A video critique of the latest ex-gay therapy paper by Bryd, Nicolosi & Potts
May 1st, 2008
A new paper by NARTH president A. Dean Byrd, past president Joseph Nicolosi, and Richard Potts was supposed to show what therapeutic techniques former clients of ex-gay therapy found effective. But what the paper really showed was how effectively those former patients absorbed and accepted the ex-gay movement’s distortions of human sexuality.
Daniel Gonzales, a former patient of Dr. Nicolosi shares his reaction.
You can read our analysis of the Byrd, Nicolosi & Potts paper in our latest report, “Repeat After Me:” The Reparative Therapy Echo Chamber.
Here is the transcript to the video:
My name is Daniel Gonzales and I’m a former patient of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi who is one of the authors of this paper “Clients perceptions of how reorientation therapy and self-help can promote changes in sexual orientation.” Nicolosi authored this paper along with Dean Byrd and Richard Potts.
In this paper Nicolosi sets out to show what therapeutic techniques former patients of ex-gay programs find most effective. What I took away from reading Nicolosi’s paper is how across the board former patients have absorbed and accepted the exgay movement’s distortions of human sexuality.
Starting on page 8 the paper quotes patient after patient who regurgitate the exgay movement’s talking points about homosexuality being supposedly caused by an overbearing mother and distant father or being molested or not fitting in with the “other boys.”
It would almost be laughable if there weren’t actual people behind these comments who truly believed and had been told by exgay therapists that these things had caused their sexuality.
Ex-gay therapy is not about looking at your true feelings and your true self. It’s about trying to fit yourself and your life into some else’s mold. About being told by your therapist how your life should operate and then going along with it hoping it will make you straight.
In my first session of therapy with Dr. Nicolosi he repeatedly pressed myself and my father, who was there with me, asking us if I had been molested as a child — which I hadn’t. In fact, much of that first session was focused on “digging around” for the supposed cause of my homosexuality.
This part of exgay therapy is like throwing spaghetti at a wall, the therapist throws out a bunch of antiquated gender stereotypes and something’s going to stick. Especially when a patient desperately wants not to be gay and is looking for an excuse or cause for their sexuality.
That desperate desire not to be gay is what makes people think ex-gay therapy works. I wanted to change so badly I was willing to accept almost anything Dr. Nicolosi told me for the hope it would work.
And for a long time I believed I was changing and had changed. If I had been handed a survey a few months after I finished therapy I would have given glowing quotes like those in Nicolosi’s paper. But like so many people who go through ex-gay therapy, months, years or in some cases decades later one comes to the realization change never occurred.
Had Nicolosi’s 1996 surveys used in this report not been anonymous it would be interesting to follow up with respondents and see who still believed they had changed. Many people who go through ex-gay programs have testified to change only to later realize none had occurred. This includes two of the founders of Exodus, Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper.
Despite the indications ex-gay programs do more harm than good, and the emerging movement of “ex-gay survivors” this report testifies to Nicolosi’s unwillingness to focus on anything but his echo chamber. An echo chamber of patients who are willing to absorb most everything handed down to them and then regurgitate these ideas back up on Nicolosi’s survey. This paper demonstrates just how much ex-gay programs cause people to distort their own lives, distort their own families and distort their own sexuality.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.