Is NARTH the next target?

As I noted yesterday, Peter LaBarbera of American for Truth About Homosexuality doesn’t like the sexual identity therapy framework, saying

As you can see above, Throckmorton’s and Regent University’s Mark Yarhouse’s “Sexual Identity Therapy” model grants the possibility that some clients may come to embrace a positive “gay identity” that “modifies” their religious beliefs in such a way as to “allow integration of same-sex eroticism within their valued identity.”

If he is consistent, he will need to expand his crusade to include an organization and therapist he often cites approvingly. On the AFTAH website, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality is referenced at least 46 times (e.g., here). However, on the NARTH website, co-founder of NARTH, Joe Nicolosi says that gay affirming counseling should be available.

The developmental model we suggest must deeply resonate with the men we work with, or they will (rightfully) leave our office and pursue a different therapeutic approach. We explain that our position differs from the American Psychological Association, which sees homosexuality and heterosexuality as equivalent, and along the way, we encourage them to clarify and re-clarify the direction of their identity commitment. Gay-affirmative therapy should, of course, be available for any such client.

A few gay-identified clients do decide to stay with us. Out of respect for diversity and autonomy, I affirm them in their right to define themselves as they wish, and I accept them in their gay self-label.

Nicolosi affirms these clients in “their right to define themselves as they wish,” and he accepts “them in their gay self-label.” Of course, here Nicolosi is speaking as a professional therapist and as such acknowledges that such affirmations come from a respect for autonomy. There is little difference between these options and the options LaBarbera criticizes in his article on the SITF.

There are many problems with LaBarbera’s recent crusade. One, highlighted by this post, is that his critiques of the SITF are devoid of any proper context. The SITF is intended for mental health professionals and professional relationships with clients of all ideologies. Pastors and ministry workers follow a more directive line in keeping with the teachings of their faith. Will NARTH now become a target since they support acceptance of some clients “in their gay self-label” and affirmation of “them in their right to define themselves as they wish?”