NARTH Members Working Around the World To Help Individuals With Unwanted SSA

Related Entries

In Their Own Words: Therapists Who Support a Client’s Right to Explore Sexual Attraction Fluidity Respond to Questions Posed by Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Therapists

In the current politicized climate concerning professional therapies that allow sexual attraction fluidity exploration (SAFE-T), meaningful dialogue between psychotherapists who support and oppose change-oriented goals is quite rare. Recently, a group of lesbian, gay, and bisexual therapists proposed a list of six questions they wished therapists who engaged in SAFE-T would answer. In order to promote understanding and the exchange of ideas over this subject, I submitted these questions to several therapists who have extensive experience working with clients who report unwanted same-sex attractions (SSA) and may desire to pursue change. Questions addressed interventions and theory associated with SSA change, accounting for potential harms of SAFE-T, and the effects of minority stress. In a concluding section, some common themes among respondents were highlighted along with the significance of these themes for clarifying controversies that currently exist regarding SAFE-T.

A Tale of Two Task Forces: Evidence of a Growing Diversity Problem within Psychology?

In this brief historical analysis, I compare and contrast two different American Psychological Association task forces, both of which were charged with reviewing the scientific literature regarding different but equally controversial clinical practices. Convened just over a decade apart, the first of these investigations involved recovered (repressed) memory therapy (RMT), and the subsequent review examined sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE). I observe that the SOCE task force, unlike the RMT working group, was devoid of ideological diversity and strongly dissuaded clinicians from engaging in the practice under review, in spite of indications that far greater and more certain harms were occurring through RMT than through SOCE. These differences may be another symptom of organized psychology’s increasing lack of sociopolitical diversity, with accompanying risks for conservative clinicians and the public perception of psychology’s credibility when addressing contested social issues. I close with a brief discussion of this concern and note some recommendations that can begin to address it.

Countering a One-Sided Representation of Science: NARTH Provides the “Rest of the Story” for Legal Efforts to Challenge Antisexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) Legislation

NARTH compiled science-based information in this document in response to the proposal, passage, and subsequent adjudication of legislation in California (SB 1171)
in 2012 and in New Jersey (AB 3371) in 2013 to prohibit the provision of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) to minors by licensed therapists. The information in this document is intended for use in various formats to counter the sometimes faulty and often incomplete presentation of science used to defend such anti-SOCE legislation. The information is presented in four sections under the following themes: I. The objectivity of the Report of the APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation (hereafter referred to as the Report) is demonstrably suspect; therefore, the Report’s representation of the relevant literature concerning the efficacy of and harm from SOCE is neither complete nor definitive. II. Nonheterosexual identities, attractions, and behaviors are subject to change for many people, particularly youth. III. There is no scientific basis for blaming SOCE for the harmful stigma and discrimination reportedly experienced by persons with a nonheterosexual sexual orientation. IV. Spitzer’s reassessment of his interpretation of the results of his 2003 study on SOCE does not invalidate the results he reported. Licensed mental health professionals (LMHP) who practice some form of SOCE care deeply about the well-being of sexual minority youth and see SOCE as a valid option for professional care, an option that deserves to be protected by state legislatures. LMHPs who do offer SOCE support the right of all clients to self-determination.