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.