Skip to comments.APA Has No Disagreement With the Treatment of Unwanted Homosexual Attraction
Posted on 09/06/2006 7:58:03 AM PDT by scripter
Surrounded by President-Elect Sharon Stephens Brehm, CEO Norman Anderson and other prominent members of the American Psychological Association (APA), President Gerald P. Koocher voiced support for the treatment of those distressed by unwanted homosexual attractions.
In a Town Hall Meeting dedicated to open exchange between members and APA leaders, Dr. Koocher fielded a question from NARTH President Joseph Nicolosi about APA's position on the treatment of unwanted homosexuality.
Highlighting the importance of client autonomy and self-determination, Dr. Koocher stated, "APA has no conflict with psychologists who help those distressed by unwanted homosexual attraction."
Ex-gays picket the APA to show that men and women do not have to live with same-sex attractions.
He emphasized that --
1. The choice to enter therapy to diminish homosexual attractions and to strengthen heterosexual potential must be respected.
2. The choice to enter therapy must be voluntary and not coerced in any way.
3. Treatment options must be discussed by the therapist.
4. Treatment goals must be mutually agreed upon.
5. The "iterative process" must be a part of therapy. That is, client choice regarding treatment goals must be reiterated throughout the treatment process.
In response to a follow-up question by Dr. Nicolosi about the lack of clarity in APA's statements and positions, Dr. Koocher clearly emphasized that providing psychological care to those distressed by unwanted homosexual attractions was well within APA's Code of Ethics, and he invited Dr. Nicolosi to submit his recommendations for further clarifications to APA.
Protesters Greet APA Conference attendees as they arrive in buses.
A significant number of NARTH members were in attendance at the APA conference, including Scientific Advisory Board and Governing Board members, and several of those NARTH leaders posed questions to Dr. Koocher at the public meeting.
Dr. Ned Stringham, also a member of NARTH's SAC, followed with a question about the lack of socio-political diversity in the APA. He cited the evidence from an article published in the American Psychologist by Dr. Richard E. Redding. Koocher indicated that he was preparing an article for publication in the APA Monitor that would address the issue.
Dr. A. Dean Byrd, Chair of NARTH's Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), raised his hand to question Dr. Koocher about the serious charges leveled at the APA in the recent book Destructive Trends in Mental Health, edited by Drs. Wright and Cummings, longtime prominent members of APA.
Dr. Byrd noted that in a symposium earlier that day, Dr. Nicholas Cummings, Dr. Bonnie Strickland and Dr. Frank Farley (all former APA presidents) had raised serious concerns about APA's misrepresentation of science to the American public. They had specifically focused on the "corrosive effects of the socio-political ideologies" in the APA, the "liberal biases" in the APA, and had characterized the organization "a politically correct profession, with crowd control by the thought police."
Protestors at the APA Convention voice support for NARTH's petition and tell psychologists that they have successfully changed.
Dr. Koocher elected not to respond to the issues raised in the Wright and Cummings book, but rather chose to focus on the publisher--dismissing the book as having been produced by a "vanity press." Koocher indicated that he had contacted the publisher (Routledge) to inquire about who paid for the publishing of the book. He also wanted to know how the book was being distributed, but he received no response.
Another NARTH SAC member, Dr. David Blakeslee, raised his hand to thank APA leaders for holding the open meeting, and emphasized the importance of psychologists' respecting client's values that are associated with their faith traditions. Koocher was supportive of Dr. Blakeslee's comments and noted that religion was a legitimate part of diversity.
The Town Meeting exchange occurred the day after over 50 ex-gays had protested outside the APA convention. The protesters respectfully greeted convention-goers as they exited the buses at the conference hall with signs such as "Change is Possible," "APA, we need your support," "It's Okay Not To Be Gay," and "Diversity Includes Us." More than 500 copies of NARTH's petition to APA were individually distributed to the psychologists entering the convention.
"Overall, the response to the protestors and the petition was overwhelmingly positive," said NARTH's Dr. A. Dean Byrd. A psychologist attending the convention from New York City, Dr. Norma J. Hart, talked with the protestors and read the petition, with which she said she was in full agreement. She was interviewed by WDSU-TV Channel 6 in New Orleans, and in her on-air TV appearance, she spoke very favorably of the petition and the protestors, and emphasized the importance of the right to choose.
"Almost all of the psychologists to whom we showed the petition," said NARTH President Joseph Nicolosi, "were surprised and disturbed to hear that the APA would in any way restrict therapy aimed at decreasing unwanted homosexuality and developing heterosexual potential."
"I personally spoke to at least twenty students and thirty psychologists," said Dr. Dean Byrd, "and all were in disbelief that there could any problem with APA protecting the rights of clients who want to diminish their unwanted homosexuality." Other NARTH Board members reported a similar experience as they fanned out throughout the conference to speak to dozens of individual attendees.
Throughout the conference, attendees could be seen talking to NARTH members and reading the petition. Many were referred to the NARTH web site for further information.
"This is a historic step for client autonomy and self-determination," noted Dr. Byrd. "Dr. Koocher's statements were clear and unambiguous in support of the rights of those who are distressed by their unwanted homosexual attraction. In fact, the message conveyed by Dr. Koocher today is identical to NARTH's mission statement. I hope that APA and NARTH can now begin a fruitful dialogue about this very important issue."
I'd like to see the psychological evidence in connection with homosexuality, period. What caused the APA to take the positions it has over the years?
I once had a homosexual try to tell me that straight people not "dating" homosexuals was a form of discrimmination and that he thought the ACLU should take it up.
Dr. Koocher stated, "APA has no conflict with psychologists who help those distressed by unwanted homosexual attraction."
And he was surrounded by President-Elect Sharon Stephens Brehm, CEO Norman Anderson and other prominent members of the American Psychological Association (APA)
That should go a long way towards educating folks that change is possible.
What caused the APA to take the positions it has over the years?
According to many in the APA, including homosexual activist and scientist Simon LeVay, it was gay activism that removed homosexuality as a mental disorder. It certainly wasn't science...
Years ago I'd have a hard time believing somebody would think that. But not today. The times have certainly changed.
But now that the APA president and other prominent APA members have come out and said homosexuals should be able to seek therapy if that condition is stressful to them, perhaps we'll see some things start to reverse.
This will be all over the MSM like when they found WMD and the Armitage Plamegate connection.
A very good point. It's a good thing we have FreeRepublic and the internet to get this news out there.
I'll never figure those people out and its probably a waste of time trying to understand.
That's kinda creepy... especially if you're a straight that's been hit on by a homosexual.
I was beginning to think it would be a cold day in... before the APA supported client autonomy here.
Yes! Folks all over the world are probably feeling just a little vindicated with the above statements.
Homosexuality was in the DSM IV as a mental disorder for a very long time.... in the late 70s bowing to political pressure.. not to any new studies proving otherwise it was voted to be removed from the DSM.
That's what I thought.
This is awesome. Revolutionary!
And the dude is all worried about who paid for/printed the book, not its CONTENTS!
This news cheers me immensely.