Appalled by ‘The’ Psychological Association BY Father Benedict Groeschel


#1

Appalled by ‘The’ Psychological Association
BY Father Benedict Groeschel

As a member of the American Psychological Association for 36 years, I am filled with indignation at the recent statement of the APA that deems it “inappropriate” for therapists to treat homosexual clients.
Such therapy is called reparative therapy and has as its goal the establishment of a heterosexual orientation in place of a homosexual one.
This statement of the APA has been issued despite the fact that there are a number of outstanding members of that organization, including two past presidents, who have strongly supported reparative treatment.
Issued in August, “Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation” advises treatments that “increase family and school support and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth.”

**Is this in any way a part of the responsibilities of a psychological organization? **
**I am told by knowledgeable people whom I trust that the committee behind all this is primarily composed of people who also belong to a gay and lesbian division of the APA — a group that is surely not entirely impartial in matters such as these. **

more…


#2

Whatever the case, it’s just disgusting that certain twisted individuals will refuse to see a troubled person on the grounds that they’re normal. Homosexuals need help, and we need to give it to them!


#3

As a member of the American Psychological Association for 36 years,

Certainly you are not saying that this is the first time in your 36-year long membership you have seen the APA arbitrarily revise its own policies and working texts? It has a long history of doing so, and while they deny it has anything to do with societal mores, their changes track right alongside changes in social mores. Nowhere is this more evident than in dealing with issues of sexuality.

You should be able to tell from you own experience as a member how something like homosexuality was approached (in terms of “treatment”) from the 1970s until today. Today, there seems to be no such thing as a person in a homosexual relationship who carries any guilt about it, who might inwardly question the validity of it, or who might not be exhibiting that behavior at the cause of or in place of something else missing in their lives. It’s almost as though this, as a possibility, has been declared off-limits by the APA, to where you are allowed to pose any other possibility, but NOT that one.

What is laughably deficient in their declarations is that you can find people who were in a homosexual relationship and are glad to be out of it. You can find people, I know of two personally, who are very open about their “decision” to enter the gay lifestyle out of sense of rebellion. Both are there still, seemingly satisfied with it, but honest enough to not pretend they were driven by some hidden, repressed connection of proteins in their DNA that led them uncontrollably to the way they live. They make no pretense about it being a choice for them, and both shake their heads when they hear the most renown mouthpieces of the gay movement stand up to declare there is no element of choice involved.

That might be true for some, the point is you can’t take all gays everywhere and lump them into one single pile and base decisions like psychological help on which direction the windsock of society happens to be blowing today.

Ask yourself these questions: Does every person with an addiction contribute exactly the same amount to their own misery? Does every one respond equally well to a given treatment? How about paranoiacs? How about those who suffer from claustrophobia? Each person has a different level of fear or inability to cope, and that requires different approaches to treat them, which is, in turn, why psychologists and psychiatrists have jobs, being that it is they who are the “experts” at determining the level of illness and what works best to try and heal or deal with it.

This topic, of course, is a hot potato and it is compounded by the activities of individuals and groups who seek to promote the gay lifestyle as something unchallengeable by anyone in terms of health concerns, mental fitness, and most of all, morality. To accomplish this task, it is necessary to lump all in that lifestyle together because few people care whether a few people are persecuted over here or discriminated against over there. But when you lump them together and paint it with the same brush as racism or gender bias, well now you have something tangible that virtually everyone can associate with and react strongly to, generally against.

Whenever you see a news story on a gay couple seeking to adopt a child, what is the picture that accompanies the story? Is it one of some bizarrely-dressed, half-naked individual on a parade float in San Francisco showing off his/her private parts for the crowd, or is it one of two well-dressed people sitting quietly in an obviously well-furnished home with an apprehensive look on their faces? It’s all about image, about marketing, and gaining support of the APA is a huge part of that effort. That is why it has been a gradual but continuing effort to get the APA to remove anything remotely resembling condemnation of anything whatever to do with these sexual issues.

Compare it to the Jesus Seminar, where a group of people with degrees in various disciplines get together and vote on whether they think something is scriptually valid or not. Once they vote to toss out a parable of Jesus that teaches something, there is no longer any leg to stand on to continue believing what that parable teaches. Do away with the parable, do away with the principle. In the APA, do away with the implication that any homosexual may have a problem, do away with the notion that homosexuality has anything wrong about it.


#4

I don’t think Buffalo is a psychologist, he was quoting something written by Father Benedict Groeschel. The only posts Buffalo makes on this board are homosexual posts. I guess he can’t find anything else to do with his time.


