Category Archives: Therapy Equality

Second Annual Ex-Gay Awareness Month to Feature Fmr. Ambassador Alan Keyes

For the second consecutive year, conservative groups will be observing a month dedicated to spreading awareness of and support for those who formerly identified as homosexual. Known as ex-gay awareness month, the observance will feature events in Washington, D.C. on Friday and Saturday.

Organized by Voice of the Voiceless, an organization that advocates for the rights of former homosexuals, events will include honoring those who are supportive of the ex-gay community, as well as lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill.

Christopher Doyle, president of VoV, told The Christian Post on Tuesday that events will also include workshops and a showing of the film “Sing Over Me.”

Doyle told CP that he believes support for the ex-gay community has improved since last October, with the failure of legislation aimed at criminalizing conversion therapy for minors.

“We have stopped 14 bills in state legislatures across the country that have tried to ban therapy for minors,” Doyle asserted. “People have been telling their stories in much greater number and veracity than last year, when we were reeling from the closure of Exodus International.”

Parents and friends of ex-gays are also helping to organize events for the two-day conference on ex-gay awareness.

Two awards, one for an individual who came out as ex-gay and one for an individual who has defended the ex-gay community, will be handed out on Saturday.

Regina Griggs, executive director of PFOX, told CP that this observance “is a chance to provide support to ex-gays and their families as well as to educate the public and our elected officials.”

“The message is certainly getting out that ex-gays exist and that change is possible. At the same time, ex-gays still face those who doubt their existence,” Griggs added.

“PFOX has a long history of supporting the ex-gay community and educating the public. And conferences like this continue to raise awareness of the ex-gay community and the positive message that change is possible.”

Over the past couple years, controversy surrounding the ex-gay community and sexual orientation change therapy, have garnered large scale attention.

In the months leading up to the first ex-gay awareness month held last October, California and New Jersey passed laws criminalizing sexual orientation change therapy for minors.

Also Exodus International, at one time the largest ex-gay ministry in the United States, closed its doors in June 2013 with its last president issuing a public apology to the LGBT community.

Featured speakers for the two-day ex-gay awareness observance in Washington will include Alan Keyes, former ambassador and presidential candidate; Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at Family Research Council; and Sandy Rios, director of government relations for American Family Radio Talk and vice president of Family Pac Federal.

Sponsors for this year’s event include the Liberty Counsel, Family Research Council, American Family Association and Defend Life, among others.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/second-annual-ex-gay-awareness-month-to-feature-fmr-ambassador-alan-keyes-127283/

Voice of the Voiceless Offers Time Magazine SOCE Aid

TO: Time Magazine

FROM: Voice of the Voiceless, Ex-gay Truth

SUBJECT: Opinion article, ‘My Hellish Youth in Gay Conversion Therapy and How I Got Out’, July 15th 2014 by James Guay

  Upon our review, Time has touted an unqualified, unsubstantiated, unbalanced and biased opinion piece intended to undermine the mental health of same-sex attracted (SSA) patients and their therapists to favor a political agenda by intentionally implying that Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) are completely ineffective and harmful. By the American Psychological Association’s own standards, this propagandist claim remains scientifically unproven, relying solely on scant claims by a few individuals[1]. Such claims run in complete contradiction of subject matter experts.[2]

   Time Magazine undermines its journalistic credibility in editorially publishing unsubstantiated and biased claims. Firstly, Mr. Guay claims to have been treated by two psychological professionals who are never named and therefore not substantiated. Time intentionally allowed these allegations to go unchecked and unchallenged. Secondly, Time intentionally permits the notion that any Behavioral Cognitive Therapy must be 100% successful to be scientifically valid, which is not true of any standardized and scientifically accepted treatment (CBT = therapy success rate):

Disorder                                          Author (year)                 Number of Studies           CBT
Boderline PersonalityDisorder Ipser et al. (2009)                           2                           82%

