"Ex-Gay" Leaders Misconstrue APA Statement genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Uncivil Unions

Psychology

In an attempt to garner credibility, leaders of the practice of treating homosexuality in order to change their sexual orientation, have asserted that statements made by the head of the American Psychological Association (APA) were an acknowledgment to the credibility of the movement and its objectives. Gerald Koocher, President of the organization, made clear that the association had not changed its position. Read the full article here.

The Rev. Lou Sheldon, founder and chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, a group that believes some homosexuals can become heterosexuals through "deep reparative therapy," said he is convinced "peer pressure came down on the APA president like a mountain cougar and forced him" to back away from public comments he made less than a month ago.

"The APA has no conflict with psychologists who help those distressed by unwanted homosexual attraction," said Gerald P. Koocher, president of the 155,000-member APA, at the group's annual convention in New Orleans last month.

In an e-mail message early last week, Sharon Slater, president of United Families International, a nonprofit that works to protect the family as the fundamental unit of society, called Mr. Koocher's comments "an amazing turnabout," given that for more than 30 years, the "APA has aggressively opposed treatment of unwanted same-sex attraction."

These "reparative" groups have been criticized by numerous psychologists as well as by LGBT organizations for simply using societal prejudices to justify their questionable practices on people who are vulnerable and frequently struggling to reconcile their homosexuality with ingrained religious doctrines. Further, there is virtually no evidence to support the practice of attempting to extinguish what most experts consider innate sexual orientations that may well have genetic origins.

But the APA executive clarified his comments shortly after the convention.

"In a full, multifaceted therapeutic relationship, the therapist has every duty to respond to patient choice and to help patients achieve their goals," Mr. Koocher said. "I will always affirm the crucial importance of providing our services with careful attention to patients' wishes."

But Mr. Koocher said discussion of interventions in the "extremely complex issue" of sexual orientation "must balance patient choice with the therapist's ethical obligation to obtain informed consent for any therapy process."

"When dealing with sexual orientation," he said, a therapist "must" be sure that a person wishing to change is not "motivated purely from the social pressures of a homophobic environment" because therapy "will not modify societal prejudices."

Mr. Koocher further stressed that "patients must understand" that treatments intended to modify sexual orientation "lack a validated scientific foundation and may prove psychologically harmful."

Clearly, Koocher's remarks have remained consistent with the principles that underlie the practice of psychology...principles that seek to provide the client with the tools to understand and adapt to any number of life circumstances that may from time to time create anxiety and an inability to resolve complex situations.

Psychologists are not trained to determine patient outcomes by injecting their own personal values or religious beliefs...the very goal of these rogue "therapeutic" groups. It is no wonder they have misinterpreted Koocher's measured remarks in order to promote their objectives...these people are not therapists...they are manipulative ideologues bent on instilling their brand of morality on all they encounter.

Daniel DiRito | September 3, 2006 | 9:58 AM
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Comments

1 On January 21, 2007 at 6:01 PM, Matt wrote —

Complex patients forget about that as in general it is necessary itself to a message in a society. WBR LeoP

Thought Theater at Blogged

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