"Don't tell them they can be 'straight'". APA
In August 2009 the American Psychological Association (APA) adopted a resolution declaring that mental health professionals should not tell same-sex attracted clients that they can become straight through therapy or other treatments - even if they want to change.
A six person APA Committee apparently examined 83 studies on 'sexual orientation change' and concluded that "there is no solid evidence that change is likely".
Two questions must be asked about this statement - which may lead us to discover two major flaws with their conclusion.
Firstly, from what 'premise' did the APA committee start?
Secondly, what is their definition of the word 'change'?
Yes, this is a 'prestigious' organization and one from which we should expect the highest standard of accountability and scientific research, BUT, sadly, the APA is actually no better than those who purport to write theological studies approving of homosexuality - because the APA also starts from a false premise and builds the argument on that premise.
So, from what 'premise' did the APA start? Answer, "Homosexuality is a normal variation of human sexuality."
That is the view of Dr Judith Glassgold, the chair of the six person committee examining the research. She goes on to conclude, "That is why it is a potentially dangerous process to try to change it."
But where is the 'evidence' to back her position? There is none. It is simply her opinion, and while she is entitled to it, it cannot become a 'fact' simply on her say so.
She is also quoted as saying, "The religious psychotherapists have to open up their eyes to the potential positive aspects of being gay or lesbian."
Does this show objectivity? What if someone said to a smoker who wanted to quit, "smoking is natural part of life so you need to think about positive aspects of smoking and ignore all the dangers." Sound silly? Of course it does, yet because society has been brain-washed to think that sexuality is variable yet unchangeable, itself an incongruous idea, people are told to ignore the dangers of unnatural sexual practices and illicit sex and simply enjoy it. That's why society gives the simplistic message to young people to wear a condom - because they're going to do it anyway.
Our second question was, "what does change mean?" Please note that they could not say "there was 'NO' evidence that people can change", because there IS a great deal of evidence that change is possible for those who seek it.
So what would people like Glassgold and her committee accept as evidence of change?
What they want is the impossible, something that is not required in any other form of psychotherapy. They want a complete, never-to-think-about-it-again change. A total elimination of any memory of past
addiction, relationship or sexual activity or any thought of same-sex attraction. The APA and other activists also cite the failure of some to complete the program or achieve 'change' as a reason to not even try. Yet this total 'change' and total success rate is not required or expected in any other form
of psychotherapy treatment. Take the abused female who has trouble relating to men - should she refrain from seeking Christian counselling or psychotherapy because it may not work and undoubtedly not remove all memories of past events?
Take the alcoholic - should they be told they should not try to give up the drink that will lead them to an early grave or a dialysis machine because they may fail?
An ex-alcoholic will undoubtedly be tempted to have another drink at some time, and although they may never drink again they will always have memories of 'those days' - vigilance is constantly required.
Alcoholics are often told to always see themselves as alcoholics so they don't give in to the inevitable temptations, but nobody would suggest to an alcoholic that they should not try to stop drinking.
What about smokers? Should they be told that because they may fail to give up, or because they may never be totally free from the temptation to smoke again, that it would be harmful to try to give up? Of course not!
Promiscuity is a major problem for many young people, as is pornography - should we cite possible failure as a reason not to resist the temptations?
To suggest that a married man who is dedicated to his wife is still promiscuous because flashes of his past 'exploits' will inevitably come back into his mind (and are dismissed and resisted), is ludicrous. Just as is suggesting he should not get married in the first place because he may have thoughts about the past.
God will forgive our sins, but even He does not guarantee that once forgiven we will never again be tempted by that sin or that we will never remember those darker days.
As Christians we should emphasise the new identity in Christ rather than using the 'labels' associated with our past.
Sadly, the statement by the APA has much more to do with politics than science and we need to understand the 'politics'. We need to ask why there appears to be this totally different attitude toward leaving homosexuality when there is no less evidence that a homosexual can change than there is that drinkers, smokers, gambling or those addicted to pornography can change their lives.
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a US legal organisation working to restore traditional values, says the APA is a political organization that has chosen to leave science behind. "When it declassified homosexuality in the 1970s, it did it against the background of a lot of science that continued to classify it as a mental disorder. It also ignored over 120 years of research, which by the way has recently been published showing that individuals who are same-sex attracted can change".
It is time for the APA to dump politically correct advocates of homosexuality, like Judith Glassgold, and ask real psychotherapists, or the many ex homosexuals and lesbians who know change has worked in their own lives, what change really means.
Many groups offer help to those seeking change both here in Australia, the USA and many other Western countries.
We personally know a growing number of people who have experienced healing and wholeness. We must pursue the truth and reject the politically correct because it is only the truth that sets people free.
Find out more about changed lives and the genetics of homosexuality on our web site or phone our office (03 9800 2855) for a confidential discussion if you need help.
SALTSHAKERS Journal - October 2009