Homosexuals Anonymous

Offering Guidance, Fellowship, Care and Freedom

Homosexuality: A Transformational Approach by Andrew Comiskey

STATEMENT ON THE HEALING OF HOMOSEXUALITY

The basic premise of H.A. is that the root causes of homosexuality are spiritual, intra-psychic and relational. There is no proven, conclusive evidence that homosexuality is biologically caused. H.A. philosophy maintains that the grace of God through Christ brings freedom and recovery from the spiritual, psychological and relational distortions of homosexuality.
The following are ways in which the framework of recovery, as proposed by H.A., is different in comparison to the framework of much secular psychology and psychiatry.


1. Often, secular psychology and psychiatry tends to define the person’s sexuality in terms of physical and emotional responses (i.e., if you have homosexual desires, you are “a homosexual”). H.A. does not. Sexuality is determined by a much wider set of values, those of the person’s relation to God, self, and the world.


2. Much secular psychology and psychiatry sees homosexuality as a fixed condition (“once a homosexual, always a homosexual”). H.A. does not. Because of our wider definition of sexuality, we see homosexuality as a symptom of a confused identity in relation to God, self, and the world.


3. Cure, or recovery, to many secular psychologists and psychiatrists, means a shift on the Kinsey scale from 6 to 0 (i.e., you are cured if your desires change totally from those for the same sex to those for the opposite sex). H.A. sees that recovery involves a much wider set of values: for example, the ending of anger and resentment toward God and parents, , an acceptance of self in relation to God, and a feeling of safety in a world that, though seemingly alien, is nevertheless under God’s loving control.


The changing of these perceptions both cognitively and affectively (by thinking and feeling) gradually modifies the person’s sexual identity and compulsive drives, bringing a healing repentance of destructive behavior and introducing more positive attitudes toward the opposite sex and the possibility of choice.

Inclination-shift (change of sexual feelings) is, therefore, gradual and dependent on the above altered perceptions, many of which are ignored by secular psychology and psychiatry.


4. Secular psychology and psychiatry is often limited in its ability to motivate a client and therefore frequently encourages the person struggling with homosexuality to accept himself as “gay” and learn to live with it. The Christian therapist or counselor has more with which to inspire motivation: the love and acceptance of God, bringing with it freedom from guilt and the renewed will to emotional growth.


5. Secular psychology and psychiatry generally have failed to see the marvelous resources for emotional growth available within the Christian community, H.A. draws heavily upon those resources and the results leave no doubt that people can recover from homosexuality.

"Whoever says that a person with SSA cannot change does not know my God."

Pastor Paul

How Much and What kind of Change can be Experienced?
Written By: Ben Newman

Written Originally for www.peoplecanchange.com (Dec. 2003)


The answers are very individual, depending on where we started, how actively we have worked at change, and how long it has been since we began the process.

When we talk about change, we are talking about change in sexual identity, change in sexual behavior, and change in sexual desire, but also, at a deeper level, change in our spiritual, emotional and social lives.

When people ask, "Are you saying you are no longer attracted to men?" most of us would answer:


"Attracted, yes, but not sexually. We no longer desire to have sex with other men. Our desires have changed. What we find attractive or appealing is masculinity itself, in ourselves and other men. What we desire -- and now have in our lives -- is brotherhood with other men. We don't want to be involved with them sexually or romantically. In fact, that kind of relationship would subvert the good, healthy, fulfilling brotherhood that we now enjoy instead."

When people ask, "So are you sexually attracted to women now?" most of us would answer:


"Yes, much more so than we used to be. It's usually a particular attraction to a particular woman, but we do relate to women now in a much more opposite-sex, man-to-woman, heterosexual way. We find now that this kind of relating affirms our masculinity, where it used to feel like it would engulf us in the feminine."

Paul contrasts his experience with a former male lover to his experience with his fiance now:


"I recognize now, although I couldn't see it when I was living homosexually, that my homosexual relationships always had a huge piece missing. I didn't feel whole or complete with men. I was always lacking, wanting something more from them than they could give me. With my fiance now, the best way to describe how I feel about our relationship is that we 'fit.' Physically, emotionally, spiritually, she fits. She complements the areas why I'm lacking, and I complement her, like a lock and key. And as I grow to love her more, my desire for her physically just keeps increasing. It's easy to see myself as both a companion and lover to her for the rest of my life.

"That's completely different from my former relationship with my boyfriend Jim. As I grew to love him more, I grew to desire him (sexually) less. I now know why: I started to love him normally, as a brother, instead of as a lover. I had a tremendous, growing love for him. I adored him. I still do. He's one of the most loving, caring, humble men I have ever met. But our relationship was changing to one where we were companions, not lovers. And that is absolutely consistent with what I saw in other relationships. After awhile, they would become great friends but stop having sex with each other. They would start to go outside the relationship for sex. In 12 years in the gay world, I never met a gay couple that was entirely monogamous. One in the couple has always gone outside the relationship for sex, if not both. Always."


Most of us found that we began to experience profound change once we took the focus off of our sexual orientation and placed it instead on healing with other men (especially our fathers and peers), within ourselves, and with G-d. As we grew into a more "healed," more mature masculinity, romantic interest in the opposite sex usually began to emerge indirectly, almost as a byproduct of strengthening our identities as men.

David writes:


"When I think carefully about the therapeutic work I did in those years, I see clearly that it wasn't about switching the gender of my sexual preference. It was about escaping the bondage of some deeper problems - anxiety, shame and fear. For most of my life, I had been overwhelmed by anxiety when I was in the presence of strong and intelligent men. I had been oppressed by intense shame because I felt my body was so inadequate. And I had been crippled by a fear of exposing my deepest emotions.

"The work I did in those years was to make choices that gradually freed me from the bondage of these deeper problems. Tremendous rewards followed - fulfilling friendships with other men, better health and greater confidence with my body and emotional freedom and power. Yes, my sexual orientation changed too. But in my life today, heterosexuality is like salt in the cookie dough - it's an important element, but it's not the main ingredient. You see, my struggle hasn't really been about going 'straight.' It has been about getting free."


Here are some of the areas where many of us have experienced the most change:

1. From turmoil to peace, and from darkness into light.

This is perhaps where most of us feel the most significant change in our lives. We are no longer torn apart by conflicting desires and values, sexual obsession and/or unrequited longing for male affirmation and affection. We no longer feel lost in spiritual darkness, plagued by thoughts of self-destruction. We are at peace.

2. From shame and self-hate to self-acceptance and self-nurturing.

Another profound area of change. We have come to love and accept ourselves as we are, free of shame and free of fear that others would reject us if they knew our secrets.

3. From repression to fulfillment. From isolation and secrecy to rich friendships full of honest disclosure and mutual support. From lust to brotherly love.

Instead of repressing our feelings, or indulging them in self-destructive ways, we have learned to fulfill them in healthy, self-nurturing ways that create a brotherly bond with other men. Now, instead of lusting after men as sexual partners, we identify with them as brothers.

All of us report that we have never had so many good friendships, and certainly not with other heterosexual men with whom we feel connected as equals and with whom we can be our true selves in complete honesty. These are the healthiest friendships of our lives.

4. From rebellion against G-d to love for him and joyful submission to his Divine will.

To no longer be fighting against G-d, but to seek him out as a trusted friend and companion who we know wants us to experience real, lasting joy has brought much greater peace into our lives!

5. From fear and rejection of heterosexual men ("heterophobia") to identification with them literally as our fellow men.

Rather than always panicking at being with heterosexual men, we typically now can be in the company of men, with a sense of peace, wholeness and joy, and we look forward to their company. We feel much more bonded, connected and affirmed as men.

6. From a feeling of being genderless or never being "man enough" to a sense of pride, joy and wholeness in our manhood.

7. From distressful sexual behavior or desires, sometimes even obsessively or addictively, to a healthy "sexual sobriety" that brings peace and an enhanced spiritual and emotional life.

We are not "white knuckling" abstinence from homosexual desires. We have withdrawn from the lust and done the underlying personal work so that doing so has brought peace and wholeness.

8. From disconnection from our feelings and escape into fantasy to understanding and embracing our feelings and the competence to deal with them in nurturing ways.

9. From identity as a gay or bisexual man to identity as a son of G-d and a man among men.

Our sexuality no longer defines our identity; rather, for most of us, it is our spirituality, complemented by our strong gender identity as men like other heterosexual men, that most strongly establishes our sense of identity now.

10. From identifying with women as our sisters to recognizing them as sexual beings and the true opposite sex from us, then developing romantic interest in and even sexual fulfillment with particular women.

Admittedly, none of us has become a womanizing playboy. (But neither would we want to. What merit would there be in simply trading one obsession for another?) But the more healed we have become as men, the more we have found romantic interest in women beginning to grow. Usually, each of us experienced this as attraction to just one particular woman, not to women generally. That is just fine with us - even preferable! Our desire for wife and family can be fulfilled perfectly well if our heterosexuality is experienced and expressed with just one woman. (We've also learned that this trait can be very appealing to our wives and girlfriends!)


Does this mean none of us will ever again have a homosexual thought? That we will never feel tempted by past memories? Not necessarily. But that doesn't mean we haven't changed - only that we are still human. When some of us do have moments where we feel the pull of homosexuality, we know it is a symptom of not taking care of our emotional and spiritual lives, of feeling disconnected from our brothers, from G-d and from our own sense of inner strength and manhood. We nurture our bonds with good men, we reach out to G-d, we reconnect with our masculine power, and the lust is quickly replaced by spiritual love.

To quote the author Richard Bach: "Here is a test to see if your [work] in life is finished: If you're alive, it isn't."

And so, the journey continues. The difference is, now it is a journey of peace, light, self-acceptance and self-nurturing, fulfillment, brotherly love, heterosexual family life, and love of G-d.