#5

Evidence?


#6

Here is your evidence in the form of a search. 99% of the posts you start on the Family Living board have something to do with anti-homosexuality

forums.catholic.com/search.php?searchid=4657514


#7

Check any where else?

In any case, the push for same sex marriage is insidious. I will post to make good Catholics aware of what is going on. This is an intrinsic evil and we will stop it.

The other Catholic non-negotiables are:

Abortion
Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Cloning
Euthanasia

Have a problem with that?


#8

Yes, I was aware of that, but thank you for pointing it out in case I was confused (which is too often:D). I was responding to the original author as a way to try and answer the questions asked.


#9

Yes, I do have a problem with you being a bully and always posting about this group. Are you perfect and never sin? If so, then post away.


#10

Thank you.


#11

Believe it or not, what you say in your post is a form of bullying to shut people up when they try to speak up for right against wrong.


#12

I agree with the organization’s decisions. Your own views regarding homosexuality are, I assume, Catholic ones, influenced by your religion? It would be wrong to treat others according to your religion when it is not theirs, just the same as you would not treat a Muslim to cure their belief system. I personally do not believe homosexuality is just a belief system or lifestyle, but if you do, then even so it is wrong to try to change people from it if they are not seeking change.

I’m not sure the little details of this but, for example, what if you have a patient who is Bipolar, or something, and is also homosexual, but the homosexuality is not an issue for them. Would you try and change them, and add to the stuff they feel bad about?

Even if the homosexuality is an issue to the patient, it may have nothing to do with it being a ‘disorder’ - they may have been bullied by peers about it, disowned by parents, etc. or anything to a milder degree that already makes them feel their sexuality is wrong. To add to this in an attempt to change them, should it not work (which I believe likely) will make them feel a lot worse, as you will be backing up negative views already expressed to them. If their therapist cant accept their homosexuality, they have nowhere to turn.

Therapy is a last resort for many people. I know, I’ve been there. And realising that even the therapist wont accept you would be a horrible feeling.

I mean, how far would you go? Try to ‘treat’ them even if they are in a happy relationship? I just think it would do more damage than good.


#13

It seems to me that this is controversial even among Catholics who specialize in such issues. It certainly seems clear that trying to get people who are homosexual to re-orient, even if they would like that, is often not very successful, even if it initially seems to be. Then there is the difficulty of actually assessing the “success stories.” It also seems to me that it can be positively destructive - I have seen two examples of this personally, where it led to a strange sort of dual element in the persons personality.

I don’t know if the APA is totally right about this, but it is certainly something that is not fully understood, and requires care in it’s approach.

I too am surprised that the author of the article was surprised - all of this is pretty much in line with the APAs recent approach to this issue. And lots of “psychological disorders” change in their definitions or totally disappear as they are better understood, or because they were just fads. His surprise seems a bit disingenuous.


#14

The APA is saying that you shouldn’t offer reparative therapy at all, EVEN IF THE HOMOSEXUAL WANTS TO GO THROUGH SUCH THERAPY.

Remember, the aim of “reparative therapy” is to change one’s sexual orientation (attraction and arousal) rather than their beliefs (although it may be the case that some therapists want to change beliefs also).

If the motive for such therapy is a religious one, it should be the homosexual’s religious beliefs that drive the therapy.

A therapist should never not accept his client. If a therapist did not accept his client, he is either a bad therapist, or the client, who is hypersensitive, is merely perceiving the therapist to be non-accepting. Therapists should always have high regard for their clients, even if they are not making progress.

What about the homosexual person who wants to attempt such a therapy, while realistically understanding the possible outcomes? Should he be denied?


#15

Well, I would not say that it would never be appropriate for a group like the APA to say that a particular type of therapy was intrinsically bad for some reason.

What if, for example, a religious group decided ALL sex was bad. There have been groups that felt this way to one degree or another. What if this group wanted therapy to turn them away from all sexuality, sexual desire, sexual expression. I’m sure someone could come up with some type of therapy to try to achieve this - it might even work to some extent.

But if the view of the APA was that this type of therapy was somehow intrinsically dangerous, misunderstood the nature of human sexuality, or whatever, should they allow their members to provide it just because a particular religious groups theological understanding supports it? There are other types or therapeutic goals that professional organizations don’t support too, because they are seen to be useless, manipulative, or quackery, not just in psychiatry but in conventional medicine too.

So to me the question would be is there good reason to condemn the type of therapy they are talking about, not whether they should ever condemn certain types of therapy. In some cases it is probably their professional obligation to do so.


#16

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.