Panic disorder                              Siev et al. (2008)                                5                           77%
Anger/Aggression                        Del Vecchio & O’Leary (2004)     23                     66–69%
Depression                                     Leichsenring (2001)                          6                      51–87%
Childhood Anxiety                        James et al. (2005)                         13                           56%
Chronic Fatigue                            Malouff et al. (2008)                         5                           50%
Personality Disorders            Leichsenring & Leibing (2003)        25                         47%

Generalized Anxiety Disorder       Hunot et al. (2007)                      8                          46%

Chronic Fatigue                                Price et al. (2008)                          6                           40%
Bulimia Nervosa                        Thompson-Brenner (2003)            26                      40–44%
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder     Eddy et al. (2004)                       3                       38–50%

(‘The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-analyses’ Table 1 – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3584580/table/T1/ Stefan G. Hofmann, Ph.D., Anu Asnaani, M.A., Imke J.J. Vonk, M.A., Alice T. Sawyer, M.A., and Angela Fang, M.A.)

Thirdly, the most important component of successful behavior change is a true desire for change which appears highly suspect in Mr. Guay’s case. One who seeks relief from unwanted anxiety issues does not turn around and campaign in favor of anxiety when they fail to successfully address those feelings as Mr. Guay is doing with his failed SOCE efforts. This is acutely highlighted in Mr. Guay’s own patient testimonies, which bizarrely fail to cite one single patient success but instead focus on either their personal “friendship” with Mr. Guay or their support of his LBGT efforts, or both, though we are greatly pleased that Heather Dawn found having Mr. Guay in her yoga class a pleasant experience:

(*Source – James Guay’s, “Living More Fully” Patient Testimonials (http://livingmorefully.com/testimonials/))

Susanne Johnson, LPC
“I have known James for a long time. He has a great deal of compassion for others and is able to connect on a deep level with those he works with. James has been brilliantly instrumental at influencing change in his community. He goes beyond the limits of his office to support the change needed to make life better for his clients and everyone else. He is the real thing; a natural. I would, without question, refer clients to him.”

Markus Dobler, LMFT
“I have known James as a professional colleague for many years. His role and tremendous engagement in many of the modern day civil right struggles for the LGBTQI community have always impressed me tremendously. With absolute dedication and fierce selflessness he worked very hard (and continues to work hard) to push for long overdue changes that ultimately improve the lives of the community. His contributions in the fight against SOCE (sexual orientation change efforts – also more colloquially known as reparative therapy) have not only improved the lives of many young LGBTQI kids; they may now very well save their lives. Marriage equality was also an issue that James fought for with absolute dedication and conviction. The community – and, of course, James’ private practice clients – can consider themselves to be very fortunate to have such a principled fighter for the just causes that he has tackled. It is without any reservation that I would recommend James Guay to any potential client. The sensibilities and dedication that James has shown in his public struggles and fights will doubtless be equally present in the therapeutic work he does.”

Domenic Ali, DPAli, PhD, MSW
“I’ve known james for some time and I find him one of the most compassionate people i’ve ever met. He cares deeply about others and their right to exist as individuals while also supporting their wishes to find ways to contribute to the world. Psychotherapy is a perfect profession for him and I’m so glad he has been successful. As a retired therapist myself, I would not hesitate in referring clients to him.”

Christian Schizzel
“I had the honor of working with James Guay in the recent past. His sincerity and compassion are phenomenal tools which greatly influenced my ability to overcome difficult circumstances. I am a better person for having had the pleasure of connecting with him and hold him in high regards, especially as I see him reach out to assist those n his community. He is a phenomenal gentleman!”

Heather Dawn, Yoga Instructor
“James Guay is a compassionate, patient, insightful and authentic person. He is completely checked in to his own self care and the caring of others, which is imperative for any good healer, like James. He is passionate about both traditional and alternative therapies as it pertains to health and well-being, enhancing his already open heart and mind. I have had the pleasure of having James in my yoga class, as well as in depth discussions with him about life. If ever you need someone to listen to you…perhaps give you a different perspective on your life..or just a little compassionate resonance, James is your guy.”

