from Ethical Issues
By Linda Ames Nicolosi
August 21, 2006 - At the APA Conference in New Orleans — where APA President Koocher commented about the ethicality of sexual reorientation therapy — Clinton Anderson, director of the APA Office of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Concerns, offered further commentary.*
Mr. Anderson said he does not dispute that some people leave homosexuality. "I don't think that anyone disagrees with the idea that people can change, because we know that straight people become gay and lesbian — so it seems totally reasonable that some gay and lesbian people would become straight. The issue is not whether sexual orientation changes...the issue is whether therapy changes sexual orientation."
NARTH President Joseph Nicolosi commented: "Those of us who have fought so long for APA's recognition of the reality of change, greatly appreciate Mr. Anderson's concession — especially because he is the chairman of the gay and lesbian division of APA. But we are puzzled why he thinks change cannot happen inside the therapeutic office."
Dr. Nicolosi continued: "We would like Mr. Anderson to explain what is it about the inside of the office that blocks a sexual transformation that he admits can indeed happen outside the office."
"As anyone with a minimal understanding of the therapeutic process knows," said Dr. Nicolosi, "this 'inside-outside' distinction is false and misleading — since what happens during therapy better prepares the client to be receptive to transformative relational opportunities outside the office."
"People grow and change as a result of life experience, especially personal relations," Dr. Nicolosi noted. "Clearly, Mr. Anderson has made a false and misleading distinction."