SOCE BILL OF RIGHTS
7-4-2014

We observe and declare that any right to life is fundamentally dependent on an equal right to self-determination in order to have any meaning. Free will, reasonably exercised within the boundaries of moral framework and compliant with the clear intent of nature’s design, is the very essence of self-determination and therefore life itself. We therefore resolve to obligate any and all people or organizations whether professional, commercial, secular or religious to honor this fundamental right.
We obligate the medical and legal communities to hold to their professional vows, and legal precedents to honor the rights of those seeking Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) as a part of the fundamental right to self-determination. As no person can dictate to another the true content of their heart or mind, there can be no ethical foundation on which to unscrupulously attempt to confound, suppress or interfere with the right of an individual to explore options, make self-determinations or seek change in his or her life.
This same conclusion is held sacred within the medical community sworn oaths and legal findings. To cite only a few:
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), ‘Model Resolution Concerning The Declaration of Professional Responsibility’ decries any effort by the American Medical Association (AMA) to be used to advance any socio-political agenda. [ to "advocate for social, economic, and political changes…that ameliorate suffering" could be considered a proxy clause whereby the AMA could assume it has the authority to advocate whatever social/political agenda it chooses and claim the full support of the entire profession.”]
The American Psychological Association’s, ‘Ethical Principles of Psychologists And Code of Conduct’ (Effective June 1, 2003, as amended 2010) Principle E: Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity holds psychologists responsible to “respect the dignity and worth of ‘all’ people, and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality and self-determination.”, and to be “aware of and respect cultural, individual and role differences” in order to “try to eliminate the effect on their work of biases based on those factors, and {…} not knowingly participate in or condone activities of others based upon such prejudices.”
The Commission For Reproductive Health, ‘Code of Conduct in Women’s Reproductive Health’, I. Duties to the Patient, cites patient self-rule. “A clinician’s primary aim for the patient must to be informed self-rule (self-determination). And “A clinician must always attempt to understand a patient and insulate a patient from coercive pressure.”
The Clinical Social Workers Association, ‘Clinical Social Work Association Code of Ethics’, states their “core requirements of ethical practice; non-malfeasance, (doing no harm to clients); beneficence, (helping clients), and autonomy (enhancing the self-determination of clients).”

In Cruzan v. Director, Mo. Dept. of Health (1990), the US Supreme Court held that a mentally competent person had a right to make a “deeply personal decision,” id.,at 289 (O’Connor, J., concurring) in their medical treatment.
In Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey (1992), the US Supreme Court holding notes, “the individual’s right to make certain unusually important decisions that will affect his own, or his family’s, destiny. The Court has referred to such decisions as implicating ‘basic values,’ as being ‘fundamental’, and as being dignified by history and tradition. The character of the Court’s language in these cases brings to mind the origins of the American heritage of freedom – the abiding interest in individual liberty that makes certain state intrusions on the citizen’s right to decide how he will live his own life intolerable.” Fitzgerald v. Porter Memorial Hospital, (1976).

We thus hold true and obligate others sworn to uphold the right to self-determination that:
I. Every individual has an ethical, medical and legal right to sexual self-determination.
II. Every individual has an ethical, medical and legal right to explore and research their options in order to make informed decisions.
III. Every individual has a right to be fully informed of the true science regarding human sexual fluidity by relevant agency or practitioner.
IV. Every individual has a right to be informed of the known medical and psychological risks associated with their choice by relevant agency or practitioner.
V. Any professional sworn by oath to make no attempt to coerce, suppress or confound the individual cultural, ethical or religious convictions of any client be held to honor their oath.
VI. Any professional or agency attempting to coerce, suppress or confound the individual right to sexual self-determination be held in violation of their oath, in contempt of legal precedence and hostile to the welfare of their client.

We, whose lives these decisions affect, and our supporters demand our right to liberty and a life of our choosing that is in accordance with creation as intended, good health and a virtuous spirit.

SIGNED:

Homosexuals Anonymous
Jason - International Christian Ex-Gay Ministry

A WORD FROM DOUG


Sexual Attraction Fluidity Exploration in Therapy (SAFE-T):
Creating a clearer impression of professional therapies that allow for change
Christopher Rosik, Ph.D.

During its May 27th, 2016, meeting, the board of the Alliance
for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity (ATCSI) voted unanimously to endorse new terminology that more accurately and effectively represents the work of Alliance therapists who see clients with unwanted same-sex attractions. The board has come to
believe that terms such as reorientation therapy, conversion therapy, and even sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) are no longer scientifically or politically tenable. Among the many reasons the board felt it time to retire these older terms as much as possible were the following:
1. These terms imply that categorical change (from exclusive SSA to exclusive OSA) is the goal. This is a degree of change that is statistically rare and not demanded of any other psychological experience as a condition of legitimate psychological care.
2. The current terms imply there is a specific and exotic form of therapy that is being conducted (not standard therapeutic modalities)
3. These terms imply that sexual orientation is an actual entity (i.e., the terms all reify sexual orientation as immutable).
4. The terms imply that change is the therapist’s goal and not that of the clients (i.e., it’s coercive rather than self-determined).
5. These terms (especially SOCE) do not differentiate between professional conducted psychotherapy and religious or other forms of counseling practice.
6. These terms have been demonized and/or developed by professionals completely unsympathetic to therapies that allow for change in same-sex attractions and behaviors.

This means that Alliance clinicians are immediately on the defensive as soon as they reference their therapeutic work in these terms.
For all these reasons and more, first the Alliance Executive Committee and then the Alliance Board discussed potential new terminology and finally settled upon the name "Sexual Attraction Fluidity Exploration in Therapy" (the acronym of which is SAFE-T). The Board believes this term has many advantages that commend its usage. First, it addresses all of the concerns noted above. It does not imply that categorical change is the goal and in so doingcreate unrealistic expectations for many clients. Nor does it imply that change which is less than categorical in nature cannot be meaningful and satisfying to clients. It also makes clear thatSAFE can occur in any number of mainstream therapeutic modalities. Furthermore, by focusing on sexual attractions it avoids the implicit assertion that orientation changes or that orientation asan immutable reality even exists. By stressing therapeutic exploration, the new term accurately conveys that the therapist is not being coercive but merely assisting individuals in a client-centered examination of their sexual attractions. The Board also appreciated the fact that the acronym SAFE-T immediately challenges portrayals of the professional therapy utilized byAlliance clinicians as harmful.
Scientifically, the fluidity of sexual orientation (and, for our purposes, especially same-sex attractions) for many women and men is now beyond question (Diamond & Rosky, 2016; Katz-Wise, 2015; Katz-Wise & Hyde, 2015). The language of SAFE-T highlights this reality and points to human experience that cannot be denied, again without the complicating focus on orientation. The only counterarguments to SAFE-T on fluidity grounds might be that therapy-assisted fluidity has not been proven to occur and such efforts could be harmful. These arguments are much easier to defend against with SAFE-T than when one is trying to defend implications of complete orientation change. First, we know that sexual attraction fluidity occurs in response to relational and environmental contexts, the very factors that therapists routinely address in their work (Manley, Diamond, & van Anders, 2015).
Second, there is research in progress to support the occurrence of therapy-assisted sexual attraction fluidity (Santero,Whitehead, & Ballesteros, 2016; Pela & Nicolosi, 2016), not to mention a rich history of past research, as good as any research of its era (Phelan, Whitehead, & Sutton, 2009). Finally, recent research on “ex-ex-gays” (e.g., Bradshaw, Dehlin, Crowell, & Bradshaw, 2015; Flentje, Heck, & Cochran, 2013) tells us no more about SAFE-T than research focused on divorced consumers ofmarital therapy would tell us about its safety and efficacy. While itis reasonable to conclude that more research is needed to better comprehend the extent of therapy-assisted sexual attractionfluidity, denying the potential for such a therapeutic processwould seem to be much more a matter of ideological compulsion than it is one of theoretical or scientific implausibility.
Due to all of these important considerations, the ATSCI Board encourages Alliance members and supporters to join them in employing the terminology of SAFE-T in their professional work. One might say, for example, “I practice a cognitive form of SAFE-T” or “I practice SAFE-T from an interpersonal perspective” or “There is no scientific basis for banning any form of SAFE-T” or even “I don’t do SOCE, I only practice SAFE-T.” Because this term
represents what Alliance clinicians actually do in a scientifically accurate and defensible manner, the Board anticipates that the professional interests of these therapists and the public policy interests of supporters will be much better served by SAFE-T.

References
Bradshaw, K., Dehlin, J. P., Crowell, K. A., & Bradshaw, W. S. (2014).
Sexual orientation change efforts through psychotherapy for LGBQ individuals affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy.
Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2014.915907
Diamond, L. M., & Rosky, C. (2016). Scrutinizing immutability: Research on sexual orientation and its role in U. S. legal advocacy for the rights of sexual minorities.
The Journal of Sex Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10:1080/00224499.2016.1139665
Flentje, A., Heck, N. C., Cochran, B. N. (2013). Sexual reorientation therapy interventions: Perspectives of ex-ex-gay individuals.
Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, 17, 256-277. doi: 10.1080/19359705.2013.773268.
Katz-Wise, S. L. (2015). Sexual fluidity in young adult women and men: Associations with sexual orientation and sexual identity development.
Psychology & Sexuality, 6, 189-208.
doi: 10.1080/19419899.2013.876445
Katz-Wise, S. L., & Hyde, J. S. (2015). Sexual fluidity and related attitudes and beliefs among young adults with a same-gender orientation.
Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44, 1459-1470. doi: 10.1007/s10508-
014-0420-1
Manley, M. H., Diamond, L. M., & van Anders, S. M. (2015). Polyamory, monoamory, and sexual fluidity: A longitudinal study of identity and sexual trajectories.
Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2, 168-180.
doi: 10.1037/sgd0000107
Pela, C., & Nicolosi, J. (2016, March).
Clinical outcomes for same-sex attraction distress: Well-being and change.
Paper presented at the Christian Association for Psychological
Studies conference, Pasadena, CA.
Phelan, J. E., Whitehead, N., & Sutton, P. M. (2009). What the research shows: NARTH’s response to the APA claims on homosexuality.
Journal of Human Sexuality, 1, 5-118.
Retrieved from , http://www.scribd.com/doc/115507777/Journal-of-
Human-Sexuality-Vol-1
Santero, P. L., Whitehead, N. E., & Ballesteros, D. (2016).
Effects of Therapy on U.S. Men who have Unwanted Same Sex Attraction. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Raising a child in a proper way is very important.via Wake Up World

Posted by Lifehack on Samstag, 18. Juli 2015

The Great Blondin


In the late 1800's there was a great performer named Jean Francois Gravelot. He was known as "The Great Blondin." He was a "daredevil" of sorts; a tightrope walker specifically.

One of his greatest stunts, involved walking a tightrope high above the world famous Niagara Falls. Blondin performed this death-defying feat more than once, adding elements of difficulty each time. Once he even carried his manager on his back!


Blondin was quite the showman, he had a knack for engaging the crowd, stirring the suspense and excitement. Upon completing one attempt, he asked the crowd if they believed a second attempt would be a successful one. The crowd unanimously agreed it would. Always looking to better his last great feat, Blondin now asked the crowd if they believed he could cross the falls on the tightrope while pushing a wheelbarrow. Having seen his previous stunt, and how seemingly easy it was for him, the crowd had no doubt he could pull off this new, more difficult one. Again, the response was unanimous, the crowd had no doubt "The Great Blondin" could do it! 


