Recently, on Christy Carlson Romano’s podcast Vulnerable, former Disney actor Matthew Scott Montgomery described his experience with reparative therapy with Dr. Joseph Nicolosi Jr., the son of the well-known reparative therapist and apologist. Montgomery described the practice as Christian, and claiming to treat Hollywood stars seeking to become straight. He said, “This place specifically was for gay men who wanted to be turned from gay to straight and make it as a straight movie star in Los Angeles. That’s what this place was.”
He went on to describe rather elaborate precautions used to keep well-known people from bumping into others, people who presumably didn’t want to be “outed” and cause harm to their careers. But most interesting to us was his description of one phase of his therapy. Most of it up to this point sounded rather routine by Nicolosi’s standards, mostly talk.
However, he went on to describe what he called “electroshock therapy.” The description, however, sounds more like aversion therapy. The relevant discussion is during the five minutes after the starting point marked in the video above.
We have nothing but disdain for reparative therapy and there are no legitimate studies to suggest it is effective. That said, Nicolosi’s father was never known to use aversion therapy in his practice. Likewise, the procedures relayed by Montgomery have never been mentioned by any of his former patients, many of whom now consider themselves ex-ex-gay. It seems unlikely that Nicolosi’s father would have allowed this to go on.
Since Montgomery said his therapist was Nicolosi’s son, this may indicate that things have changed since his father’s passing. We have contacted Nicolosi to ask for his response but have not yet heard back. We will add any response to this post if and when we get one. As we said in an earlier post, aversion therapy is ineffective and its use at their clinic would signal a change in direction. We will discuss more about the changes Nicolosi’s son has made in a planned upcoming post.