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November 2023 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.

History of The Alliance

This month the ALLIANCE newsletter is happy to share some history of ATCSI. An appreciative thank you goes out to Alliance chair of the Research Division, Dr. Christopher Rosik, Ph.D., who is the primary source of content for this issue. Readers will note a dominant role for the Alliance has been;


  1. Research and empirical study of sexual preference and behavior.
  2. The clinical care of those with unwanted same-sex attractions.


This division of the Alliance is predicated on the importance of research and the strong empirical process required to provide practical and ethical mental health support. The current lack of ideological diversity among researchers in this area means that the literature is subject to unintentional and (sometimes) intentional bias in interpretation and an incomplete understanding of what the science can and cannot tell us. Sadly, our cultural moment gives witness to a serious breakdown of scientifically valid clinical treatment.  The research division strives to provide some counterbalance to this professional lacuna through several means that include the following:


  • Producing articles, information and research that are suitable content for the Alliance website and the Journal of Human Sexuality.
  • Providing critical reviews of current research on sexual orientation and related topics to disseminate to our membership and the general public.
  • Producing an annual updated research report that can be used to educate professionals and a public version suitable for informing a general audience.
  • Developing research-based documents that can be used to defend clinical processes and client self-determination in the courts, legislatures, and with professional organizations.

 

We build alliances with and strive to be a resource for like-minded organizations – in ways that do not undermine our commitment to science and clinical / client integrity – in order to protect the right of individuals to receive therapeutic assistance from licensed professionals to live lives congruent with their personal values and goals.


The research division has provided much of the content presented on the Alliance website and in our journal that many have come to rely on to obtain a fully informed perspective regarding the science of sexual orientation and the practice of sexual attraction fluidity exploration in therapy (SAFE-T). We remain the only professional mental health organization dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals experiencing unwanted same-sex attractions and behaviors to pursue their self-determined goals in therapy and the rights of therapists to provide such care.


We encourage your membership in the Alliance as a way of supporting our division and welcome participation in our division by any member who has an interest in conducting, reviewing, and/or disseminating research to provide a highly needed alternative perspective on the science of sexual orientation and SAFE-T.

Dr. Christopher H. Rosik, Ph.D.

Chair of Research Division

Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCE FOR THERAPEUTIC CHOICE AND SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY

In 1992, three mental-health professionals—Charles Socarides, Benjamin Kaufman, and Joseph Nicolosi—founded the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) to continue the scientific study of homosexuality and its treatment.


Socarides, a psychiatrist who had written extensively on the subject and foresaw that the gay-rights movement would undermine societal gender roles and the family, became NARTH’s first president. Kaufman, also a psychiatrist and Clinical Professor at the University of California School of Medicine, served as vice-president, while Nicolosi, a psychologist and director of the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic, which specialized in clinical care of unwanted same-sex attraction and behavior, was the first executive director.


HISTORY


An example of the courageous work of NARTH, includes this summary dated 1998, when NARTH board member A. Dean Byrd co-authored a letter criticizing the American Psychological Association (APA) for publishing an article in Psychological Bulletin that appeared to be a veiled attempt to decriminalize pedophilia, noting that one of the article’s co-authors had published other articles in Paidika, The Journal of Pedophilia. This drew attention to the article and ultimately led to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives (355 to 0 with 13 abstentions) to condemn the APA’s publication of it.


NARTH leaders had also legally contested the first-in-the-nation ban on change-exploring therapies for minors in California and could see that the struggle to preserve therapy options, especially for religiously conservative individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction, was going to be a defining focus for the organization going forward. This, combined with an awareness of how increasingly politicized social-science research had become, led to a new organizational identity.


In 2014, NARTH expanded to include non-clinicians, such as clergy, religious counselors, families, and those involved in policy development. NARTH was subsumed into a larger organizational structure with a new name that better described its mission as the culture shifted, The Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity (ATCSI).

FOR "A MORE COMPLETE TRUTH"

The ATCSI structure expanded to comprise six divisions to give more opportunity for people with diverse backgrounds and interests to affiliate:

(1) Ethics, Family, and Faith.

(2) Public Education.

(3) Client Rights.

(4) Clinical.

(5) Research.

(6) Medical.


During this time, given the mounting legal entanglements surrounding change-exploring therapy, ATCSI also created an attorney position on the Board that continues to guide Board activities. In 2022, the ATCSI Board updated its mission statement to read:


The Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity [ATCSI] 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.


As the political movement to legally ban “conversion therapy” gained momentum, ATCSI leadership responded by becoming increasingly involved in efforts to challenge this threat to ATCSI therapists’ work of non-coercive psychological and pastoral speech-based care. In 2019, ATCSI was instrumental in the first-in-the-nation overturning of laws banning therapy in Boca Raton and Tampa, Florida. Several current or former ATCSI board members were involved in these cases, which have subsequently been upheld by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.


Moreover, the defendants did not appeal the cases to the Supreme Court, no doubt out of the realistic fear that SCOTUS as currently comprised would likely uphold the decision, thus striking down all therapy bans across the nation. ATCSI leadership has continued to challenge laws restricting client and therapist freedoms, to provide legal briefs and expert testimonies, and to serve as plaintiffs in legal actions against a number of states and cities. There are currently discordant decisions among different Federal Circuit Courts regarding therapy bans, so there is hope among ATCSI leaders and many others that SCOTUS will soon find it necessary to address this issue.

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

Daren.Mehl@TherapeuticChoice.com


Visit our Website www.therapeuticChoice.com