Blondin was ready to attempt this amazing feat that only he could do, but before he set out on the rope, he had one last question for the crowd: "Which of you will ride in the wheelbarrow?" The crowd was frozen, still, silent. Not a single man or woman responded to his challenge...


All of those people witnessed Blondin cross the falls on the rope. They gained first-hand knowledge of his abilities. They had a well founded belief that he could perform the more difficult stunt. Yet, when it came time to act on those beliefs, they were silent...still. They did not trust him.


Many of us have seen what God can do, and we believe (faith)... when He calls us to "ride" with him (trust), will we sit silent? Will we stand still?...


(Author unknown)

A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body!

Some people with same-sex attractions tend to neglect the importance of health in their struggle, so let’s talk a little about that.
Health is crucial for all of us. Christians know that their body is the temple of the Lord and this is why we need to take care of it and keep it in good shape. Note that we are not simply talking about physical health here, but also mental and spiritual health.

Here some points to ponder (note that these are NOT medical advices. Talk with your doctor or therapist about these points! Also these are only some points. I am sure there is a lot more to think about!):

Physical health:
• Make sure you go for a check-up to your doctor and dentist at least once a year.
• Watch your food habits (in short: Try to eat much fruit and vegetables – if possible uncooked. Cut down on alcohol, coffee, sugar and meat. Drink enough water each day. Make sure your food comes from your area and not from other countries. Eat the fruit and vegetables that grow during the season you are in. Eat whole grain products and brown or wild rice and avoid superfine flour and husked rice. Avoid fast food. Also avoid heating meals in the microwave. Avoid products that are chemically changed a lot.)
• Get a daily structure regarding the times you get up and go to bed, the times you eat and so on.
• Get enough sleep (thumb rule: eight hours a day).
• Do sports on a regular basis (like going to the gym, hiking, walking, swimming or whatever else there is). Even 30 minutes of walking a day can do you much good.
• Follow your doctor’s advice.
• If you have serious physical problems or problems that have been going on for some weeks already, don’t hesitate to go to your doctor.

Mental health:
• Make sure you get enough rest and also fun times in your life.
• Learn about ways to calm down (like autogenic training, muscle relaxation according to Jacobson and the like).
• Find out the stress factors in your life and eliminate them if possible.
• Surround yourself with things you like. If you don’t like the color of the wall in the kitchen, change it!
• Learn about healthy ways to set boundaries.
• Find out about your emotional needs and learn to meet them a healthy way.
• Make sure your social needs are met a healthy way.
• If you have been hurt, seek someone to talk about it. Then learn to forgive! Don’t let past hurts ruin the rest of your life!
• Get a positive attitude. Your perspective on things makes the difference!
• Work on your masculine (for women: feminine) identity. Seek the company of other men (women) to learn from them and grow with them. If possible, take part in programs like Men’s Fraternity.
• Keep your mind busy. Life is not a long and silent river. We need to keep on learning, growing and maturing.
• Find out about your calling in life. Thumb rule: Find out what you are passionate about. God gave us our passions for a reason!
• Get a mentor if possible.
• Surround yourself with healthy men (women).
• Seek good friends!
• If you have serious mental problems or problems that have been going on for some weeks already, don’t hesitate to go to a psychiatrist. Follow his advice.

Spiritual health:
• Set up a daily structure. You would not ride a motor bike without a helmet, so don’t start the day without putting on your spiritual armor either! Pray, meditate and read the Bible each morning!
• Seek a spiritual mentor.
• Join a local church community.
• Find out about spiritually unhealthy things or people in your life and avoid them if possible.
• Do works of love.
• Repent and confess your sins regularly. Find out about practical steps to make amends or to avoid sinning in the future.
• Pray like there is no tomorrow.

Robert
What if I have a powerful same-sex drive? Why shouldn't I go for it? I can't stay alone for the rest of my days! Why can't I be happy too? - All questions that do have a real and sometimes painful background. So how about it? Let's start with the powerful sex-drive. The temptation is strong, if that drive has built up for many years - maybe because you had nobody to talk to and/or saw no other alternative than to finally yield. However, if there is one thing I had learned during the many years in the gay scene involving many sexual encounters with men and sexual practices you might not even heard of, then it is this: If you think you can quench that thirst from your sex drive by "going for it", then you better forget that right now. It's not going to happen. On the contrary: Once you break a taboo, the next one will be so much easier to get out of the way. Once you try to still your sexual drive by having sex with members of the same sex, you tasted blood and will want more. And more. And more. Being "creative" will become the new norm - and your life will turn around "being gay". If you think that is fun, let me tell you this: Yea, at the beginning it is like a wall crumbling down. "Finally I can be myself!" (much later you might realize that this was only a very distorted picture of yours). That big high, however, will soon make way for embitterness. You don't want to go there. There are reasons why you have those same sex attractions. Many different factors contributed to the development of your ssa - and need to be dealt with. Also there are legitimate physical, emotional, relational and spiritual needs behind your attractions. Those needs need to be adressed and satisfied a healthier way. Keeping all of that in mind, it is irresponsible to just forget about all that and tell people to "go for it". That is cheap. Seeking the quick fix will quench your thirst for a short time, numb the pain and help you forget about things - much like a drug addict does by getting loaded. However, sex does not heal and on the long rund things will get much worse. You exchange true satisfaction for the easy way out.

But what about having to stay alone for the rest of your days? If you mean "lonely" by "alone", then let me remind you that you can - and likely will - be very lonely in the gay scene. Being "alone" is something different. It is a gift that Jesus often used when He went out in the desert to pray. We need to be alone at times to spend some good quality time with ourselves and with God. To be able to be alone is a true treasure. Ever since I left the gay scene, I found times to be "alone", but most of the time the Lord grants me time to spend with the many true friends He brought into my life ever since and with the people He leads to me to help them get back on their feet again. I have never been less "lonely" than since I had left the gay life. I have found a true meaning and purpose in life and also my life has changed in all areas.

So what about "being happy"? I think it is a big misconception in today's culture and society that once with throw something in the "love"- or "being happy"-pool, everything is fine. No, it isn't. Being "happy" is not a criteria that something is good or morally acceptable. An alcoholic who just had a bottle of wodka might say he is "happy" now. A family father might have just left his wife and kids to live with his new girlfriend, "love" her and be "happy" with her for the rest of his days - it would still be unacceptable adultery in a Christian's eyes. Following Christ will give you true joy and tell you about the difference between "being happy" and finding that joy only God can give. And please don't mistake love for a fuzzy feeling. Feelings come and go. Love is a covenant where one person gives himself or herself (reflecting Christ's life-giving covenant with His bride, the Church) and where the two take the willful decision to stay together for their whole lives to become one flesh again. Again? Yes, our sexual drive hints back to the beginnings, where Eve was taken from Adam's flesh. This drive seeks that union back again - becoming one flesh. So much one you have to give this "one" a name nine months after.

To cut it short: I know it isn't easy to leave the gay life. It can be very scare as you have no idea what you signed up for and where this will take you. So for the beginning I give you this piece of advice: Scratch together the little faith and trust you can find in you and put it on God. And then let yourself fall and begin the journey - step by step. God has never broken any of His promises. He will be with you every second of the way and lead you out of this. Promised.
Where is the victory?

Men and women with unwanted same-sex attractions often meet in local or online groups, seek out therapists and get all those wonderful resources out there. All good and nice. Nothing to be said against that. And yet, you have some who keep on telling you they’ve tried “everything” and “nothing” worked so far. Oh really. After years and years of dealing with those folks that I love with all of my heart, here some points to ponder (or better: kicks in the butt):

-    So you’ve tried everything. Did ya. Usually, a closer look reveals that they tried nothing for real. They might show up at one or two meetings, or order a book – and this is it. If you want to succeed, however, you need perseverance and a high stress and frustration tolerance. You need to be able to set yourself a goal and go for it – no matter how long it takes and how hard it will be. If you are not willing to do that, don’t blame it on the group, the people there, the program, the genes, your past, your parents or whomever else then. Your just a quitter looking for lame excuses.
-    In many cases, self-pity is both a symptom and part of the cause of same-sex attractions. A baby that does not perceive himself or herself to be loved will start pitying himself/herself in order to get some love this way. A really tragic and sad thing to happen. This will take on till he or she is grown up, if nothing will be done against it. Usually, the individual does not even realize that. Other people start getting ticked off by the constant whining and complaining and think he or she is a wimp or worse. So if you struggle with that and already realized it, do something against it. Stop the whining. Stand up and fight! Learn to love and enjoy life and start working on your masculine/feminine identity. But PLEASE stop the whining! Whining is the easy way out in struggle. You see yourself as the poor and helpless victim. Take responsibility for your own life and act like a man/woman! There is no shame in being scared, but there is if you let your fear overcome you!
-    Go for results. General bla-bla won’t get you far. Set yourself big goals (they really can’t be too big!), cut them in little goals and start making plans. Example: Instead of saying, “I will try to become a better person” (which is nothing else but a wishy-washy statement that will never lead to anything!), make your goal measurable and hold yourself accountable: “Until next Friday I will contact the volunteer program in our church and ask if I can join them in building houses for the poor. And I will tell Bill about it.” Like that you have a fix date, a measurable goal and someone that will hold you accountable.
-    If you are a follower of Jesus (or Jew, Muslim – whatever), show that your faith is for real. Stop begging God to take “it” away from you – while comfortably leaning back doing nothing and waiting for God to do “His” job. Yes, God is a gracious and loving Father – and much like a worldly father who teaches his little son how to ride a bike, the Lord will teach you: Jesus died for you on the cross so you can be free – so the power of sin is already broken! You ARE free and the only thing that hinders you in realizing that is your lack of belief! As to your recovery in all other realms (like your family history, your emotions, identity questions, possible emotional, verbal, physical or sexual abuse or whatever else), He will teach you how to do it – but you need to trust Him and walk His path! Stop holding yourself back with lame excuses and finally trust Him! Even if bad things should happen, you know then that you are never alone! Let His love overflow you so you will become radiant with this love and joy! If we don’t have something to be joyful about, then who should?
-    No man is an island. Neither are you. You grow in and through the company with others – so you should give something back and help others with unwanted same-sex attractions. This means accepting responsibility on a long-term basis. You won’t help anybody when you only show up somewhere when you feel like it. You might be (or feel) “different”. That is not a bad thing in and of itself. Let this “being different” become a blessing for others! Find out about your gifts and talents and use them for God’s glory!
-    And last but not least: Get structure and discipline in all areas of your life: sexually, financially, healthwise, emotionally,  relationally, socially, spiritually etc. Get yourself motivated each and every day by setting up a structure plan. Start your day by putting on your spiritual armor through prayer and Bible study and then throw yourself into the great and unbelievable adventure called life. Don’t waste it by shying back. Stand up and be the one God called you for! There is no victory in whining and complaining and finding a good excuse to reject all help and remaining a passive victim for good. There is no victory in blaming others for your inability to get your own stuff in order. There is no victory in begging God for what He already gave you, but what you continue to run away from: Complete freedom! What are you so afraid of? That you might really be free someday and be responsible for your own life? That through acting like a man/woman you might finally become one? That you might grow up to become and adult? Get your butt up and learn how to fly!!

