What is reparative therapy?

david-pickupOn his website, licensed marriage therapist David Pickup explains in a nutshell what reparative psychodynamic therapy is all about. He does so from a client’s, and from a scientific point of view. Let us see what he has to say.

Resolving causes of homosexuality: healing wounds and unmet needs.

Gender Identity Inferiority, especially during a young child’s gender/sexuality developmental years, can be a traumatic experience that is reinforced with Shame-Based Self-Beliefs for many years. For the pre-homosexual boy, and for adult men, bullying and repetitive shaming of gender identity from primary male relationships, frequently imbed this soul-wrenching Shame into the mind of the struggler.

The client experiences emotional wounds, (often repressed), that prevent the journey from boyhood into manhood from being fully realized. Maleness becomes an object to the struggler instead of something wonderful that is subjectively experienced. The result?…In puberty, when sexual hormones “kick in,” masculinity is objectified and sexualized.

Reparative Therapy helps a client resolve these wounds, which can result in the spontaneous lessening and/or dissipation of homosexual feelings. The wounds are replaced by confident subjective feelings of masculinity and self-esteem. Attractions for women can arise as well. Regardless, a man can move toward his authentic heterosexual self.

Male need fulfillment

father-son2Affirmation of gender identity, approval (unconditional love) from primary male relationships, and affection, are inborn needs. If these needs are unfulfilled, homosexual attractions in puberty and adulthood can result. Reparative Therapy helps a boy or man fulfill and “take in” these needs. This can result in the dissipation of homosexual feelings and prepare him to move toward heterosexual attractions for women.

What does real change mean?

Successful change can mean several different experiences for different men. Some men experience a natural reduction in their homosexual feelings and are satisfied with that. Some men experience dramatic reduction in their homosexual feelings and develop strong, emotionally intimate, non-sexual relationships with other men. Some men experience dramatic dissipation in homosexual feelings, bonded, affirming relationships with other men, then move on to attractions and love for women with whom they create loving marriages and families.

In short, successful change is in the “eye of the beholder.” Maximizing a man’s heterosexual potential can and does occur with movtivated clients because these men believe they were born for heterosexuality. By the way, did you know that eliminating shame for having homosexual feelings is one of the very first priorities of authentic Reparative Therapy?

Aversion techniques, behavioral-only changes, electroshock and the like are extremely outdated and obsolete. They are NOT a part of authentic Reparative Therapy. Truly effective therapy is hard work. Deep emotions are experienced, and wounds are healed. This can, in time, result in spontaneous and successful change.

Scientific and Anecdotal Evidence Scientific Evidence

There is significant scientific evidence which demonstrates that sexuality is rather fluid in nature and can be changed. The well-known Spitzer Study and the Jones/Yarhouse Study are two significant examples. I recommend the “Journal of Human Sexuality,” available on http://www.narth.com. This publication gives the reader many valuable resources that give much insight into the causes and treatment of homosexuality as well as compelling evidence of change.

Anecdotal Evidence:

This type of evidence is simply the emotional experiences that clients report after they have experienced therapy in session and in their everyday lives. See the brand new site, http://www.voices-of-change.org. This is the first website created to bring together in one place many stories of successful therapeutic change. Also, look at some of the experiences which clients have reported below:

Marc from Phoenix:

“This really works. I realized being gay was not who I really was. This is tough work, but worth everything to me.”

Jim from Burbank:

“This whole manhood thing and getting real love and affirmation from men feels a lot better than sex with men.”

Cary from San Diego:

“My depression lifted. I feel my own power as a man. Homosexual feelings just don’t come up anymore or rarely. And, I’m falling in love with a woman. We’re talking about getting married.”

Take a Look at Two Sides:

There is certainly much controversy about homosexuality today. One side of the issue states that homosexuality has a cause/effect nature based on severe gender identity inferiority and unfulfilled male emotional needs. The other side simply states that homosexuality is inborn and unchangable.

Have you noticed something? One’s life, our society, the entire world will change radically on the answer to this single question; Is Homosexuality inborn or not inborn? If it is inborn, individuals and therapists are participating in therapy that will probably not work. If it is not inborn, then Gay individuals and Gay affirmative therapists are participating in therapies that will probably not lead to ultimate fulfillment or happiness. Ultimately, every person must decide for himself.

The men that come to Reparative Therapy in the world today come because they believe in their hearts that homosexuality, for them, is truly not inborn. They can feel it. But they often don’t know that change is possible, or what to do about it. I invite you to take a look at both sides of the issue, and make up your mind for yourself. The first rule of good scientific evidence for any issue is to be open to consideration of ALL the evidence.”home-75-p-final

David Pickup, LMFT (click here).