Chris Hyde
“James is beautiful person who exudes care, understanding, compassion, and empathy. His experience and wisdom provide him much to share with his clients. I highly recommend him as someone to go to for compassionate care and healing on your journey!”

Michael Bussee, Retired LMFT
“A man of integrity and sensitivity. I would recommend him to anyone in need of competent, caring and professional help.”

Jarrett Baker-Wilkinson
“I am always psychologicaly inspired by the posts from James@LivingMoreFully. Working with James Guay, LMFT, can help anyone discover their most authentic self.”

Marianne Gentile Comstock
“I have known James for quite a few years and he is always as he seems – caring, empathetic and generous with his time and his wisdom. He is a fearless fighter for civil equality. His energy is amazing and he has an innate ability to connect emotionally and spiritually with those he serves. If we are to ever reach true, complete equality for all in our nation, it will happen because of professionals like James.”

Jerry Reiter
“James Guay is a very intelligent and sensitive counselor. He is a great listener and a very wise man. I like the way he makes you feel safe sharing anything on your mind.”

 
In response, Voice of the Voiceless offers Time Magazine the opportunity of professional, experienced and scientifically factual commentary on the subject of SOCE to ensure your journalistic integrity and balance rather than trumpeting a few cherry picked stories of failure which give a false and easily disprovable innuendo.

[1] “Although sound data on the safety of SOCE are extremely limited, some individuals reported being harmed by SOCE.” ‘Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts’ http://www.apa.org/about/policy/sexual-orientation.aspx
[2] “The authors of the most methodologically rigorous study ever conducted on persons seeking to change from a homosexual orientation looked for evidence of harm using standardized measures of “psychological dis-tress,”21 “spiritual well-being,”22 and “faith maturity.”23 They concluded, “We found no empirical evidence in this study to support the claim that the attempt to change sexual orientation is harmful.”24 Joseph Nicolosi, A. Dean Byrd, Richard W. Potts, “Retrospective self-reports of changes in homosexual orientation: A consumer survey of conversion therapy clients,” Psychological Reports 86, pp. 1071-88; cited in Phelan, et al., p. 42.

 

A King’s pastoral therapy to a struggling teen

pastoraltherapy

Dr. Martin Luther King, that great civil rights lion and beloved the world over for standing up for the downtrodden and the disenfranchised would today have his honor stripped from him and ridiculed in the circles of enlightenment for telling a young black teen that he could change his homosexual desires. In California and New Jersey he might even be arrested. Standing up for therapy equality —whether it takes on the form of religious pastoral counseling or nonreligious therapy— is something Dr. King would be leading the charge on today. VoV adamantly believes it should remain a protected right and option for ALL Americans.

#TherapyEquality Comes to Massachusetts, Gay Activists Getting Desperate

In a February 16, 2014 article titled: “More States Likely to Ban Sexual Orientation Change Therapy,” Washington Times reporter Cheryl Wetzstein quoted anti-ex-gay extremist Wayne Besen as saying the following:

“The bans on sexual-orientation change efforts are likely to follow the path of marriage equality, with Maryland and Massachusetts the most likely states to approve bills this year.”

But that ban in Maryland didn’t happen, and on July 31, 2014 the legislative session in Massachusetts ended for the year, and with it died another bill that would ban therapy for minors with unwanted same-sex attractions (SSA) who seek help from licensed mental health practitioners to reduce and eliminate unwanted homosexual feelings.

H3907, titled “An Act relative to abusive practices to change sexual orientation and gender identity in minors” was authored and sponsored by openly gay Rep. Carl Sciortino, who this year announced that he had contracted HIV and subsequently left his seat in the legislature.