Robert

Why is the only condition we have on someone who wants to join Homosexuals Anonymous the will to be free? Because without it everything else would be futile. You have to know what you want and you have  to really want it. You need a passion to go for your goal, no matter what. If there are no emotions involved and you try to reach a goal simply through a change of cognitive thinking patterns, or because someone else wants you to and you have not the slightest wish to do so, this only become negative stress for you. It is all about how you see and evaluate this goal of being free of same-sex attractions and the way that leads to that. For some it is a drag, a pain in the butt. For others the same tools are an exciting challenge.

Think about it.

Rob

Rick Kardos - Hope for the Sex Addict

The real sword in the stone is in Tuscany Italy. The sword of St. Galgano is the real Excalibur on Earth. A young...

Posted by Homosexuals Anonymous on Sonntag, 10. April 2016

The Guilt Trip & the Avoidance Trap


People with unwanted same-sex attractions or sexual problems in general often focus on living a sexually clean and pure life. They make sure all triggers are eliminated and when they hold one another accountable, they would usually bring up all those moments they failed – in thought or actions. Then again, they wonder why they never make any progress, why there is no victory in their struggle.


So what’s wrong with that picture?


In short: A problem will not go away by suppressing it and legitimate needs are not met by ignoring them. Or in other words: You can’t just run away from the bad – you need to run towards the good too.


Yes, we need a good foundation – which means eliminating all triggers in and from our lives. That includes things and people that either arouse us sexually in an inappropriate way or lead us astray so we won’t reach our goal. Contrary to what some might believe, this will not be a mere behavioral change – it can and will have consequences on many different areas of our lives.

However, living a pure and chaste life is a means to a goal – never the goal itself! Even healthy sexuality in a monogamous heterosexual marriage serves a function – it is for the good of the spouses and for procreation of children.


Yes, a celibate life is possible – but it should never stop at not doing something. That sexual energy can and must be used another way so it can bear rich fruit. For some that means increased creativity and socializing, as well as coming up with many ideas on how to do things differently. Find out for yourself what it means to you.


Sexual activity can also numb legitimate needs for a while – like the need for socializing, relationship, affirmation, etc. It can serve as a misguided way to deal with a gender identity disorder. And it can serve as a painkiller to deal with past hurts or unmet family needs (like the love and appreciation of the same-sex parent).


So just cutting down on inappropriate sexual activity and thoughts won’t cut it. Sex does not heal – neither does the elimination thereof.


Besides, if we spend all our energy and time on focusing on what not to do and think, we are reaching the opposite. If I tell you over and over again not to think of a rose elephant – what are you thinking of? Right, even if you haven’t done so for all of your life.


What then is the “good” we are supposed to run towards?


It includes: Working on one’s male/female identity, finding a purpose and meaning in life, living a physically, mentally and spiritually healthy life, finding out about our God-given passions and gifts and using them for His glory, working on our relationships to family members and men and women in general, becoming stress- and frustration-resistant, learning to focus on a goal and going for it no matter what, and finally: dreaming & acting big. Our lives are too short for anything less.


So stop merely avoiding things by trying not to do or think something. Don’t put yourself down forever and ever if you fall, but rather stand up again, find out why it happened and do better from now on. Stop living in the past but look into your future instead. Don’t put the blame on others or on circumstances beyond your reach. Don’t throw a big pity-party. Accept full responsibility for your life and live it to the fullest!


Life is an incredible adventure. No, it might not be easy street – but ever so much worth being lived!


Robert

Kevin Hoksbergen - Rejection & Homosexual Confusion

The Father Heals the Lesbian

JONAH'S Psycho-Educational Model for Healing
Author / Contributor :: ELAINE SILODOR BERK & ARTHUR A. GOLDBERG JONAH Co-Directors

Written By ELAINE SILODOR BERK & ARTHUR A. GOLDBERG, JONAH Co-Directors


Science and religion often clash, and rarely are they used to prove one another in modern times.

The authors wish to acknowledge the input of Martin Pressman, a facilitator in the JONAH program, for developing several of the concepts set forth in this article and for his help in editing this article.


"I continue to be amazed at what I experienced. The kindness, compassion and love from each man was apparent. All of them courageous - choosing to fight this battle. I can honestly say I slaughtered several of the demons inside of me which have been blocking my growth for years. I know that I am a different person now. I feel different. I think differently and one of the guys even told me that I look different. I am so certain that this battle can not only be fought but won."


(Response of a JONAH member after attending a Journey into Manhood Weekend, as reported on the JONAH @ shamash listserv.)

"I will be doing some mundane chore when I'll bust up laughing because I know I'm a man! This is such a powerful thing for me to realize. It's what I've lusted for in others for so long, and I now I have it myself. This is so-o-o cool! I am a man among men. NEVER did I think I could say that, or know it in the core of my being, but I'm there … and I LOVE IT! I welcome it and own it, and feel it."
(Response of a JONAH member after attending a New Warrior Training Adventure Weekend, as reported on the JONAH @ shamash listserv.)


Introduction


These quotes are representative of similar sentiments expressed by our members who have participated in the gender-affirming processes ("GAP") espoused by JONAH. Gender empowerment, rather than homosexuality or androgyny, is the ideal we seek and although we are a relatively new organization, we believe that the results demonstrated by our members should be shared with the therapeutic community. We believe our experiences are not only replicable but will help others gain new insights and tools to help their clients.


JONAH, Jews offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality, is the first organization dedicated to educating the world-wide Jewish community about the prevention, intervention, and healing of the issues surrounding homosexuality. While JONAH works closely with other religious and secular groups which share our viewpoint that same sex attraction (SSA) is treatable through a strategy of inner healing for those who are motivated to change, we are developing our own comprehensive psycho-educational healing strategy. We believe our model holds great promise for achieving the healing desired by our members or others who utilize it. Although Dr. Joseph Nicolosi has written about a number of these therapeutic procedures in Reparative Therapy for Male Homosexuality, and others have spoken about them at NARTH conferences, we have been fortunate to see how these strategies effectively interact when used as part of a comprehensive plan of healing SSA.


This holistic strategy of combining elements from several gender-affirming processes ("GAP:" a program designed to fill in the developmental gaps) has been praised by our members who noted a synergistic effect which in turn resulted in an acceleration of their healing. When these various aspects of the healing model are combined, particularly when compared to those who only received individual private therapy, we found a marked difference in the ability of the struggler to achieve changes in identity, behavior, arousals, and fantasies. In fact, the experiential, spiritual and emotional work done by the client outside of the therapist's office was reported to be critically important to implement the cognitive understandings he may receive during the therapy session. However, even at the cognitive level, a variety of additional resources (such as bibliotherapy or participation in support groups, whether in-person, teleconferenced, or e-groups) accelerated the recovery of the client.


In fact, this holistic approach to intervention resulted in accessing a member's inner drives, dismantling his defenses, intensifying his affective involvement in the treatment, identifying the transference patterns and projections as they arise, and unlocking the unconsciousness. Analogous to certain aspects of Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP), as developed by Habib Davanloo and Patricia Coughlin Della Selva, this approach appears to shorten the time frame needed for a client to achieve an enduring change for his unwanted same-sex attractions.


Impressive progress in overcoming same-sex attractions and regaining masculine identity has been reported by several of our participating male members.(A separate article will report on which healing strategies our women members found most effective.) Since motivation is a key element in what traditionally has been a relatively long treatment process for healing SSA, the measurable and attainable progress as occurs within this "gap" approach is critical in sustaining the perseverance needed to continue the process.
The gender-affirming process is completed when a man comes to own his masculine power and takes his place as an equal in the world of men.


To encourage therapists and faith-based ministries to utilize these multiple healing strategies when treating men with homosexual attractions, we are providing brief descriptions of several facets of JONAH's gender affirming process for healing. For more detailed information, please feel free to contact our organization. For the purposes of this discussion, we have listed our healing strategies in alphabetical order:


Bibliotherapy
Experiential Healing Weekends
Healing of the Family System
Individual Psychotherapy
Jewish Spiritual Development
Masculinity Development and Empowerment
Mentoring
Networking, Support Groups, Daily Internet E-Mail Listserv
Overcoming Shame and Narcissism
Receiving Healthy Touch and Affection


We'd like to explain that through our in-take interviews, we were dismayed to find several clients who had either been in therapy for SSA for several years or who had participated in certain programs of other faith-based ministries but had no idea about the wealth of resources available.


All too often we found clients who were never informed about books which could help them understand the origins of their feelings or from which they could learn how others healed from many of the same wounds which precipitated their same-sex attraction. We also found a lack of knowledge about helpful websites, group support meetings, and mentoring programs. Most of them never participated in the experiential weekends nor did they even know of their existence.


In other cases, many religiously observant clients maintained an erroneous belief that faith alone, without any psychological assistance, would bring about the desired healing. Our observation is that in these cases, all too often, simply a repression of behavior occurred without an effective treatment of fantasies or arousals.


Our belief is that therapists working with those struggling with unwanted SSA should encourage their clients to avail themselves of the numerous resources now available in addition to individual therapy. We were surprised to learn from many of our members that numerous therapists (a) never informed them about available resources outside the therapy session nor (b) provided any encouragement to participate in those activities. Our experience has shown that strugglers experience an exponential leap forward when they use our psycho-educational model as a check list to assure themselves that they are doing everything possible to accelerate the healing process.


Bibliotherapy


As Dr. Joseph Nicolosi points out in his book, Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality:A New Clinical Approach (p.204), the therapeutic utilization of books, reading materials, tapes, video cassettes and other educational sources permits the individual struggling with SSA to gain several beneficial insights. These include: (a) The knowledge gained from biographical information of recovered homosexuals lends credence to their own struggle and prospects for recovery. Our members are inspired when they can relate their own experiences to those who have successfully resolved the underlying emotional issues which cause SSA and this simultaneously lessens the concern that they are alone in their struggle. (b) Reading material enables the individual to understand the causes, the healing strategies, and the basics of reparative therapy, thereby enabling them to apply this new-found knowledge to their own situation. (c) Finally, as Nicolosi says, bibliotherapy can offset the "demoralizing confusion created by gay propaganda and the popular media of our culture." (p. 204).


