Conversion therapy

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Reparative therapy is a controversial therapeutic approach in psychology that is intended to help homosexuals get rid of their unwanted same-sex longings.[1] While its usage is endorsed by some conservative psychologists and scholars, the majority of the psychological profession is opposed to its usage, due to the commonly held belief among psychologists that homosexuality is not a mental disorder. Still, some therapists consider homosexuality a "same sex attachment disorder" (SSAD) and offer help to those who want to change.

Joseph Nicolosi wrote:

The fact that so many men continue to feel "dis-eased" by their homosexuality can be explained in one of two ways. Either society and the Judeo-Christian ethic have coerced these individuals into thinking they have a problem; or, the homosexual condition itself is inherently problematic.[2]

For those seeking to leave the homosexual lifestyle, Exodus International is one example of a Christian group that helps practicing homosexuals by giving them freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ.[3]

  • All treatment must overcome some form of resistance against growth. We may say very simply that the treatment of homosexuality is the undoing of the resistance of defensive detachment from males.

Scientific studies

Opponents of reparative therapy have argued that no scientific studies have ever been done on its effectiveness, but Spitzer conducted a study. His study was published in a scientific journal two years later.[4] However, Spitzer retracted his study in 2012.[5]

  • "In 1990, the American Psychological Association stated that scientific evidence does not show that conversion therapy works and that it can do more harm than good."[6]
  • In 1994, therapy opponents began declaring, "There is no published scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of 'reparative therapy' as a treatment to change ones sexual orientation."
  • It was not until 2001 that Robert Spitzer did a study (and it took until 2003 for him to find a publisher).

Refusal to study reparative therapy scientifically

In general, the therapeutic community in the United States has refused to consider the possiblity that RT is effective:

"NARTH offered to join with the American Psychological Association (APA) in conducting a detailed study of the effectiveness of reparative therapy. The APA refused to cooperate."[7]

A landmark scientific study

  • "The current scientific context contains explicit or implicit universal claims that sexual reorientation therapy is unhelpful and/or harmful. Spitzer's study offers prima facie exceptions that cast doubt on these generalizations" (Wakefield). RCA - Perspectives: Essay: Changing Sexual Orientation

Christian ideas

Peter LaBarbera is the President of Americans for Truth which is a organization which counters the homosexual agenda. LaBarbera stated the following regarding Christian ex-homosexuals who reported being transformed by the power of God:

Another factor from my experience as a close observer of the “ex-gay” phenomenon is that many former homosexuals do not linger in “reparative therapy” programs, or participate in them at all. They attribute their dramatic and (relatively) rapid transformation to the power of God, and likely would not show up in a study of this kind. In fact, these “unstudied” overcomers would appear to be the most successful ex-homosexuals because they’ve moved on with their lives — as “reborn” Christians move on after overcoming any besetting sin.[8]

Peter LaBarbera's statement above concerning overcoming homosexuality certainly has some evidence supporting it. In addition, in 1980 a study was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and eleven men participated in this study. The aforementioned study stated that eleven homosexual men became heterosexuals "without explicit treatment and/or long-term psychotherapy" through their participation in a Pentecostal church.[9]

The opposition to reparative therapy is sometimes ideologically based, and it directs attention away from the harm that gay affirmative therapy can cause. The American Journal of Psychotherapy published a case study about a client who was supposedly harmed by treating him for "internalized homophobia".[10]

Currently, the American Medical Association[11], American Psychiatric Association[12], and American Psychological Association uniformly discourage therapeutic or pharmacologic attempts at altering sexual orientation, going so far as to say that it can harm the individual.[13][14]

Legal issues

Reparative therapy for minors is now illegal in California. [15]


  • There is much controversy within the field of CRT, and interested researchers and laypeople alike clearly declare themselves as proponents for or opponents against CRT. There does not appear to be any middle ground. Virtually every discussion of CRT centers around two issues: the effectiveness of CRT and the ethicality of CRT. (Philip Osteen)

External links

Book by Arthur Goldberg about homosexuality healing.


  1. Linda Nicolosi wrote, "... their efforts have a demonstrable track record of treatment success." [1]
  4. Arch Sex Behav. 2003 Oct;32(5):403-17; discussion 419-72.
  5. [2]
  6. Statements by professional organizations on Reparative Therapy
  7. Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
  9. E.M. Pattison and M.L. Pattison, "'Ex-Gays': Religiously Mediated Change in Homosexuals," American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 137, pp. 1553-1562, 1980
  10. [3]
  11. [4]
  12. [5]
  13. [6]
  14. [7]
  15. [8]