Now, for most men and women, simply to become such an icon with an unquestioned place in the heady atmosphere of the intellectual elite would be sufficient. To have achieved stature, name recognition, and be acknowledged internationally among one’s colleagues as a distinguished member of prestigious faculties and professional organizations would be more than enough to satisfy a lifetime of ambition. Charles Socarides could have, for the rest of his life, settled back with a worldwide reputation. He could have remained aloof and apart from the trenches where the fiercest of cultural battles was just beginning to be fought. But in his 70th year, after forty years as a clinician and a scholar, Charles entered those trenches using his psychoanalytic knowledge to become a social critic in addition to being a clinician, researcher and scholar.
Nature is on Our Side
Dr. Socarides was instrumental in bringing together the seminal group which formed the foundation ofNARTH in New York City nearly 15 years ago. The small group of less than 20 mental health professionals from different parts of the country met to respond to the growing number of those men and women who were unhappy with their homosexual adaptation, whose deepest beliefs told them that they were created for sexual complementarity and who sought professional help in reconciling their unwanted sexual attractions with their authentic selves. From this small group spearheaded by Dr. Socarides, NARTH has grown to a vibrant organization of more than 1500 today.
I saw NARTH’s article on the passing of Dr. Harold Voth and would like to comment. He was a wonderful role model for me-both in the Navy and psychiatry. It was due to his suggestion that I joined NARTH, and began seeing our terribly misunderstood, exploited, and under-served patients and their families.