After legislation to ban therapy for minors in California and New Jersey became law in 2013, gay activists just assumed other states would follow. But thanks to the hard work of ex-gays and their allies, both locally and nationally, the #TherapyEquality campaign by Voice of the Voiceless, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, and Equality And Justice For All, has been working!

While “marriage equality” is becoming a reality in more states, “therapy equality” for individuals with unwanted SSA is also gaining traction, even in the most liberal of states like Minnesota, Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Why? Because lawmakers are hearing, and listening, to the stories of many who testified that therapy saved their lives. But you won’t hear their stories in Time Magazine, who gives free publicity to anti-ex-gay activists.

Stories like Charles Peters, who was molested by his gay boy scoutmaster when he was a child and struggled with sexual confusion and the effects of trauma for many years. But with the assistance of licensed therapists who helped him heal those wounds, he has resolved that trauma is now free to pursue his dream of family and marriage to a woman.

Robin Goodspeed also has an amazing story, but you won’t hear it on CNN, and Oprah won’t give her a sit down interview. She was told year after year by gay-affirming therapists that she was “born gay” and should just accept it. She struggled for years with the underlying issues, depression, and anguish that was causing her homosexuality, unable to find a therapist who could really help her. She lived for many years as a lesbian with a partner until she could no longer deal with the incongruence of who she really was – a daughter of God, born a female, not born a lesbian.

But now, gay activists are getting desperate. They can’t seem to convince legislators that states should promote “marriage equality” for gay-identified individuals, while at the same time deny #TherapyEquality for those who do not believe they are born gay and seek to resolve the issues that lead to their unwanted homosexual feelings. That’s because it doesn’t make sense. You can’t demand equality for some homosexuals while denying the rights of other same-sex attracted individuals to leave a lifestyle they find unfulfilling.

Their latest campaign, #BornPerfect is an effort to recycle the defunct, archaic theory that people are born gay in order to end what they call “conversion therapy” for youth. The spokespeople for their cause, to end licensed therapy, are a small group of former religious ex-gay leaders, who never went through therapy and instead tried to “pray away the gay,” which surprisingly didn’t work!

Because of their own failed efforts, these individuals, like former Exodus International President Alan Chambers, are projecting their failure onto everyone else. After all, if they didn’t change, how could anyone else possible do it?

So they’re teaming up with the National Center for Lesbian Rights in their crusade against licensed mental health therapy, which they never received themselves, nor did any of them ever practice! They got some free publicity from BuzzFeed today:

“At one time, we were not only deeply involved in these ‘ex-gay’ programs, we were the founders, the leaders, and the promoters,” they said in the letter. “Together we represent more than half a century of experience, so few people are more knowledgeable about the ineffectiveness and harm of conversion therapy. We know first-hand the terrible emotional and spiritual damage it can cause, especially for LGBT youth.”

Again, it’s important to reiterate who these people are. They are not licensed therapists or scientists. Among others, they are Michael Bussee (Co-Founder of Exodus International), John Smid (Executive Director of Love in Action), and Yvette Cantu Schneider, who once made behavioral decisions to leave homosexuality, but never went through therapy.

Schneider recently partnered with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance for Defamation (GLAAD) to say she no longer supports the ex-gay movement, although she is, ironically, still faithfully married to her husband, who she claims is her soul mate, despite her same-sex attractions. She was a long-time poster girl for ex-lesbians at some prominent pro-family organizations, struggled with untreated anxiety, the roots of which are often trauma-related, for years. She labored on campaigns such as Proposition 8 to deny gay marriage in California, but never dealt with the underlying trauma that was causing her anxiety.

Just this week, she revealed that years later she received some new age therapy that reawakened some of the “feminine goddesses” she was repressing, and wham, she’s back to her authentic self and completely happy, and still married to her husband, yet she claims she hasn’t “changed.” Now she joins the ranks of ex-ex-gays like John Paulk, who appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in the late 90s as a success story for change, but now is recanting. Like Schneider, Paulk never went through therapy and did his work.

