Daily Archives: August 7, 2009

I’m fine, Harold, cause
I’ve got some great news for you and the boys.

“The American Psychological Association declared Wednesday that mental health professionals should not tell gay clients they can become straight through therapy or other treatments.
In a resolution adopted by the association’s governing council, and in an accompanying report, the association issued its most comprehensive repudiation of so-called reparative therapy, a concept espoused by a small but persistent group of therapists, often allied with religious conservatives, who maintain that gay men and lesbians can change.
No solid evidence exists that such change is likely, says the resolution, adopted by a 125-to-4 vote. The association said some research suggested that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.”

Can I get a “Well, DUH!” ?

But wait –there’s more!

“Instead of seeking such change, the association urged therapists to consider multiple options, which could include celibacy and switching churches, for helping clients live spiritually rewarding lives in instances where their sexual orientation and religious faith conflict.”

Aha — an “escape clause” for The Big Invisible Bi-Polar Daddy Who Lives in The Sky.
And wouldn’t you know it, some cunt from the Wall Street Journal is all over it like a floral print sundress from K-MART.

“The men who seek help from evangelical counselor Warren Throckmorton often are deeply distressed. They have prayed, read Scripture, even married, but they haven’t been able to shake sexual attractions to other men — impulses they believe to be immoral.
Dr. Throckmorton is a psychology professor at a Christian college in Pennsylvania and past president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association. He specializes in working with clients conflicted about their sexual identity.
The first thing he tells them is this: Your attractions aren’t a sign of mental illness or a punishment for insufficient faith. He tells them that he cannot turn them straight.
But he also tells them they don’t have to be gay.”

As if we haven’t heard that before!

Of course if he told them they could be gay, then THIS might happen!

“For many years, Dr. Throckmorton felt he was breaking a professional taboo by telling his clients they could construct satisfying lives by, in effect, shunting their sexuality to the side, even if that meant living celibately. That ran against the trend in counseling toward “gay affirming” therapy — encouraging clients to embrace their sexuality.
But in a striking departure, the American Psychological Association said Wednesday that it is ethical — and can be beneficial — for counselors to help some clients reject gay or lesbian attractions.”

Which often start quite early.

“The APA is the largest association of psychologists world-wide, with 150,000 members. The association plans to promote the new approach to sexuality with YouTube videos, speeches to schools and churches, and presentations to Christian counselors.
According to new APA guidelines, the therapist must make clear that homosexuality doesn’t signal a mental or emotional disorder. The counselor must advise clients that gay men and women can lead happy and healthy lives, and emphasize that there is no evidence therapy can change sexual orientation.”

“But if the client still believes that affirming his same-sex attractions would be sinful or destructive to his faith, psychologists can help him construct an identity that rejects the power of those attractions, the APA says. That might require living celibately, learning to deflect sexual impulses or framing a life of struggle as an opportunity to grow closer to God.
“We’re not trying to encourage people to become ‘ex-gay,’” said Judith Glassgold, who chaired the APA’s task force on the issue. “But we have to acknowledge that, for some people, religious identity is such an important part of their lives, it may transcend everything else.”

So what’s new here? Nothing. For as Wayne Besen has often shown, the “fallback position” of the “Ex-Gay” scam artists is that if they can’t “change” you they can at least “stop you” — thus dooming the helpless suckers to lives of sexless torpor.

Which of course never lasts for very long.

Closer than that dear.

Pope

The APA has long endorsed the right of clients to determine their own identities. But it also warned that “lesbians and gay men who feel they must conceal their sexual orientation report more frequent mental health concerns.”

Provided they “report” in the first place. Many don’t.

“The new approach allowing therapists to help clients transcend their sexual orientation was developed by an APA task force of six academics and counselors, some active in gay-rights causes, and endorsed by the group’s governing body. Their original mandate was to respond to the growing visibility of sexual orientation “change therapists” who claim it is possible to alter arousal patterns. The task force reviewed scientific literature on change therapy and found no evidence it worked.”

Despite all manner of innovative techniques.

“But the task force also gained an appreciation for the pain some men and women feel in trying to reconcile their sexual attractions with their faith. There are gay-affirming churches. But the task force acknowledged that for those from conservative faiths, affirming a gay identity could feel very much like renouncing their religious identity.
“They’re faced with a terrible dilemma,” Dr. Glassgold said. The profession has to offer alternatives, she says, “so they don’t pursue these ineffective therapies” promising change.
It isn’t a step to be taken lightly, added Jack Drescher, a psychiatrist and member of the APA task force. “We try to find a balance between what the patient says he wants, what we think is best for the patient, and what is reasonable and feasible,” Dr. Drescher said.
The APA report mentions as one possible framework the approach taken by Dr. Throckmorton, who teaches at Grove City College and has a Ph.D. in community counseling. He starts by helping clients prioritize their values. Then he shows them stock video of a brain responding to sexual stimuli. When the clients see how quickly the brain lights up, they often feel relieved, he said, because they realize that their attractions are deeply rooted.”

“Dr. Throckmorton says at that point, some clients choose to accept a gay identity. Others, however, say they prefer to live in accordance with their faith.”

“In therapy that can last years, Dr. Throckmorton says he tries to help these clients accept that their attractions will not go away — but need not define them. Many clients, he said, learn to override sexual impulses, reminding themselves that what looks like an oasis will only “take me farther away from what I really want to be,” as he puts it.
Other sexual identity counselors take a far different approach, teaching that homosexuality stems from an emotional deficit — often caused by bad parenting or childhood abuse — that can be repaired through therapy.”

After reviewing 50 years of literature, the APA found no evidence that this type of “reparative therapy” is effective. The studies that claim to show success tend to be small and deeply flawed, the APA said. For instance, some rely on the therapist who has treated a patient to subjectively evaluate how well the therapy worked.
The belief that homosexuality is a “lifestyle choice” has faded significantly. But there is little consensus about how sexual orientation develops; the APA suggests it is a complex blend of genetic, hormonal and social influences.
Some gay-rights activists are skeptical of the APA’s new stance, saying they fear for the mental health of men and women who seek to suppress their sexual identity.
“It’s incredibly misguided,” said Wayne Besen, who runs a group called Truth Wins Out, which fights conversion therapy. He says trying to fight their same-sex attractions can cause immense suffering. “People have their lives destroyed,” Mr. Besen said.
Dr. Glassgold, of the APA, said there has been little research about the long-term effects of rejecting a gay identity, but there is “no clear evidence of harm” and “some people seem to be content with that path.”
Alan Chambers, author of a new memoir called “Leaving Homosexuality,” counts himself among the contented. Mr. Chambers, who runs the ministry Exodus International, which teaches people “freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ,” says he still struggles at times with same-sex temptation. But he finds strength and grace in resisting those impulses. When critics say he is in denial, he agrees. But it is healthy self-denial, he says, which he likens to a recovering alcoholic resisting a drink.
“There are a lot of us out there,” Mr. Chambers said, “who simply want to live in congruence with our faith.”

Well Andy lived in congruence with his faith. Went to church every Sunday. And had lots of sex with guys too. His secret? Cognative Dissonance.

Isn’t that right Andy?