JONAH has found that reading about the issues underlying same-sex attractions is a vital part of the healing process. In fact, we not only encourage our members to read extensively about the subject but we also recommend that spouses, siblings, and parents read the same materials. Families need to be brought into the healing process, an approach strongly advocated by psychotherapist Richard Cohen in his book Coming Out Straight: Understanding and Healing Homosexuality.


The books provide a psychological framework and encouragement for the struggler through explanations of how others have healed. Often members report how they saw parts of themselves portrayed in the literature. Book discussions occur within the JONAH support groups as well as on the daily E-mail listserv. Some members who discussed these materials with their therapist reported that the literature provided their therapist with an opportunity to help the struggler dig deeper into his issues.

JONAH has a Book Order section on our web site [www. Jonahweb.org] which lists many recommended books and permits the viewer to order the book directly through our site.


Experiential Healing Weekends


JONAH refers our members to several experiential weekends, some of which contain a generic spiritual component involving a Higher Power unconnected to any particular religion. (Ultimately we hope to develop an experiential weekend specifically incorporating certain Jewish motifs.)


Weekends consist of discussions, psychodrama, journaling, and individual "drills" which enable participants to reach feelings not usually accessible in the short time frame of the typical therapeutic session.


The most popular and effective programs, as reported by our members, are three complimentary and synergistic weekends listed here:

Journey into Manhood (web site: peoplecanchange.com)

New Warrior Training Adventure (web site: mkp.org)

Love, Sex, & Intimacy Seminars (web site: gaytostraight.org).

Describing the objectives and methodology of one of these weekend programs will illustrate why they are so effective. For example, here is a description of The Journey into Manhood weekend, principally designed by Ben Newman of Peoplecanchange, together with David Matheson, an associate of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi:


The objective of the Journey Into Manhood is to provide "an experiential weekend for men who experience unwanted homosexual feelings and are sincerely self-motivated to work to lessen homosexuality identity, attractions, and behaviors and to increase masculine identity and desires. The training is designed to teach these men, through words and processes, that mature heterosexual masculinity can be achieved through authenticity (or internal integrity), need fulfillment, masculine identity, and male bonding." (Peoplecanchange Journey into Manhood Protocol)


These objectives are accomplished by challenging men (1) to examine their beliefs, perceptions and judgments about themselves and others that may be producing a sense of gender inferiority (2) experience trusting and bonding with other men in non-sexual ways (3) process deep feelings related to their pasts, themselves and their relationships with others, and experience at least an initial release of those feelings that may be blocking growth into heterosexual masculinity and (4) become ready to embrace a new way of seeing themselves and of being in the world, particularly in the world of men.


As shown in the quotes set forth at the beginning of this paper, men return from these weekends nearly euphoric from the experience of accessing their inherent masculine power. For some, this is the first time in their lives they could sense ownership of their own masculinity and deal with deep personal issues (such as same-sex peer wounds, mother wounds, or father wounds) in a safe, supportive environment which encourages them to break down destructive behavior patterns to which they had clung for many years. These concentrated and intense emotional experiences yield significant results and give hope to many.


Additionally, our members report that when they become sufficiently comfortable in the New Warriors' community of men and have an opportunity to staff a weekend, they find the experience to be even more powerful than the initial weekend because of the leadership role they are able to assume.


Healing of the Family System


JONAH believes that homosexuality frequently can be viewed as a family system problem, not just an individual problem. When parents, in particular, can become a part of the healing process, it is extremely beneficial to the whole family system. Often, parents inadvertently contributed to the development of their child's SSA. Much has to do with the child's perception of the relationship between him and his mother and father. Once the parents understand the sources of their child's problem, we found many are able to assist their child in the developmental growth process required to overcome the condition.


Even when parents cannot be brought into the healing process because of physical or emotional abuse, extreme neglect, or emotional incapacity, there are siblings, extended family, or close family friends who can participate. Sometimes, just to openly discuss the issues with close family or friends brings immeasurable relief to an overcomer who has kept this part of his being hidden for so many years.

We encourage our members to openly discuss their issues with family members and to provide educational material to those in his "circle" who are willing to learn about the underpinnings of homosexual attractions. Several of our members have attended, together with the families, the Love, Sex, and Intimacy Seminars given by Richard Cohen of the International Healing Foundation. In doing so, they reported experiences which enabled them either to begin or to accelerate the process of peeling back their own defensive detachment from their father figure, untangling their mother enmeshment issues, and repairing the fractured relationships with siblings and other family members.


For those who are married, we often find that the struggler was leading a double life. Most wives who are informed of the homosexual condition by their husbands (which we strongly encourage) respond favorably and perform a major role in the healing process. Again, couples who have attended the Love, Sex, and Intimacy Seminars. and utilize appropriately trained reparative therapists for couples therapy in their follow-up work, reported favorable results.


Today's politically correct notion that homosexuality is merely an alternative lifestyle can complicate the healing process, particularly when the family member or spouse incorrectly believes the struggler was born that way or has a so-called "gay gene." Therefore, we must redouble our efforts to educate the entire community that homosexuality is a treatable condition.


Elizabeth Moberly expressed the importance of family in treating the homosexual condition. In a 1985 lecture given to the Royal Society of Health, she said, "The homosexual condition - although often an occasion for sexual expression - is in itself a state of unfulfilled developmental needs. For this reason, homosexuality may best be evaluated, not by comparison with sexuality in general, but by comparison with the parent-child relationship and facilitating of human maturation."


JONAH recognizes that support groups (for spouses, parents, family, and friends of those wishing to heal from SSA) are critical to the struggler's healing. Each group faces unique problems as they confront past issues which may have led to their loved one's homosexual attractions or to the construction of changed relationships, both in the present and reaching into the future, as their loved one accomplishes the human maturation Moberly spoke about.


Individual Psychotherapy


JONAH wishes to make clear that we only work with members who either seek to grow out of their same-sex attractions or are ambivalent about such attractions. Should prospective members request to become more comfortable with their homosexual attractions or with the gay lifestyle, we will refer them elsewhere and make no value judgments about their choice.


However, for those who seek assistance, JONAH maintains a global referral list of therapists, both for in-person therapy and for phone therapy. Therefore JONAH is always seeking therapists who agree with and are skilled in reparative and directive therapy and will adopt the gender affirming healing processes advocated by JONAH. Those who are interested in being part of our referral service should call (201) 433-3444 and leave a message.


We believe that the type of therapist who can best help these men is not the classical emotionally-detached therapist. Such therapy, in the words of NARTH co-founder Joseph Nicolosi, "reactivates memories of earlier frustration from the cold and distant father." (Reparative therapy for Male Homosexuals, p.20) Nicolosi continues: "Withholding personal involvement merely frustrates the homosexual client, who particularly needs intimate male connectedness, and whose healing comes primarily through the therapeutic relationship." Thus, Nicolosi concludes, the therapist must be emotionally involved with his client, create a directive approach, exude an air of masculinity, "and, within therapeutic guidelines, permit dependency."


We believe that gender identity determines sexual orientation and that one sexualizes or eroticizes that with which he does not identify. To successfully treat someone with a homosexual condition, our experience shows that a directive and activist therapy program is critical in assisting a client to internalize his gender identity, demystify his romantic attractions to the same sex, and satisfy his unmet developmental needs for attention, affection, and approval from others of the same gender without sexualizing these needs.


Jewish Spiritual Development


Although JONAH is an outreach organization that works with all Jews, from the strictly observant Orthodox to the most secular of Jews, we stress certain aspects of our religious teachings. We blend lessons from the Torah (what Christians refer to as the Old Testament) with other Jewish sources in order to help individuals access their inner souls and thus recapture their G-d given inherent heterosexuality.


Part of the reason for this emphasis is to provide the person struggling with SSA with the ability to distinguish a moral right from a moral wrong in today's culture war. The Torah's eternal values integrate the principles of deferred gratification and the exercise of restraint in sexual activity into the human psyche. In doing so, we note how this view is antithetical to today's prevalent moral relativism in which the only factor to restrain human behavior is mutual consent. Simply stated, this attitude can be summed up as follows: "If two or more consenting adults want to _______ (fill in the blank), then no one else need be concerned."


When we understand that the homosexual cohabitation prohibited by Lev.18.22 and explained in the Talmud (Nedarim 51a) is a mistaken response to an unfilled emotional need, we are able to remove an oppressive guilt from the person who was mistakenly led (most often by forces initially beyond his/her control) into such activity.


By understanding the root causes, and the unfilled needs for which the behavior (or fantasy) attempts to compensate, a program of remediation becomes achievable. We find it is helpful to employ a combination of both the Jewish concept of "teshuvah" (a process of transforming one's inner being, commonly translated as "return" or "repentance") and the secular understandings of gender affirming therapies.


Jewish law creates a delicate balancing act: accepting the individual as a human being who deserves love and compassion but rejecting the homosexual activity in which he/she may participate. But this "love the person but not the behavior" principle is equally true of any illicit sexual behavior, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual. For example, we accept the community philanderer as a person but disapprove of his/her sexual brokenness. It is incumbent upon the community to understand the mentality and inner development of the persons who perpetrate the act and find a way to assist them in their healing.


JONAH makes special efforts to reach the Jewish community through synagogues and the large network of Jewish organizations in order to spread this message of hope and healing.


Masculinity Development and Empowerment


At its core, male homosexuality is a matter of undeveloped manhood. True healing requires a resumption of the journey into manhood. The boy who physically grew into an adult male but missed out on certain developmental stages will need to go through them now. Nicolosi points out, for example, that the pre-homosexual boy who missed out on rough and tumble play with his father and , later, did not take part in the physical competitions characteristic of his age often ended up removing himself from such competition and thereby diminished his own sense of masculinity. (Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality, p. 193)


A basic issue in healing SSA involves reconnecting the individual from the alienation he experienced from his own gender. To help SSA individuals take ownership of their G-d given masculinity is a formidable task, but we at JONAH have developed several tactics to assist in this regard. The person with same-sex attraction must learn how to experience trust and how to bond with other men in non-sexual ways. As discussed in the experiential weekend strategy section, The New Warrior Training Adventure (or the Sterling Men's Group) is particularly helpful in this regard.


To illustrate a program employed to assist men with their masculine development, it is useful to cite the two hour sports activity we developed following each support group. We utilize knowledgeable coaches to lead these activities. We receive outstanding feedback from group members as to the effectiveness of the sports therapy. They learn teamwork, including how to trust other men and bond with members of their team.


