The AgapePress is reporting that Dr. Warren Throckmorton has expressed concerns about Richard Cohen and his unorthodox reparative therapy practices.
Psychologist Dr. Warren Throckmorton, director of college counseling at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, maintains a blog on sexual identity change therapy and related information for interested individuals. He is not a reparative therapist, but he claims Cohen’s techniques as demonstrated on CNN are bizarre and are not based on solid research.
I agree that Cohen’s methods are extreme and are embarrasing to the ex-gay movement. I do question, however, the assumption that there are any techniques that are based on solid research. Unfortunately, there has not been solid research to determine whether, and to what extent, any techniques are effective.
Throckmorton has severed some ties with Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), an anti-gay advocacy organization, resulting from Cohen’s continued presidency of that organization.
Throckmorton has notified PFOX that, although he supports its mission and its belief that people are not born homosexual, he will not represent the group as long as Cohen remains its board president.
There may have been a simplification of Throckmorton’s position as I recall that Throckmorton has indicated that some people are born without a sexual attraction to the opposite sex and has recognized that some same sex attraction is “owed” to biological factors.
Nonetheless, I commend Warren on his decision. By removing his credibility from practitioners of strange methods like “holding therapy” and bioenergetics, Throckmorton brings the ex-gay movement one step closer to accountability.
I further wish Dr. Throckmorton well in his endeavor to establish guidelines for those few counselors who believe that reorientation yields results. I would also encourage the doctor to consider the determination of the goals and expectations of the participants – whether heterosexuality, celibacy, or “tools” for resisting temptation – and the tracking of the meeting of those goals and expectations as part of the protocol.