A quick glance at Mark A. Yarhouse, Psy.D

Director, Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity
Associate Professor, School of Psychology and Counseling
Regent University (founded by conservative industrialist/evangelist Pat Robertson)
Psy.D. Clinical Psychology, Wheaton College
M.A. Theological Studies, Wheaton College
M.A. Clinical Psychology, Wheaton College
B.A. Philosophy and Art, Calvin College, Psychology (Minor)
Vita (resume), PDF file

Yarhouse asserts that sexual orientation is distinct from a gay "identity." Yarhouse and Lori Burkett (also of Regent University) co-wrote "An Inclusive Response to LGB and Conservative Religious Persons: The Case of Same-Sex Attraction and Behavior." This was published in the APA journal Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, June 2002 (order form), pages 235-241.

The paper argues that psychologists need to recognize conservative Christian viewpoints as an "aspect of diversity" entitled to respect. The paper does not quite acknowledge the extent to which some conservative Christians, while entitled to their own religious and moral beliefs and practices, threaten diversity by imposing their beliefs and practices upon others. Instead, the paper argues (p. 236, emphasis is XGW’s):

Respecting a conservative religious person’s view of same-sex behavior is not tantamount to supporting inappropriate heterosexism (discrimination and prejudice against LGB persons that is the equivalent of racism or sexism). There is a difference between moral evaluation of same-sex behavior as volitional conduct and prejudice against another for his or her race or sex.

Regarding ex-gay organizations, the paper notes (p. 237):

It is important for professionals and ministry leaders to recognize, too, that there have been attempts to cover up sexual indiscretions by past ministry leaders. Presumably, a small percentage of ministry personnel are involved in ministry for the wrong reasons or are at least vulnerable to acting-out behavior and do not have a sufficient support system and accountability structure to facilitate their ministry.

The presumption that the number of involved personnel is small is not explained.

Later on the same page:

Some organizations may also share misinformation about sexual orientation, a concern raised by the APA’s Resolution on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. The public is often unaware that although some religious ministries and alternative therapies promote accurate information, others do not.

For psychologists, the paper recommends a middle ground in which conflicting therapies are treated as viable options, misinformation is avoided, and program effectiveness is somehow determined. But the article acknowledges a key point of disagreement (p. 238) behind these determinations: the inability to agree on what sexual orientation actually is.

Mark Yarhouse’s recent presentations and publications

From the Spring 2003 newsletter of the APA’s Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Issues:

Judith Glassgold wrote a letter on behalf of the Division to the editor of the journal Psychotherapy (Spring 2002) concerning an article by Mark Yarhouse and Warren Throckmorton. The letter addressed what we saw as serious shortcomings in the article titled “Ethical implications of attempts to ban sexual reorientation therapies." James Cantor wrote a letter on behalf of the Division to the journal Sexuality and Disability. The article in question suggested that sexual orientation change could be possible with the off-label use of medication ("Fluoxetine-associated remission of ego-dystonic male homosexuality").

In the same APA division newsletter, A. Lee Beckstead of the University of Utah presents a paper responding in part to the June 2002 paper by Yarhouse and Burkett. Beckstead writes at length about his own detailed studies of people seeking sexual reorientation therapy. From his abstract.

In this paper, I present evidence that neither conversion therapies nor typical gay-affirmative therapies have met the needs of all conflicted clients and that therapists in general need to explore new ways to reach and meet the needs of conflicted clients who are not yet ready to consider embracing a positive lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) identity.

Beckstead’s full paper is worthwhile reading.

This Google search contrasts the views of Yarhouse and APA official Doug Haldeman.

This profile will be updated as time and available information permit.

Categorized in:

Tagged in: