In this article I present in conversational form a hypothetical interaction between myself and a Typical Opponent of Professional Therapies that Include Change (i.e., a Mr. Ty Optic). While hypothetical, this conversation is comprised of responses to common arguments frequently offered by people who are increasingly intent on legally restricting client self-determination and professional speech in the psychological care of unwanted same-sex attractions and behaviors. Through the vehicle of this conversation, I hope to highlight the many difficulties with these arguments, particularly the incomplete or dishonest representation of the scientific record as regards to change in same-sex attractions and behaviors and the false caricatures of licensed therapists who do this work. Those who value clients’ rights to choose a professional course of care consistent with their moral, religious, and cultural beliefs are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these responses.
Some Clarifications about the American Psychological Associations’s Statement
Book Review of Janelle M. Hallman’s The Heart of Female Same-Sex Attraction: A Comprehensive Counseling Resource
Did the American Psychological Association’s Report on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation Apply Its Research Standards Consistently?
In August 2009, the American Psychological Association Task Force released its report, Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation (APA, 2009). The report discouraged attempts at changing sexual orientation, asserting that such efforts are un- likely to succeed and involve some risk of harm. The task force further recommended affirmative therapeutic interventions based in part on the conclusion that research has not found developmental influences to be involved in the origin of sexual orienta-
tion. In this critical analysis, I identify several methodological limitations cited by the task force in critique of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) and apply them to a review of the majority of studies to which the report makes reference regarding devel- opmental theories of sexual orientation. Based on this examination, it appears most of the studies the task force cited in support of its conclusion had similar methodological flaws that led to its dismissal of SOCE research. Thus, it appears the task force applied its methodological critique inconsistently, raising questions about what might give rise to such variation in reviewing standards.