin’ and ‘eternal consequence’. Experience has clearly demonstrated that actual discussion of those issues or concerns fails miserably in any open forum.

    I concur with Warren’s opening statement. Even their critique has–and will–serve you well. It did manage to be somewhat objective…people can read it, hear what they object to, and then decide for themselves if SIT is a viable alternative for them.

  2. For shame, you “de facto pro-homosexual activist”, you.

    Methinks somebody needs to get a life, and/or begin telling the truth, and I don’t want to name any names, but his name could rhyme with “Schmeter Schnagarbara”.

  3. I don’t know either Laurie Higgins or Peter LaBarbara personally, so I don’t fully understand the purpose behind the way the framework is being portrayed and critiqued. When Warren and I first introduced the SITF in 2006, we did so on a web site designed to solicit feedback, and I have appreciated receiving feedback on it from people who have found it helpful and from those who have raised questions or concerns. Also, it was not meant to be the ‘final word’ on how to provide services, but to be a starting point for an ongoing discussion. However, the concerns expressed here were not posted to the web site, nor were they sent to me personally (which is common in some circles); rather, it has taken the form more of an attack that makes it difficult to fully appreciate some of the legitimate questions that could be raised and are worth discussing, particularly for Christians interested in counselor education and training. Unfortunately, I think the message is lost in the delivery, as the way it is conveyed is more likely to polarize people who are for/against the framework rather that foster a discussion that could be constructive.

  4. I’m sure that Mark Yarhouse is delighted that he is not a “one-time pro-”change” advocate who has become a de facto pro-homosexual activist — talking down the possibility of lasting, ex-”gay” change for people caught up in homosexuality even as he disingenuously claims to adhere to biblical orthodoxy.

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