from Clinical/Therapeutic Issues
Dr. Berger describes the following situation: a patient in his early thirties came to the clinic, who was married and wished to remain married, but who thought of himself as having homosexual attractions. He had not been able to have sexual intercourse with his wife, but his history of sexual relationships with men had been very limited and not particularly satisfying.
The patient strongly expressed the desire to remain married and to eventually have a family.
The man had seen a number of different psychiatrists and was assessed at the University of Toronto's clinic. But according to Dr. Berger, the patient was not offered the type of therapy he sought.
"I am appalled that your report, signed by the head of the clinic, no less," Dr. Berger wrote, "which suggested to the patient that he see a 'gay-positive' therapist...in spite of the patient's expressed wish to become more comfortably heterosexual.
"How can you justify a report being sent out from a center that claims to be one of Canada's leading centers in psychiatry, with the statement 'sexual orientation is not mutable'? Is there a deliberate suppression of all the evidence indicating positive results from psychotherapeutic treatment?"
Dr. Berger, a NARTH Scientific Advisory Board member, is the author of a paper on treatment of male homosexuality published in the American Journal of Psychotherapy in 1994. He is also an acknowledged expert in the field, yet the patient's request for help in overcoming his unwanted attractions was not granted.
On an academic level, Dr. Berger said the clinic has not invited any expert to speak who could offer a rebuttal of the claims that homosexuality is an "innate, irreversible, normal, healthy, alternative form of sexual expression."
"When it comes to depriving patients of viable treatment alternatives," Dr. Berger wrote, "your clinic does a great disservice to the public."
Dr. Berger described another patient who, a decade ago, had also been denied help for his unwanted same-sex attractions.
"This person, a high-functioning professional, came to my office and said to me, 'Ten years ago I went to the Clarke Institute. They told me I was gay and should accept it. If I had listened to them, I would be dead by now.' This man was living a fully heterosexual life."
"I think that in your department the distinctions between compassion, political correctness, scientific accuracy, and appropriate treatment, have become severely distorted in the area of sexual disorders."