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NARTH Counselor Admits Failure in Changing Sexual Orientation, Blames Patient, Sues California for the Right to Try Again

Jim Burroway

January 25th, 2013

The American Medical Association’s publication American Medical News has a very good article about efforts in California and New Jersey to regulate Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE). The article opens with a vignette about a patient who has undergone SOCE, failed to change his sexual orientation (predictably), and now has to come to terms with that failure:

After attending a religious-based therapy six times a week and experiencing no change in his sexuality, the patient was left feeling ashamed, depressed and suicidal, Dr. Drescher said.

“I felt sad[ness] and also anger, because sometimes a therapist would say things that were very hurtful to the patient,” said Dr. Drescher, an author and medical expert on gay conversion therapy. He also is president of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, a think tank that analyzes issues in the field of psychiatry. “It’s distressing when you see professionals, regardless if they are well-meaning or otherwise, deliver intentional or inadvertent harm to a patient.”

For an example of just what kind of harmful statements, the article points to Psychiatrist Anthony Duk,  who is a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits challenging California’s ban on SOCE for minors:

“With this bill, what’s really at stake is the definition of masculinity as well as the entire basis of civilization,” he said. “When men don’t act like men, you have a breakdown of traditional family roles and weakening of the entire human race.”

Dr. Duk said he sees about three patients a year who he said need help fighting same-sex attractions. His treatment of such patients has not resulted in the desired outcomes, he said.

“I was not successful with the ones I had because they did not stay long enough,” he said. “The major factor is whether the patient really wants to heal. The ones who want to get better, those are the ones” able to change.

What you will notice is 1) Duk has been unsuccessful in trying to change the sexual orientation of his patients 2) he blames them for their failures, and 3) he wants the State of California to allow him to continue to inflict this same harm onto others — I guess in the vain hope that some day he might get it right?

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Bose in St. Peter MN
January 25th, 2013 | LINK

More than enough abuse to go around here, if you ask me.

Therapy six times a week? Kudos to any family who can swing that expense, but it begs the question of what actually was going on. Suicidal thoughts could justify intense intervention, but trying to pray or talk the gay away is anything but suicide prevention.

Mat Staver blabs about “the counselor or doctor would have to affirm the person’s behavior as natural,” when, more likely, the clients in question aren’t “behaving” gay, they’re talking out thoughts and feelings.

“Therapist” Duk compounds those thoughts and feelings by shouldering his clients with responsibility for saving the human race.

Last but not least, Duk is an expert based on treating 3 clients per year. Unsuccessfully, but only because they won’t stick around for enough years of 6-times-a-week abuse.

Soren456
January 25th, 2013 | LINK

Duk says: “The ones who want to get better, those are the ones able to change.”

Uh huh. Patient privacy rules keep him from describing those successes?

Steve
January 25th, 2013 | LINK

“Shut up and give me your money”

StraightGrandmother
January 25th, 2013 | LINK

Brilliant concluding paragraph!

“What you will notice is 1) Duk has been unsuccessful in trying to change the sexual orientation of his patients 2) he blames them for their failures, and 3) he wants the State of California to allow him to continue to inflict this same harm onto others — I guess in the vain hope that some day he might get it right?”

Rod Roddy lookalke
January 25th, 2013 | LINK

Dr Duk? Really? Any relation to Donald?

Ben in Oakland
January 25th, 2013 | LINK

Here’s something Wayne besen wrote.

“What one first notices in Phelan’s workbook is the great irony in how the Herculean effort to not be gay ends up consuming one’s life by placing homosexuality at the very center of it. It quickly becomes apparent that such therapists can’t change attractions, as the client truly wants, so they urgently focus on keeping the individual away from potentially sexual situations and filling his or her life with busy work.”

Three things immediately came to mind. herapy six times a week? seems to placehomosexulaity at the very center of it, as wayne says.

I used to have a friend who used to be a major alcoholic. He got out of it through AA, which was good. But the disturbing part was the twenty years after he had last had a drink, he was still going to AA meetings twice a week like goin’ to meetin’ on sunday. I commented on it, and he said, “you never stop being an alcoholic. I could still take a drink.” TWENTY YEARS, and alcohol was still at the center of his life. Twice a week, every week.

