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January 2024 Newsletter

The Alliance exists to encourage human flourishing by promoting a more complete truth, informed by Judeo-Christian values and natural law, about the science of sexual orientation and biological sex through education, advocacy, clinical training, and therapy.

PAIN, HELPLESSNESS & SEXUAL IDENTITIES

The overwhelming cultural shouting in today’s moment declares that same-sex attraction and disliked birth sex are genetic absolutes. Youngsters with negative self-image issues are bombarded with this ‘good news!’ Hand-held devices promise the GOOD NEWS! What news is this? You have a LGBTQ+ ‘IDENTITY!’ The next false promise is that sexual arousal patterns and gender insecurity define your identity. What follows is promises that there will be a hospitable community in which you will be loved and accepted! Find your ‘gay’ lover or ‘trans’ community and you will live happily ever after. 


Interestingly a quick internet search reveals that the “+” in the LGBTQ+ label is not uniformly defined at all. The number of claimed sexual identities on page one, of said web-search, was 46 identities, then 81 identities, then 20, then 73 and finally California’s Elementary School recommended ‘Genderbread Man’ curriculum recognizing a paltry 10 sexual identities.


Dallas Willard, in The Divine Conspiracy (1998), suggests that “spiritual” is the universal human identity. This is quite a contrast to the emotional and intellectual mayhem of anywhere from 10 to 81+ identities. “It is not just something that we ought to be. It is something that we are and cannot escape, regardless how we feel about it, it is our nature and our destiny.” Willard develops this thought from the Judeo-Christian understanding of spirituality. A powerful Western cultural root is the 10 commandments. These roots are recognized in the ‘Moses’ sculpture on the East side of the Supreme Court building where he is holding the two stone tablets articulating the ‘Law’ handed down from God for His beloved people. The first of these 10 Divinely provided laws is ”You shall have no other gods before me.” This gets us to a manageable number of identities. We either move toward or we move away, from this Divine Source. Toward or away – now we are down to two possible identities.


Every human being does have a spiritual identity. Sexual expression or behavior is a condition, not an identity. The spiritual identity is defined by what one believes about herself or himself. Should I believe that my sexual attractions and behaviors are what defines me, then my spirituality is the assortment of ‘beliefs’ connected to the sexuality of my being. In other words, some combination of the physiological, psychological, emotional blend of patterned neurological sexual sensations and/or behaviors comprise what I believe about myself. Beliefs shape spiritual identity for everyone. We all are spiritual believers. 


In the real world, traumas such as child abuse, isolation, abandonment, sexual molestation, perceptions of neglect or being inferior, unwanted, inadequate, or lacking peer acceptance, all are widely experienced gateways to disliked birth sex - ‘Trans’ identities, or same sex attraction - ‘Gay’ identities. Help for the children who experience these incredibly painful traumas can be elusive. Cities, states and countries are all being pressured to remove the possibility of health care for unwanted sexual and gender attractions. The terms ‘conversion therapy’ and ‘SOCE’ (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts) are not shaped by mental health medical science but are pretentious terms with a political agenda. This politicized science is being actively enshrined in American law and culture. The worldview, in which autonomy and self-expression are the highest possible belief systems or values, opens the door to tyranny. In this environment an individual who dislikes, or even hates aspects of their sexuality, is not permitted to seek needed health care. Using the term ‘sexual identity’ any pattern of exciting the chemical, hormonal, emotional, experiential sexual response is arbitrarily labeled an ‘identity.’ 

Andy Visser

Alliance Board President

Chair of the Ethics, Family and Faith Division

andy.visser@therapeuticchoice.com

ATSCI 2023 CONFERENCE REVIEW

Following a three-year hiatus due to COVID, the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity reconvened its’ in- person conference on November 10, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year’s conference was attended by a smaller but enthusiastic group of therapists and other supporters. Those in attendance were treated to two great keynote speakers, both of whom addressed the transgender phenomenon occurring currently in our society. Michelle Cretella, M.D., outlined some helpful scientific findings and resources for addressing this issue in her talk entitled, “Transgender belief: Where Does the Science lead?”  The other plenary speaker was psychiatrist A. A. Howsepian, M.D., Ph.D., who spoke on “Ethical, Conceptual, and Clinical Cautions Concerning the Diagnosis And Treatment of Gender Dysphoria and Transgender Identification.”  


A variety of breakout sessions also took place, covering topics including new research findings, treatment guidance, and partnering with the faith community. Faculty for these sessions included Michale Gasparro, Joseph Nicolosi, Jr., Michael Cox, Christopher Rosik, and Andy Visser. The intent is to have all these presentations available for streaming so that even those unable to attend the conference in person can share in the intellectual stimulation and clinical insights provided by this year’s team of speakers.


Prior to the conference, the ATSCI Board met to strategize for the upcoming year. The Board prioritized and discussed several important issues, including recruiting additional board members (announcements will be forthcoming!), coordinating on technology efficiently with our operations manager, Daren Mehl, setting a yearly budget and ways to continue to strengthen the Journal of Human Sexuality. The 2023 issue of the journal has been completed and should be arriving in Alliance supporter’s email box soon. Overall, it was a very productive and morale building time together that the Board anticipates will grow as the ATSCI prepares for next year’s conference, tentatively scheduled for Minneapolis, Minnesota, on September 20-21, 2024.

Christopher Rosik, Ph.D. 

Chair Research Division

International Foundation for Therapeutic and Counseling Choice (IFTCC)

Dr Mike Davidson, Alliance board member and Chairman of the International Foundation for Therapeutic and Counseling Choice (IFTCC), is seeking further signatories for the IFTCC’s International Declaration on “Conversion Therapy” and Therapeutic Choice. The maximization of signatories is particularly critical now as the IFTCC has recently submitted their application to the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). The PSA oversees the ten statutory bodies that regulate health professionals in the United Kingdom and social care in England. Where occupations are not subject to statutory regulation, it sets standards for those organizations that hold voluntary registers and accredits those that meet them. 


The Declaration can be viewed and signed here:  https://iftcc.org/the-declaration


Several Alliance leaders have already lent their names to this important effort and encourage you to do so as well.

Have you been helped by the Alliance? Let us know! We’d like to share your story in our next newsletter.


Andy Visser

President, The Alliance

Andy.Visser@TherapeuticChoice.com


Daren Mehl

Operations Manager, The Alliance

contactus@TherapeuticChoice.com

Visit our Website www.therapeuticChoice.com