According to a press statement, the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity (ATCSI) has decided to update the terminology of therapy in order that the new terminology be more in line with current scientific insights. Phrases from the previous century like the old-fashioned phrase “conversion therapy” no longer reflect the goals and possibilities of modern licensed secular psychotherapy. The Alliance Board settled upon the name ”Sexual Attraction Fluidity Exploration in Therapy” (the acronym of which is SAFE-T), as stated in their latest press announcement.
Now that scientific research since the year 2000 has proven that same-sex attractions are not a genetically induced, immutable or hard-wired expression of sexuality, the concept of sexual fluidity is finally becoming more mainstream. Recent studies of, for example, the British population demonstrate that up to 75% of citizens no longer see homosexual feelings as a fixed state of mind. Studies have demonstrated that people who experience same-sex attractions also bear within them the full range of heterosexual capabilities, although they may often not be aware of them.
More accurate terminology
The board of the ATCSI has 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.
They have settled upon the name SAFE-T. In doing so, they stress that their psychotherapeutic work does not aim at enforcing some kind of change on anyone, but rather on helping them to investigate and explore their full range of sexual potential, leaving it up to them to set their own goals in life.
The Board stresses that its new term has many advantages that commend its usage. It demonstrates more clearly what is actually happening in licensed therapy, as opposed to non-licensed, non-regulated and often non-secular practices, which are sometimes marketed as “therapy”. Categorical change is not the goal of the Association and updating the terminology helps avoid creating unrealistic expectations for many clients.
The aim of licensed psychiatric therapy for sexual attractions is to demonstrate to a client his/her full sexual potential and investigate how their experiences up to now, are to be understood and accepted from a scientific point of view. In doing so, further growth can be enhanced and achievement of an over-all higher level of well-being is possible for the client.
“Sexual orientation” does not exist as an entity
By focusing on sexual attractions it avoids the implicit assertion that orientation changes or that “sexual orientation” as an immutable reality even exists. In our article on this website “The False Notion of Sexual Orientation”, we have argued that:
“For a psychotherapist there is no such thing as a ‘sexual orientation’. The only thing that you can work on with a client is personal feelings and demonstrable behavior. They are the only things that really exist.
A phrase like ‘sexual orientation’ is merely a label, a Western cultural convention, a sweeping generalization in which a vast amount of contradictory feelings, psychological resistances, behavior and ongoing social interaction is whittled down to a one-size-fits-all substance, put in a blender and then whisked until a single entity emerges.
Sexual orientation is merely an idea, a sociological abstraction, a divisive label to cut human reality into two bits. And “never the twain shall meet”, to make matters even worse. This cultural idea then starts living a life of its own. The more people repeat the abstract phrase, the more real it begins to sound. And if enough people engage in parroting what they have heard, then surely it must be true. And if it is true, then we must act on it. We must embrace it as a fundamental reality located deep down inside the mind of each and every individual. Surely it is located in genes, yes, absolutely down in the DNA. In a matter of time, the abstract sociological notion will be searched for, in the near-abouts of gene Xjy52 or 54. We haven’t found it yet, but the results are promising, so we are assured.
Well, there are no gay genes, and there is no evidence of being born that way. Homosexual feelings are the result of psychosexual development way after birth, so science has now shown.”
Because an inborn ‘Sexual Orientation’ does not exist, then neither does the term ‘Sexual Orientation Change Effort’ (SOCE) have any real meaning or significance.
By stressing therapeutic exploration of feelings and behavior (the only things that DO exist), 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 by Alliance clinicians as harmful.
The Alliance believes that it is up to the client to choose to look into his full range of sexual feelings, and to become aware of any new potential which is invisible from his current view. He also has the right to understand where his current feelings come from; they do not just pop up out of nowhere. It is his right to make his own decisions and take on the responsibility for his own life. It is not up to the therapist to affirm him in one way or another. Alliance therapists offer insight; it is then up to the client to give his existence personal meaning.
Many of the older names of therapeutic treatments have taken on negative connotations and are currently being used by gay activists to discredit and to criminalize therapies and therapists who seek to give clients more insight into their sexual attractions. In addition, the liberal media often slander psychotherapy sought by clients and offered by qualified therapists as “harmful” or “quackery.”
Use of terms like “conversion therapy” or “SOCE” (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts) have been used to demonize legitimate therapy and make them appear coercive and forced upon individuals with same-sex attractions. For these reasons, ATCSI has chosen to denounce these stigmatizing portrayals of their professional and licensed activity and to embrace a better and more accurate name, SAFE-T, to describe legitimate therapy which helps people to explore their full potential in sexual fluidity.
Click here for the full press announcement from ATCSI.