I received the following from NARTH (the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality). There are a few things about it with which I disagree or rather concerning which I would add qualifying language, such as concerning the term "biological." Homosexuality is biologically based in certain senses; however, the biology (the actual matter, of the brain and other tissues, is subject to change through practice and conditioning, etc.).
Several other points:
- I do not hold with coercion. (NARTH's position is not coercive.)
- This information should not be censored.
- I am not endorsing secular candidates for secular offices.
- By agreeing (albeit with certain perhaps minor qualifications) concerning this one issue, I am not necessarily agreeing concerning any other issue or issue(s).
- This is not an exhaustive list.
Presidential politics places NARTH issues on front page!
In the past week, presidential candidate Congresswoman Michelle Bachman has been attacked because her husband, psychologist Marcus Bachman, allegedly does "reparative therapy" for those who come to his Christian counseling clinic seeking assistance with unwanted homosexuality. Almost simultaneously, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was asked in an interview if he thought homosexuality was a choice. Both campaigns reacted with statements that mirror information familiar to NARTH members and supporters. In short, they responded that counseling clients have a right to seek assistance for their unwanted homosexual attractions and science does not support the "born that way" mantra used to promote the gay political agenda.
In recent years, people have tried to marginalize therapists who provide psychological care for clients distressed by unwanted homosexual attractions; yet, change therapies have been offered for the past century and have been found to be successful. In fact, over the past 125 years, change of sexual orientation has been documented via case studies, clinical reports, and research studies (NARTH, 2009). It is clear that change of both behavior and attractions is indeed possible.
Although many people have been misled to believe that homosexuality is biologically based and therefore unchangeable, researchers acknowledge that people are not simply born homosexual. Researchers have never found a biological basis for homosexuality (APA, 2008). Anyone familiar with the research knows clearly that many factors contribute to sexual orientation. There are many pathways into and out of homosexuality.
Therapy for unwanted homosexual attractions is no different than therapy for any other issue. Therapists who offer psychological care for clients distressed by homosexual attractions typically offer mainstream approaches to therapy. Approaches to therapy include Interpersonal Therapy, Object Relations Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, Family Therapy, EMDR, trauma-based therapies, and others. NARTH therapists are fully licensed professionals who represent the major mental health organizations and who abide by the highest standards of ethical care.
NARTH supports the freedom of individuals to claim a homosexual identity or to explore their unwanted attractions and make changes in their lives. Clients have the right to self-determination. Ethically, therapists must honor the client's right to choose his or her own goals, or the therapist must refer to another therapist who can do so. Ethical therapists support their clients in achieving their stated goals, including goals to move beyond a homosexual orientation.
NARTH supports the rights of clients to pursue psychological care for unwanted homosexual attractions and the rights of professionally qualified individuals to provide such care. Those candidates in the public spotlight, and it will get far more intense as we get closer to election-day, are to be congratulated for sticking to the science and supporting client rights no matter how politically incorrect it is to defend truth and freedom regarding homosexuality.
American Psychological Association (APA) Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns (2008). Answers to your questions for a better understanding of sexual orientation & homosexuality. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/topics/sexuality/sorientation.pdf.
National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) Scientific Advisory Committee (2009). What research shows: NARTH's response to the American Psychological Association's (APA) claims on homosexuality. Journal of Human Sexuality, 1, 1-128.