The other one was I think Tolstoy, writing about a club he desperately wanted to be a member of when he was a boy. The initiation into the club? You had to stand in a corner for twenty minutes and NOT think of a white bear”.

That might be the best metaphor for Reparative therapy: a white bear. And this jerk-off a non-hunter with water pistol filled with sand.

Donny D.
January 25th, 2013 | LINK

Ben in Oakland wrote,

I used to have a friend who used to be a major alcoholic. He got out of it through AA, which was good. But the disturbing part was the twenty years after he had last had a drink, he was still going to AA meetings twice a week like goin’ to meetin’ on sunday. I commented on it, and he said, “you never stop being an alcoholic. I could still take a drink.” TWENTY YEARS, and alcohol was still at the center of his life. Twice a week, every week.

You friend has twenty years of sobriety. If thinking and acting as he has is responsible for that, then he’s doing the right thing. Alcoholism kills MANY alcoholics.

Being able to have sex with and/or love people of one’s own gender isn’t a progressive, ultimately fatal addiction. There’s no analogy.

Ben in Oakland
January 26th, 2013 | LINK

Donny, I think you missed my point. Alcohol still ay at the center of my friends life. I don’t criticize sobriety. I think it’s a great idea and a positive good. i was criticizing the idea that nyone is just an alcoholic waiting to happen, once an addict, always an addict. growth is possible.I’ve known quite a few alcoholics who stopped drinking and stopped thinking about it, because they found something more important than alcohol. It wasn’t sobriety, it was life and love and joy.

Ben in Oakland
January 26th, 2013 | LINK

Sorry, hit post by accident.

Sobriety was the byproduct of finding more self love and something more mordant than alcohol.

My reference was to wayne’s comment about fighting ones homosexuality by placing it at the very enter of ones existence, as six times a week therapy does. It wasn’t meant to compare being gay to an addiction. I’m sorry if my comment made it appear that that waswhat I was saying. Quite the opposite.

Richard Rush
January 26th, 2013 | LINK

Regarding Ben’s comment about “the Herculean effort to not be gay ends up consuming one’s life by placing homosexuality at the very center of it,” I would carry it a bit further:

I’ve often thought that some of the appeal of being ex-gay-for-pay is surrounding themselves with, and bonding with, other homosexuals in a guilt-free non-ostensibly sexual context. And I’ve often thought the same thing about rank-and-file don’t-wanna-be-gays who eagerly attend conferences or retreats such as Journey Into Manhood, for example.

Ben in Oakland
January 26th, 2013 | LINK

Richard: ya think? Rcphen and his holding therapy couldn’t possibly be a way to hold other men publicly in a way he is shamed to do privately?

I doubt The six times a week shtick is for the benefit of the therapee, but it sure does benefit the therapist.

As for the therapee, his alleged “addicktion” to men is being replaced by an addiction to therapy, talking about gay stuff, over and over and over again. And the poor, poor “therapist” has to listen to that young man, talking and talking and talking about Teh Gay.

Sweet,

customartist
January 26th, 2013 | LINK

The old “Your Faith is not strong enough” arguement.

BS

Timothy Kincaid
January 27th, 2013 | LINK

I have a friend who can at times be seen at a bar with his friends with a glass in his hand. After you get to know him you find out that the glass is just soda water. He’s been sober for years.

I think he figured it out. His problem was his own inability to drink with moderation. Not the bar, not his friends, not whether they likes to socialize with a cocktail on Sunday afternoon, not even ‘evil likkur’, just his own drinking. So he fixed the problem without having to lose the people he enjoyed.

Ben in Oakland
January 27th, 2013 | LINK

My point exactly, Timothy. Personal responsibility.

Charles
January 28th, 2013 | LINK

Dr. Duk is stuck on stupid and is doing far more damage than good. I am sure that he has read the Hippocratic Oath. My suggestion to him is to follow it.

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