In the “reporting” by Gay City News regarding the now-cancelled APA symposium, a claim was made about the Sexual Identity Therapy framework. The symposium, approved by the APA program committee 7 months ago, was to include a presentation of this framework and related issues which would have allowed for questions and discussion.
The GCN said I am an advocate for sexual identity therapy and described it this way:
“Sexual Identity Therapy,” which he [Throckmorton] says he has successfully applied to help patients “alter homosexual feelings or behaviors” and live their lives “heterosexually” with “only very few weak instances of homosexual attraction.”
This is false. The article attributes to me claims about SIT I have never made. In fact, the SIT framework says this:
Prior to outlining the recommendations, let us define what they are not. They are not sexual reorientation therapy protocols in disguise.
The SIT framework, first contemplated formally in 2005, does not advance any means to do what the GCN article references (“alter homosexual feelings or behavior”), nor do they provide any reference for their assertion. Putting these phrases in quotes makes it appear that I have been quoted in reference to SIT when in fact that is not true. The SIT framework provides an ethical set of guidelines for therapists and clients pursuing a variety of goals but does not prescribe any specific goals. Some clients may wish to alter their sexual behavior but SIT does not prescribe this end unless it is the objective of an individual client.
The article said that there is no research support for the SIT framework and while it is true that we have no outcome studies as yet. It is misleading to portray it as being without research foundation. A review of the SIT framework will demonstrate that we have taken into account current research regarding sexual orientation, sexual identity and specify that clients should be informed about the positions of professional associations regarding homosexuality.
Those wishing to characterize the framework should read it first. Those with specific questions or criticisms, please alert either Mark Yarhouse or me.