Men who are not able to attend our group meetings find that having a coach or a friend teach them a team sport, such as baseball or basketball, is invaluable in developing their masculine identity. We do not seek to make any of these men into athletic stars but rather use this exercise to reinforce their connection to other men. They are doing things that men do. In the process, they discover their own masculine strength which they had previously believed was lacking and receive affirmation of their inherent masculinity.


Since masculinity is connected to the use of the body, when men are not using their body, they often disconnect from it. Playing sports heals the disconnection with body from which our members suffer. Members report that playing sports and learning the skills helped them heal that disconnection while simultaneously increasing their sense of masculinity. As David Matheson, an associate of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, said to one of his clients who is also a member of JONAH, "Doing something you think you can't do is empowering. Gaining mastery over fear, ineptitude, and inadequacy is empowering."


In addition, playing sports helps our members overcome the problem of passivity. Men learn that the ball is not going to come to them unless they are in a position to catch it. This insight is a lesson of life. Healing from SSA will not happen unless the person does the work required to overcome it.


There is another aspect of engaging in sports activities as part of the strategy of resuming the growth into manhood. Many of our members report that their fear of sports stemmed from early childhood same-sex peer wounds and that learning how to play sports in a safe environment permitted them to overcome these wounds. They found themselves able to bond with other men, many for the first time in their lives. And, as Nicolosi makes clear, central to the repairing of homosexuality is the establishment of nonsexual intimate relationships with men (Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality, p.194). Being involved in traditional men's activities, such as sports, is a direct way to heal those wounds.


Mentoring


Individuals trying to heal from SSA need role models and guidance from heterosexuals of the same-sex in order to heal the wounds caused by defensive detachment from the same-sex parent and peers. Such a role model becomes a mentor who assumes a role originally designed for a father to have fulfilled for the boy as he was growing up. Qualities needed by a mentor include compassion, empathy, a non-judgmental attitude, and most importantly, knowledge about how to heal from SSA, or at least a strong desire to learn.

If the struggler is lucky enough to have parents willing and able to help, and the struggler is able to reconnect with the same-sex parent, this is the obvious first choice for a mentor. For those whose parents are unavailable, mentors can be sought from among clergy, teachers, members of social groups to which the struggler belongs or any other appropriate group. Some of our members report that the New Warrior experience (or the Sterling Men's group, a similar organization) provided them with a mentor with whom they could bond.


The importance of healthy male-to-male mentoring cannot be emphasized enough. It is not uncommon for strugglers to suffer from feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. The mentor is the role model that takes the mystery out of masculinity and supports the struggler's journey to his own masculine power.


Closely related is the need for same-sex non-sexual friendships. Nicolosi speaks of the importance of this relationship when he stated, "same-sex friendships have shown themselves to be therapeutic" (p.194). These friendships come both from
other men in recovery and from men who never had SSA.


Networking, Support Groups, Daily Internet E-Mail Listserv


Networking: Leaving behind one's same-sex attraction and achieving heterosexual attraction can be a long and difficult struggle. Essentially our gender affirming process enables members to create a totally new support structure in many different facets of their lives. Before finding our group, these strugglers often felt isolated and alone in their struggle. Alternatively, they felt that the gay lifestyle provided them with a circle of friends they could never find in the "straight" world. Thus, to create a feeling of belonging, we believe it is critical for our members to network with others in the process of recovery or with those who have completed their journey to sexual wholeness (often through the group support meetings, the daily E-mail listserv, mentoring or networking).


Members report that fellow journeyers on the road to recovery help them by sharing experiences, understanding their fears, and providing accountability and support. The benefits are immeasurable. The group support sessions and the daily E-mail listserv provide methods to make the connections so that strugglers can bond with others sharing similar concerns.


Although some therapists believe networking between those in recovery to be risky, Nicolosi encourages individuals within his support groups to network with each other outside the group sessions. Within the JONAH support network, to date we have never had a sexual liaison take place between our members. Instead we find the members provide each other with a social camaraderie that clearly outweighs any perceived risks. Our experience is thus similar to other self-help groups where affected individuals assist others who have not progressed as far as the person providing the assistance.


The person who was active in the gay lifestyle often found a sense of belonging among other gays which overcame his sense of alienation and loneliness. To replace that sense of belonging, it is critical for mentoring and networking to take place. Without it, it is difficult to establish non-sexual intimate relationships. We believe that the therapist who works individually with his patient and who does not recommend getting involved in group support and networking is doing his client a disservice. Our observable experience is that strugglers leap forward when they undertake the following processes: maintain communication with others who have healed or are in the process of healing from SSA, establish relationships with empathetic mentors, some in the process of recovery and others who have never had an SSA problem.


An interesting footnote to this process is the fact that many of our members who begin to help others heal found that they were able to strengthen their own healing process. Many have reported a greater sense of self-confidence and affirmation of their own value because their own past experiences helped others heal. In a spiritual sense, they felt good about the ability to perform the "mitzvah" (commandment) of helping others.


JONAH's gender-affirming processes enable a person to step into a totally new support structure. It provides both encouragement and direct assistance while the member travels the road to recovery. An important aspect of his masculine empowerment is the ability to connect to his brothers in recovery, thus overcoming the detachment and alienation he experienced from the world of men.

In addition to networking, our member support groups and daily E-mail listserv are additional tools to accomplish this goal.

Men's Support Groups: JONAH's men's support groups run weekly or bi-weekly for approximately 2 hours with discussions being led by facilitators who are well-versed in the issues involved in healing homosexuality. Our goal is to increase the number of groups for men (and parenthetically to do the same for women and family members).


For men who do not live near the three groups currently operating (See "more about JONAH" at the end of this article for group locations), we initially arranged teleconferencing into our in-person support groups. We found, however, that these combined groups were not as effective as unmixed in-person or teleconferenced groups. By separating the groups, we found that each group standing by itself can better maximize interpersonal relationships and significantly reduce the isolation and loneliness of the members. Teleconference support groups presently operate.


Daily Internet E-Mail Listserv: Men and woman from six different countries post messages on a private confidential JONAH listserv (hosted by Shamash.org, a service of the Hebrew College) and report how welcome they feel in our ever-growing healing community. Postings range from loving support of another's personal struggle to deep discussions on issues directly relevant to SSA.


The Daily E-Mail Listserv is an excellent method to reach strugglers with special needs: those in geographically isolated locations; those unable to afford private therapy; those who have just learned that a healing process for SSA is possible and seek to learn more about the "GAP" process; those who require daily support in their struggle.


Overcoming Shame and Narcissism


Special mention should be made of four interrelated underlying issues which therapists such as Andrew Morrison and Joseph Nicolosi have identified as pivotal to healing homosexuality but which traditional therapy has somewhat ignored. They are shame, narcissism, guilt, and grieving. Each of these issues contributed to the homosexual condition and each of our strategies has a component which addresses certain aspects of these issues.


Overcoming shame has become a major focus of faith-based groups dedicated to helping men heal from homosexuality. Phrases such as "coming out of shame" or "going past your shame" are consistently utilized by these groups when they develop their healing strategies. They have intuitively understood that shame underlies much of SSA.


According to Andrew Morrison, "Because shame is so often unspoken, many therapists have not appreciated its importance in analytic and therapeutic work. Frequently it is hidden behind the clearly defensive manifestations of distress, and these are usually investigated alone - often from the perspective of intrapsychic conflict and related dynamics - without appreciation of the underlying or accompanying shame." (See, "Shame, the Underside of Narcissism" pg. 5)


A key to appropriate treatment, according to Morrison, is the relationship narcissism bears to shame, for he believes, "that shame, in some form, is always present in narcissism and its various manifestations."


Gay activists preach that the way to overcome the issue of shame is to come out of the closet and loudly proclaim and affirm one's gayness. However, we believe there is another and preferred door leading from the closet of homosexuality. It is the door of healing - a healing which recognizes the shame and how it relates to the narcissism which underlies homosexuality.


Richard Fitzgibbons recognizes that "Narcissism is a very powerful disorder that fuels the homosexual behavior in many people. This personality weakness is not easily overcome because of the reluctance to give up a life of unchecked, irresponsible self-indulgence." When the therapist properly treats shame and narcissism (and when its recognition and overcoming is encouraged through support groups and networking), then a person's healing can progress. Fitzgibbons points out that when narcissism is not treated, "this clinical disorder is the major reason for failure in recovery from homosexuality." (See, The Truth About Homosexuality by Father John Harvey, Appendix I, by Fitzgibbons)


Our experience has been that as men look at the circumstances in which they found themselves during the process of growing up, they come to realize that they adopted a False Self (often originating from the "good little boy" syndrome) in order to cope with their situation. Much of the struggler's life was spent seeking a way to gain approval from others or trying to gratify and please.

In childhood, these men erected emotional barriers or walls which protected them from what they perceived as a harsh and unfriendly world. As adults, these same walls acted to imprison them, trapping their feelings, and preventing them from completing their journey into manhood. As men take down these walls and work through the profound grief they feel for never having been "seen" for the individuals they truly were, they can understand and mourn the loss of the "True Self" and move forward in their healing.


A therapeutic strategy needs to penetrate the two defenses of narcissism and the False Self. The client needs to be focused on fully feeling and expressing the "shamed-defective self." If he can't feel it, he can't heal it. But when he feels his inner emotions, says Nicolosi, the adult struggler discovers that "he need not fear the primal threat of abandonment-annihilation, and he can begin to surrender the defenses of homosexuality, narcissism and the False Self." (See, interview conducted by Linda Nicolosi in article entitled "Grief Work" (NARTH.com).


These issues need to be directly addressed by the therapist. Exercises to address these issues are being incorporated within the various experiential weekends referred to earlier and by our support group. However, the front line of treatment of these issues needs to come from the therapists who are conducting individual private therapy.


Receiving Healthy Touch and Affection


Many who struggle with SSA experience touch deprivation, an issue often overlooked in therapy. Ashley Montagu writes in his groundbreaking book Touching: "the communications we transmit through touch constitute the most powerful means of establishing human relationships, the foundation of experience."


As a result of defensive detachment, many men with SSA never received the healthy touch that can come from being in a healthy relationship with one's father and peers. Because many of these men never received healthy touch or did not receive the physical affection they needed from their fathers, the idea of receiving a non-sexual hug from a man as a sign of affection makes them uncomfortable.


We also have had members tell us that once they decided to stop their homosexual acting out, they missed the warmth or affection of another human being's touch. Others, even when they had opportunities to receive healthy touch and affection, such as non-sexual hugs or pats on the back, were confused as to the healthy boundaries for touch. Others, whose condition of SSA consisted of fantasy and pornography, reported a lack of physical contact over a period of years.