When a same-sex attracted person fails to resolve the underlying issues that cause homosexual feelings, the desires often remain and fester for years. In my personal and professional experience, real, transforming change occurs when one heals the wounds at the core, through good therapy, the support of committed friendships, and the love of God.

You see, when one looks a little deeper into stories like Yvette Schneider, John Paulk, Alan Chambers, and others who say they changed, then later recant and say they didn’t really didn’t change, you find a typical character flaw. Narcissism.

I know this well, because I too once struggled with same-sex attractions, and by the grace of God and thanks to some good therapy, I have resolved the issues that caused me to feel homosexual attractions.

Narcissism is a personality disorder and character defect that all of these individuals, and many of my same-sex attracted clients (including myself, at one point) struggle with at some point in their lives. The roots of this disorder are usually deep wounding, sometimes from an insufficient emotional connection with a parent(s), other times with peers, growing up. It has nothing to do with homosexual feelings, and everything to do with unresolved hurt.

When a child doesn’t get the praise and affirmation of those closest around him/her, they grow up with a deep hole in their soul, and the only way to fill that hole is through attention, affection, and affirmation. One can achieve this in a healthy way, by healing the wounds, forming loving attachments in present day, and asking God to remove these character defects.

But too many public ex-gays fail to do this, and end up settling for imitation love while at the same time, suffering with addictions and emotional disorders, all the while experiencing the notoriety of the spot light, without the intimacy of loving relationships. This occurs in many of the ex-gay marriages that do not work out – they mean well, but they are often too wounded and end in divorce. Then, they recant and say, “my homosexuality never changed” – as if the same-sex attraction was the result of their failed marriage.

Any good therapist knows this is a cop out, because sex is not about sex. It’s about intimacy, attachment, and bonding. That’s what really makes a relationship successful and committed.

So what drives these nine former ex-gay poster boys and girls to come out and say, “we never really changed?” Unfortunately, the same thing that drove them to say they did change years ago. Being in the public spot light and doing something “good for God” is a great way to deflect from one’s personal, unresolved issues. But one can only maintain it for so long until the house crumbles. If you don’t do your work, resolve the issues that lead to same-sex attractions, and remain faithful to what God has called you to do, you will eventually collapse.

Psychologically speaking, it’s too painful for these nine individuals to admit “they didn’t do their work,” so it’s easier for them to point the finger at those who have while projecting their own failures onto everyone else.

Do not be fooled. God uses people to achieve His plans. Licensed therapists, unlicensed religious counselors, and everyday people, to help us heal. Hundreds of these religious leaders, such as Anne Paulk, Steven Black, DL Foster, and Tom Cole, to name just a few, have done their work and continue to walk in freedom. That is the power of God. He uses everyone for His plan, and he doesn’t favor one specific type of therapy or ministry over another. Our God is much bigger than that.

The truth is, we’re all born perfect, perfectly in the eyes of our Creator, who loves and wants the best for us. But it doesn’t mean that anyone is born gay. We don’t need a fancy hash tag on Twitter to realize that. What we do need is a good old-fashioned reality check. He created them male and female. This article was originally published on August 2, 2014 at: http://barbwire.com/2014/08/02/0900-therapyequality-comes-massachusetts-gay-activists-getting-desperate/

 

Why Texas Matters: Affirming Therapy Equality a necessary protection for EXLGBT Americans

Texas Resolution

The fight for therapy equality and affirming equal access to counseling options in Texas is no longer just a dream thanks to the courageous actions of the Texas Republican Party. As a native Texan and a 24 year EXLGBT American, Im elated to write about it.

Johnathan Saenz of Texas Values Action told KERA News, “Texas Republicans want to make clear: If a parent wants to take their child and have a discussion with a counselor about their questions about sexuality, they should have the freedom to do that.”

