The APA and Psychology Need Reform
Recent legislative efforts initiated by politicians and activists have limited or threatened to limit the autonomy and self-determination of individuals desiring sexual attraction fluidity exploration in therapy (SAFE-T), claiming that SAFE-T is ineffective and harmful. The American Psychological Association has claimed that there is not enough rigorous research to draw conclusions about the efficacy or beneficence and nonmaleficence of SAFE-T. The present longitudinal study examined the sexual attraction fluidity (SAF) and wellbeing of psychotherapy clients while participating in SAFE-T. Participants were 75 adult male psychotherapy clients reporting both same-sex attraction experiences (SSAE) and the desire to participate in SAFE-T to achieve SAF. Well-being was measured with the OQ-45.2, SSAE, and opposite-sex attraction experiences (OSAE) with a Likert scale, and sexual attraction identity (SAI) with a Likert-type item. Results of t-tests of the means of baseline and final well-being measures revealed a clinically and statistically significant improvement in well-being. A linear mixed model was used to analyze the SSAE, OSAE, and SAI data obtained at baseline, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 24 months, with results showing statistically significant fluidity of all three factors. SSAE decreased, OSAE increased, and SAI moved toward heterosexual identity.
At 138 pages, this book by a professional counselor from Singapore distills many years of experience working with men who grapple with same-sex erotic attraction. Shen gets it as he dedicates his book to those who he continues to serve with this quote: “while the rest of the world tries to remember that ‘to err is human, to forgive is divine’, they have a guillotine consciousness that ‘to err is unforgivable’.” Shen aims to change the views of leaders—whether they be religious, social, political, or cultural—in regard to those affected by homosexuality. With a forward by the president of the Singapore Counseling Association, Shen is respected among the helping professionals in Southeast Asia. With a brief review by a doctoral
candidate priest at the Catholic University of America, Shen’s Catholic worldview is revealed; however, this book is by no means a religious approach to this topic, and Shen brings insight from not only the Christian viewpoint but also Muslim and Hindu viewpoints with whom he frequently interacts.