Many presently feel touch deprived because they did not receive physical affection in their childhood and experienced other unfilled emotional needs. We found several members who previously expressed an unquenchable need to sexually touch others or to be sexually touched either by others or by themselves (to a level where masturbation may become addictive). Such touch is the means for them to literally feel or fantasize their connection with other men, something they had yearned for all their lives.


The question of human touch is exacerbated when emotional or sexual abuse lurks in the background of a particular individual. For those who were sexually abused, intimacy stimulates painful memories. In order to avoid emotional intimacy, many sought physical gratification through anonymous sexual encounters.


Our experience in JONAH has been that as men bond with other men in a healthy non-sexual atmosphere, particularly through attendance at the experiential weekends, both the resistance to healthy touch and the need for inappropriate sexual touch dissipate. Healthy touching can be controversial, particularly if the situation is not well-controlled and the boundaries not clearly set forth. If a man has properly progressed in his healing processes and understands the proper boundaries of touch, we will then strongly encourage non-sexual hugs and affectionate gestures (like pats on the back) in our groups.


One advantage of our team sport events is the reinforcement of the cultural acceptability of victory celebrations by the players when they openly embrace and hug one another. Another culturally acceptable method of gaining appropriate touch is through regular therapeutic massages.


In order to experience safe and healing touch from another man, our members have used a number of therapeutic bodywork techniques. Among these are: massage, shiatsu and Feldenkrais. Men report touch therapy useful in releasing negative feelings and emotions stored within their bodies. The Feldenkrais method, for example, founded by the Israeli physicist Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais,has also helped men focus on how their bodies move. Through directed movements given by a practitioner, men learn new ways to use their bodies. Consequently, Feldenkrais has helped men feel connected to their bodies, improve their coordination and become more self-confident.


Having set forth the issue and the need for solutions, we believe that overcoming touch deprivation is an area in need of further development. We continue to examine practical ways of overcoming touch deprivation which exists for so many of our members.


Summary


These aspects of JONAH's healing paradigm are presented here to encourage the reader to explore the complex process undertaken when men and women begin to heal their same-sex attractions. There is no "magic bullet" for healing even though it is frequently wished for by those suffering from a same-sex attraction disorder (SSAD).


JONAH's multi-dimensional approach can be viewed as encompassing four processes which, if worked in tandem, can help facilitate in-depth healing. In our opinion, true healing occurs when an individual is able to heal at four different levels:


Cognitive: Head
Experiential: Body
Emotional: Heart
Spiritual: Soul


An incomplete healing occurs when fewer than the four levels are accessed.


While individual psychotherapy is critical to help individuals heal from SSAD, participating in private therapy, without these other experiences, may increase the time required for the healing process to occur. Obviously, it takes a longer period of time to access all four levels when a therapist is able to work with his client for only an hour or two a week. By increasing the time on task in a cost effective manner, the struggler can accelerate the time needed for healing. Moreover, by employing the multi-dimensional paradigm described in this paper, and thereby enlarging the daily and weekly amount of time in which a member delves into his head, heart, body, and soul, our reports indicate an important acceleration of the healing process.


Our purpose in setting forth our experience and findings is to share what we have learned from our members. JONAH happily acknowledges that many therapists and faith based groups have independently used parts of this model (including some of the live-in programs). Hopefully, for those readers from the therapeutic community who have not adopted aspects of this program they (a) will see the benefits of this more comprehensive approach to healing SSA and (b) will incorporate them within their treatment plans.


A Long, Hard Road: How Reparative Therapy Saved My Life
Written By: Daniel Meir Horowitz [1]
(Posted May 2012)

There has been much ado in the Jewish media about the idea of Orthodoxy and homosexuality. I have decided to share my personal story for the purpose of letting others know that, despite what so many people claim to “know,” there are options and there is a way out of Same Sex Attraction (SSA).
I was raised in a modern-Orthodox, frum family. I clearly remember in 8th grade being among other boys discussing which girls in our class they had crushes on. At the time I had absolutely no attraction to women and, to avoid embarrassment, I blatantly lied and said that I did indeed have a crush on a certain female classmate. But inside I was tormented: “When will I feel these feelings like the other guys?” I asked myself. I kept hoping that someday I would just wake up and be “normal.” Unfortunately, that time never came. By 10th grade I had already come to the conclusion that something was wrong, and also admitted to myself that I was instead attracted to other boys in my class. I recall praying and crying to G-d to “take it away” and heal me. One summer I spent every day saying the entire book of Tehillim (Psalms) in the hope that I could earn enough merit to make my homosexuality go away. But it didn’t.
After graduation, I dutifully spent a year in an Israeli yeshiva. Being in a dormitory situation was a complete nightmare. I felt trapped in a prison that I could not escape, tempted by things that I could never act upon, dangled in front of me constantly. By the end of that year I was almost non-functional, and finally mustered up the courage to discuss my situation with the Rosh Yeshiva. I was sure that I would be summarily cast away and shamed, but felt I didn’t have a choice since I was suffering so much. I needed to talk to someone. Instead, I received compassion, advice, and a recommendation to see a local psychologist.
When I returned home at the end of the year, I began immediately seeing a religious psychologist to try to work through these issues while I stayed in yeshiva. Over the next seven years I cycled on and off seeing a total of three different psychologists and one psychiatrist, spending at least twenty thousand dollars. These were highly recommended professionals, some of whom are rather well known. They all assured me that they could help me with my SSA. Yet after all of my time and money, I accomplished absolutely nothing. I still was embroiled in attraction to other men, and felt no attraction to women. All of my friends were getting married and having children, while I just spun my wheels.
During those years I became depressed and hated my life. I often contemplated suicide. Multiple times while driving home from the therapist’s office, frustrated at our lack of progress, I would think: “Just turn the wheel a little to the left and slam into the divider on the freeway. No one will know it wasn’t just an accident.” I would have to consciously switch to the right lane so I could be sure I wouldn’t give in to the temptation. Part of me truly wanted to die, though, and I regularly wished that a car would hit me when I was crossing the street.
In utter desperation I began searching the Internet for possible alternative treatments. I was willing to try almost anything if I thought it would work. I discovered a weekend retreat for men struggling with SSA. After consulting with one of my rabbeim and my therapist, I signed up for the next available open slot, bought my plane tickets to Utah and set out. The retreat changed my life. I met other men who had struggled with SSA and had moved through it. I was taught about reparative therapy and that there was hope. Soon after that weekend I started seeing a licensed reparative therapist regularly, and within a year began to slowly see signs of progress. I don’t remember exactly when, perhaps 18-24 months into the therapy, but I was reading a magazine and an attractive woman in an ad caught my attention. I found myself staring at the photograph. Then it struck me: I was actually interested in looking at the woman! I felt such exhilaration at the experience. I had instinctually done what I never would have done before. Something had changed.
Anyone who says that working through homosexual desires and feelings is an easy, quick process is lying. It is a long, hard road with many challenges, pitfalls, and setbacks. But it is possible. I wish I could say there is a “cure” for SSA, but I believe there is no such thing. SSA is something I will struggle with for the rest of my life. But now, I am in control of it. It no longer tortures me. When I am diligent and follow the game-plan provided by those who understand reparative therapy, it fades to the faintest whisper in the background and therefore no longer controls me. And I am attracted to women, when I never was before.
Why was I so tortured? Why did it hurt so much? What drove me to become suicidal? Being a frum person with SSA felt like being trapped in a prison with no escape. If I have homosexual desires, urges to do what the Torah blatantly forbids, I have only three options:

A) To give in to those desires, and violate the Torah. Many have taken that path, often eventually abandoning all Torah observance. I truly believed, and believe, that G-d gave us the Torah, and so giving in to my desires was not an acceptable course of action for me.

B) To “white-knuckle,” to try to resist these temptations with sheer willpower and live a “normal” life despite them. This was an unbelievably depressing prospect. It meant getting married with no real desire for a woman. It meant having desires that could never be fulfilled. It meant being trapped in the closet all alone, suffering. (To say nothing of how wrong doing so would be to the woman I would have married.)

There were those who would tried to offer me a variant of this option: Accept myself as a homosexual and identify as gay, and stay single, all the while refraining from violating the Torah. While on the one hand, it sounded brave, I knew it to be a fallacy and an empty dream. Firstly, I would still have to suffer a lifetime of unfulfilled yearnings. The reality is, however, that despite firm initial convictions, every single person that I know who tried this, eventually succumbed and ended up violating the Torah. This always devolved back into option A.

C) To try and change the desires, or at least mitigate them until they become a mere nuisance. This seemed to be the only viable approach to me. And I tried for many years, floundering along through therapy, even taking extra jobs to pay for it. I remember thinking at one point: “What more can G-d possibly want from me? I’m doing everything I can!!” Yet, I persevered and eventually found a treatment that helped.

The reparative therapy approach is what led me to where I am.
There are those who will wish to silence me, and protest the publication of my story. They will describe reparative therapy as a sham. I can only say that I wish someone had told me about it earlier. There are no guarantees for any treatment of any illness. But I would rather have tried mightily and failed, than to have had someone stifle me by censoring those who would have given me options and hope.
Of course, no one should ever be forced into therapy if they don’t want it. And no one can experience any change unless they want to. No matter how supportive and well-meaning family and friends are, changing sexual orientation or growing out of SSA will not occur if the person does not wish to do it for himself and find the proper therapeutic approach that works for him. For those who choose to work through their SSA, there are several alternative paths for them to take. And, by doing so, they can lead truly fulfilled lives.
Even if after spending time (and money) with one therapist is found not to be helpful, that does not in any way mean that another won’t be helpful. If, G-d forbid, someone was diagnosed with cancer and a certain treatment wasn’t working, he wouldn’t give up. He would seek out another doctor with a different method, or try alternative medicines or modalities. I spent almost ten years trying different therapy methods, and eventually one worked for me. So if one doesn’t work for you, who knows? Some other treatment might.
I want to shout to all those plagued by SSA who wish they were not: Don’t give up. Please. Despite what you read and hear in our secular culture about the false idea that change is impossible, a ray of light might be just around the corner. Keep looking and know that the help you seek is out there. You only need to find it.
[1] This is a pseudonym. Certain other identifying details have been changed as well. I truly wish that I felt safe enough to use my actual name and identify myself. However, as someone still searching for his soul mate, I am keenly aware of how careful I must be to explain these details about me at the right time and in the proper context.

