Talking Points (Same-Sex Counseling)
- Both the American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association call for practitioners to respect the religious and spiritual values of their clients and assert that clients have the right to autonomy and self determination. 1At the same time, however, both groups view the traditional biblical understanding on homosexuality with disdain and actively promote a sexual ethic opposing biblical orthodoxy. The American Psychiatric Association goes so far as to take sides in the theological debate by referencing pro-gay, biblically unorthodox, revisionist writers in its document. 2
- The resolution by the American Psychological Association also calls into question parental rights to raise children according to their own standards – including those who encourage their children to follow a traditional biblical sexual ethic.
- Research confirms that permanent change away from a homosexual orientation is, indeed, possible.
- In 2007, Drs. Stanton L. Jones and Mark A. Yarhouse published a study confirming that long-term change away from homosexual orientation can occur through religious mediation. At the end of three years, 67 percent of men and women who had undergone group discussions, individual counseling, journaling, Scripture reading and prayer either reported a change towards heterosexual orientation or a rejection of gay identity with establishment of successful chastity, or were continuing work towards one of those two goals based on the progress they had already experienced. 3
- In 2003, pro-gay Dr. Robert Spitzer published his study of 200 men and women who had reported some change "from homosexual to heterosexual orientation that lasted at least five years." He found that "almost all of the participants reported substantial changes in the core aspects (of) sexual orientation, not merely overt behavior." 4
- A major study, released in 1997, of almost 860 individuals and more than 200 psychologists and therapists who treated clients with same-sex attractions, reported that a large number had moved away from homosexual attractions, identity and behavior. 5
- There is no valid or replicable research demonstrating the inevitability of homosexual behavior based on biological or genetic circumstances. 6
- Not only does research confirm that permanent change is possible, but numerous testimonies declare the truth of God's healing and redemptive power – both with and without the assistance of those in the psychiatric and psychological professions. The Apostle Paul noted the reality of change for some members of the early church in Corinth, and men and women continue to find freedom from homosexuality today. 7
- While the process of changing one's sexual identity is often a long and difficult journey, it is nevertheless possible for highly motivated individuals.
- In contrast to the claims of both APAs, competent religiously mediated counseling for unwanted same-sex attraction was found not to be harmful on average, and hence the change attempt is not inherently harmful. 8
- In America, individuals are blessed with the freedom to choose how they define themselves and to steward their sexuality as they see fit. If people want to change their sexual identity, it is their right to choose.
- The American Psychiatric Association's "rebuke" in 1998 of "reparative therapy" and the resolution adopted by the American Psychological Association are not – nor have they ever been – official ethical bans on therapeutic approaches to bring behavior, attractions, and identity in line with a person's values. Individuals continue to have a right to choose counseling and therapy to help align their thoughts and behavior with their convictions and faith.
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