The resolution reads in part:
“…we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle…”

Bucking the trend to punish citizens who seek counseling for unwanted same sex attractions —and the professionals who want to help them— the Texas GOP took an unusual step and voted to affirm therapy equality. The move would have made African American Texas GOP pioneer Norris Wright Cuney (1846-1898) proud. When Cuney and other African Americans were building the party in Texas, passion to build a better social and economic future for African Americans was the catalyst that birthed their innovative drive. At that time, there existed no promises of “affirmative action” to lull them into complacency. What they did face was the consistent attacks of the Democrat-led Klan who conspired at every turn to block access to the well being of black American citizens.

There was strong and widespread support for passage of the resolution among Texas conservatives, perhaps fed up with the anti-American actions of liberals who continue to deny rights and suppress hope for potential millions of Americans seeking avenues to change sexual and emotional dysfunctions. Rape, molestation and sexual abuse have been at the root of much sexual confusion. The New Jersey legislation was dubbed the “Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act”, because opponents contended it would prevent victims of abuse and molestation who subsequently developed homosexual inclinations, from getting much needed counseling.

Equality Matters

Much of the therapy discrimination is based on nonscientific political posturing. To date, there has been no recognizable scientific evidence or research demonstrating that therapy (or ministry) to individuals seeking change from homosexuality is harmful or ineffective.

American citizens who seek therapy and ministry options to help them live out their identity has been under attack. In California and New Jersey, unnecessarily punitive laws have been passed depriving hurting parents of the opportunity to help their OWN children get professional counseling to overcome unwanted same gender sexual desires. In nine other states, serious attempts have been made to deprive tax-paying Americans of the freedom to seek ssa counseling.

The driving force behind this historic move was Jeremy Schwab of Dallas, himself a beneficiary of therapy and counseling. He’s taken a more proactive, positive role in fighting discrimination against EXLGBT Americans.

Schwab found that necessity was the mother of activism.

“Activists have drafted a bill to be introduced in all 50 states which will ban or severely restrict access to Reparative Therapy and all other SOCE (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts) including religious counseling. A similar bill is currently under review in the British Parliament which goes much further,” he said.

Said Schwab, “After California and New Jersey passed these laws last year, I began reaching out to Republican State Legislators and State Senators to discuss the law. In Washington State, the bill flew through their House without any opposition from Republicans, but once we talked with the GOP state senators and they came to understand the full story, they stood up and blocked this awful bill. The same has been the case now for eleven other states.

In each case, it took significant efforts to educate GOP legislators and rally grassroots support before their GOP lawmakers realized the importance of this issue to religious freedom. Since this bill is being introduced in all 50 states, it is a critical and unique addition to the State GOP which is not fully covered by the current language.”

That’s why what happened in Texas matters. State legislatures must understand that its immoral to enshrine into law deprivation of therapy equality. No American should have to go day after day tortured and suicidal because he or she has been told there are no options and no choices for them. LGBT Americans have the freedom to seek counseling to affirm their homosexual behavior and its big business. The San Francisco based Gaylesta, a “GLBTQ Psychotherapy Association” lists some 250 mental health professionals available to homosexuals. Why are EXGLBT Americans treated differently? Why give some unlimited options for personal happiness but deprive others of even one hopeful avenue of change? Why is the fate of their happiness and the happiness of their families placed in the hands of people who despise them? Aren’t all Americans guaranteed the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

This isn’t empty complaining, but the stark reality that in America homosexual activists are pursuing legal tools to punish people who simply want freedom from a crippling sexual and emotional condition.

Pastor Darryl L. (DL) Foster is the Co-Founder of Voice of the Voiceless and an ordained minister, husband, father, and self-described abolitionist pastor. In 1990, he left homosexuality to follow Christ and subsequently founded Witness Ministries, Inc. a prominent Christian outreach focused on helping people of color gain their freedom in Christ. In 2010, he also founded and organized the Overcomers Network, an Atlanta based EXGLBT empowerment organization with chapters in 18 US cities.