REPARATIVE THERAPY OF MALE HOMOSEXUALITY

"Nicolosi makes an all important distinction: Being homosexual does not mean being gay.... [The author] is to be congratulated for taking up the gauntlet for a much neglected population--the homosexual male who experiences his sexual orientation as ego dystonic and wants to change."
--Elaine Siegel, Ph.D.

Offers Hope to Thousands of Men
"In this major and compelling work, Dr. Nicolosi addresses the issue of changing homosexuality with courage and clinical integrity. Refusing to give in to political pressure and attack, he has listened, instead, to his patients--to their developmental dilemmas and to their developmental needs. Basing the treatment plan on this clinical data and on recent advances in understanding gender identity, he offers hope to the thousands of men who do not want to feel coerced by either their own internal conflicts or by outside political pressures to live a life inimical to who they are and to who they want to be."

--Althea J. Horner, Ph.D.



Speaks to "Non-Gay" Homosexuals with a Tone of Clinical Empathy
"Dissatisfied homosexuals have finally been addressed in a modern work that will satisfy the standards of professionals and laity alike. Direct and comprehensive, [it] speaks to the seldom recognized 'non-gay homosexuals' with a tone of clinical empathy that is long overdue."

-Joe Dallas
President of Exodus International

Reversal to Heterosexuality is Possible
"Dr. Nicolosi has produced a clearly written, scholarly book that covers the developmental, physiological, social-psychological, familial, interpersonal, and gender identity aspects of male homosexuality. Although the influence of mothers in the developmental and adaptive process is given its importance, the more compelling role of an inadequate father-son relationship in a boy's subsequent homosexuality is again corroborated and becomes a salient theme in reparative therapy. "It has become unpopular to propose that homosexuality is the consequence of a disturbed boyhood and that reversal to heterosexuality through psychotherapy is possible. Influenced only by what the clients were telling him, the author offers a rich harvest of observations that justifies the reparative treatment he describes. "This book is recommended reading, not only for mental health workers, but its easy style makes it attractive for those outside the profession."

-Irving Bieber, M.D.

The Homosexual Who Wants to Change Can
"This well-written book by a courageous clinician addresses an important societal and clinical issue: How can a homosexual male deal with his orientation without succumbing to the extremes of a gay life style? Nicolosi makes an all important distinction: Being homosexual does not mean being gay. He sees that the usual rite of coming out of the closet can be an enforced trauma, preventing further psychological growth. Instead, Nicolosi sees the quiet spaces of privacy as a growth-producing environment that can foster meaningful insight followed by change and genuine, instead of coerced, decision making. In addition, he stresses the father as an important role model and cites many vignettes in which men have found their full masculine selves during therapy. Nicolosi is to be congratulated for taking up the gauntlet for a much neglected population: The homosexual male who experiences his sexual orientation as ego dystonic and wants to change."

-Elaine Siegel, Ph.D.


Book Excerpt: Introduction


For many years, I have found myself in the odd position of being a psychologist whose profession says homosexuality is not a problem---yet many homosexual men continue to come to me in conflict.

The fact that so many men continue to feel "dis-eased" by their homosexuality can be explained in one of two ways. Either society and the Judeo-Christian ethic have coerced these individuals into thinking they have a problem; or, the homosexual condition itself is inherently problematic.

In reflecting on the homosexual condition for more than ten years as I have guided many men who are struggling with the problem, I believe some truths have become apparent.

Today, new studies place the homoerotic drive in better perspective by showing us that it originates from the search for health and wholeness. Many homosexuals are attracted to other men and their maleness because they are striving to complete their own gender identification. From this perspective, we now better understand the nature of the homosexual person's struggle. And with this understanding, we can offer more than tolerance, but--for those who seek it--hope for healing. More than civil rights, we can offer a way toward wholeness.

Empirical research and clinical evidence together will be presented in this book to demonstrate how the homosexual condition is in many cases the result of incomplete gender-identity development. Consequently it is a condition characterized by erotic but frustrating same-sex relationships.

Through my treatment of over l00 men, I have applied clinical observations to the wider body of research, and from these resources I have formulated a psychotherapy. This psychotherapy is not a "cure" in the sense of erasing all homosexual feelings. Nevertheless, it is a valid treatment offering a framework for understanding the homosexual condition and growing in masculine identification.

It should be noted here that "homosexual" is a relative term. Each individual falls somewhere along the heterosexual-homosexual continuum, possibly moving from one direction to the other during different life stages.

Also, the word "homosexual" is used in this book as convenient shorthand to denote "the man with the homosexual problem." It must always be borne in mind that no man's personhood can be reduced to a simple sexual identity.

I have chosen the term "reparative therapy" to draw attention to a neglected psychoanalytic perspective of homosexuality which traces its roots to Freud. Due to incomplete development of aspects of his masculine identity, the homosexual seeks to "repair" his deficits through erotic contact with an idealized other. Reparative therapy has recently found support through object relations theory and empirical studies in gender identity.

This book is not for everyone. Some readers will find our theoretical model irrelevant to their personal histories. We do not attempt to propose the reparative model as the sole cause or form of homosexuality. Homosexuality is not a single clinical entity and homosexual behavior results from a variety of motivations. However, the model described here fits the majority of the treatment population I have encountered, and I have no doubt that it is the most common homosexual developmental pattern.

I hope that further understanding of the homosexual condition will lead to a more realistic public attitude, and also to the wiser parenting which would aid in prevention of homosexual development. Most important, I hope to show an option for those who find the gay lifestyle unacceptable--either because of disillusionment in having lived it, or because it is in fundamental violation of their personal identity.

The vast majority of my homosexual clients are men; consequently, the etiology and treatment described in this book will be in regard to the male homosexual. I believe some of the principles stated will apply to women; nevertheless, it will take another writer to refine and apply these ideas to the problem of lesbianism.


Book Excerpt: Chapter One

Non-Gay Homosexuals: Who Are They?
Much has been written in recent years about embracing the gay lifestyle and "coming out of the closet." "Coming out" is said to mean throwing off the burdens of fearfulness and self-deception to embark on the road to freedom and personal integrity.

Yet there is a certain group of homosexual men who will never seek fulfillment through coming out into a gay identity. These men have chosen to grow in another direction.

The word "homosexual" names an aspect of such a man's psychological condition. But he is not gay. "Gay" describes a contemporary socio-political identity and lifestyle which such a man will never claim. Therefore, I call him a "non-gay homosexual."

The non-gay homosexual is a man who experiences a split between his value system and his sexual orientation. He is fundamentally identified with the heterosexual pattern of life. The non-gay homosexual feels his personal progress to be deeply encumbered and by his same-sex attractions. He usually holds conservative values, is identified with a religious tradition, and holds no deep resentments toward Judeo-Christian teachings on homosexuality. In fact he most likely finds them reinforcing and supportive of his struggle.

Before the gay liberation movement, such a man was portrayed in psychiatric literature in a one-dimensional manner from the perspective of his "medical condition." Now the gay movement has encouraged new research, often conducted by gay researchers, to shed long overdue light on the personal and relational issues of the gay experience.

With the help of these studies, men can now decide whether they want to embrace the gay lifestyle, or to take the road that leads to growth out of homosexuality. It is my hope to help illumine the latter road--the one which leads toward wholeness.

A sixteen-year-old young man came into my office, concerned that he must be homosexual. I told him that if he was, he could choose Gay Affirmative Therapy, or he could seek to grow out of homosexuality. I then proceeded to tell him about the men in therapy with me.

At first he seemed confused and then after some consideration said: "Oh, you mean they're not yet out of the closet?"

The young man had been confused by the popular rhetoric which assumes that if you are homosexual, then the only honest response is to live out the gay identity. Believing this, he was surprised to hear that there are men who out of the fullness of their identities, choose a different struggle.

Those who seek reparative therapy do not blame social stigma for their unhappiness. Many have looked into the gay lifestyle, have journeyed what became for them a "via negativa" and returned disillusioned by what they saw. Their definition of self is integrally woven into traditional family life. They refuse to relinquish their heterosexual social identity. Rather than wage war against the natural order of society, they instead to take up the sword of an interior struggle.

As one 23-year old client explained:

"I've had these feelings and these urgings, but the idea of being of gay person is just ridiculous...it's such a strange lifestyle, on the fringes of society...it's something I could never be a part of."

Another young man said:

"I have never believed I had homosexual tendencies because I was 'born that way.' It is quite an insult to my dignity and a gross disservice to my quest for growth to be told that I have no hope for change."

Said another:

"To me, embracing a homosexual lifestyle has been like living a lie. I have found it to be a painful, confusing and destructive force in my life. Only since I have started to look at what is behind these homosexual feelings have I really begun to find peace."

I hope to be one voice in support of the non-gay homosexual--to explain in psychodynamic terms who he is, and to gain acknowledgment for his commitment. For non-gay homosexuals are typically seen as an insignificant group of people, and if society does consider them, it is with a certain derision. Their identity is lost between the cracks of popular ideology. The straight world shuns them, and the gay world considers them not their own.

The mental health profession is largely responsible for the neglect of the non-gay homosexual. In its attempt to support the liberation of gays, it has pushed underground another population. By no longer categorizing homosexuality as a problem, it has cast doubt on the validity of this other group's struggle.

This social neglect is also caused in large part by the non-gay homosexual himself. He is not likely to be found at parades or rallies celebrating his identity. He would rather resolve his conflicts quietly and discreetly. How paradoxically conservative are the men who wage this counter-cultural struggle! Today, even child molesters and prostitutes tell their stories to Oprah or Geraldo.

It is unfortunate that the non-gay must be identified by what he is not. The gay world's assumption is that what keeps him in the closet is fear or ignorance, and that with enough time and education he too will find liberation. Yet not to be gay is as much a decision and a conscious choice about one's self-identity as deciding to be gay.

For such a man, "not coming out" can be a dynamic place of growth and self-understanding, a place committed to change. To him, "the closet" is a place of choice, challenge, fellowship, faith, and growth---an interior place which has often opened up into transcendence.

We have recently made great progress in acknowledging the gay man in society. Now, the same understanding must be extended to the non-gay homosexual. He has made a valid philosophical and existential choice. He is not a guilt-ridden, intimidated, fearful person but someone who from the fullness of his own identity, seeks not to embrace--but to transcend--the homosexual predicament.

What can a parent do to help their child find healing from homosexual confusion?

What is the primary healing process for the homosexually inclined female?

What part does the demonic play in homosexual confusion?

What does being healed from homosexuality look like?

Homosexuality - Hope for Change

The "Dangers Of Ex-Gay Therapy"

Such Were Some of You Lecture

Dennis Jernigan: Freedom From Homosexuality (LIFE Today / James Robison)

Reparative Therapy

Lisa Diamond on sexual fluidity of men and women