58 responses

  1. StraightGrandmother
    July 20, 2011

    Jimmy,
    I think my opinion might be different, see what Jim Burroway wrote above in his comment,

    “If ex-gay clients are truly informed of the prospect for change — along with realistic definitions for what change means — and the difficulties that they will face and the added burdens that they will place on any spouses they choose to drag into their lives, and want to pursue their chosen lifestyle anyway, then more power to them.”

    I’m saying that no medical psychological counseling should be available to do the above. Sexual orientation change therapy should NOT be approved by our major medical organizations, even for religious beliefs. If I am not mistaken they do approve of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts for individuals who have a strong religious belief, and I am not agreeing with that because of the harm to the heterosexual spouses, informed or uninformed. So I think I am kind of going against the grain here.

  2. John
    July 20, 2011

    Why do people have unwanted same-sex attractions, in the first place? Not that homosexuality has ever been looked upon favorably in Western culture might have something to do with it. The fact that psychiatry right from the beginning took over this meme, despite Freud’s famous letter. Perhaps, if we as a society did not see being gay as something negative, people would not have to go through this self-hate.

  3. Jimmy
    July 20, 2011

    I think people shouldn’t do many things based on religious beliefs, but there you go. From what I have read, the APA has been pretty clear on what it thinks about reparative therapy. There is probably a litany of things the APA has reservations about with much of the mental health counseling (depression, addiction) that is conducted by clergy, especially when the recommendation is to “pray on it.”

  4. Amicus
    July 22, 2011

    Warren Throckmorten said just the other day in a CNN Belief Blog that the appropriate therapy for a man who is gay or a woman who is a lesbian who wants to live according to their closely held religious beliefs (They value their religion more than their natural sexual orientation) is to counsel them to become celibate, and that is what I agree with.

    One understands his perspective, psychologically. It’s a sensible dodge.

    But, celibacy, properly conceived, is an affirmative choice, not a retreat. What’s more, the practical reality is that not everyone with gay attractions / orientation is going to be cut out for celibacy.

    Therefore, it is possible to counsel, in all honesty, that it is the religious beliefs that ought to be examined.

  5. William
    July 22, 2011

    Quite right, Amicus.

    Back in 1974 Weinberg and Williams, in their study “Male Homosexuals: Their Problems and Adaptations”, recommended:

    “The homosexual should in general re-evaluate moral interpretations which make him uncomfortable with his sexuality.” (Chapter 23, Practical Considerations)

    Good, sound, practical advice.

  6. Amicus
    July 22, 2011

    With mainline Christian and Jewish groups now more gay-couple friendly than at any time in the past 100 years, say, the choices for individuals are no longer so stark or bleak.

    Nevertheless, leaving your denomination can be perceived as “death”. One mitigating factor can be that such a transition need not be a “clean break”. It is possible to explore alternatives, before jumping in.

  7. Timothy Kincaid
    July 22, 2011

    Amicus,

    As I understand it, inspecting one’s values, beliefs, and expectations is a part of Throckmorton’s SIT protocol.

    The idea is to figure out just what you value and why and find a way to develop a long term plan for living according to those values.

    If finding a mate has a higher value to you than living according to the teachings of some specific church, then that is the goal you plan for *. If you believe that your religious values or a traditional sexual ethic are more important to you that sexual or romantic fulfillment, then you examine what reasonable expectations you should have, likely celibacy, how to achieve those goals and how you can supplement some of the things you would ordinarily find in a partner.

    And, yes, I think that SIT also assists in addressing transition so that one does not experience that “death” feeling. Perhaps that is an area where counselors from a evangelical background would be most helpful.

    (* While I’ve never questioned him on this, I suspect that if you decided to go in the direction of looking for a mate, Throckmorton would encourage you to continue looking at your values and how they apply to that decision (ie monogamy, sexual responsibility, religious participation, etc.) and how to synthesize your life.)

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