The Question of ‘Harm’
November 8, 2013

“This is a moderate, sensible and open review of the evidence on therapy for those who experience unwanted same-sex attraction. It finds that people may wish to contain or change their orientation for a variety of personal, family, social and religious reasons. Some such people can be helped by properly informed and regulated therapy. Claims that this is always harmful are shown to be based on ideological bias rather than strict science”.

Bishop Michael NazirAli

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There are many reasons why a person might consult a therapist for psychological help. No therapeutic intervention is entirely without risk, and the range of conditions for which therapists offer help may be ranked conceptually in terms of risk of harm, from the least to the most risky. At one end of the spectrum, a man may seek help to overcome his nerves in making a speech at his daughter’s wedding. At the other, a man may feel that he is actually a woman ‘trapped in a man’s body’, and may be offered help even to the point of having major surgery and being given hormone treatment to achieve his life goals – with clearly serious potential risks should all not go according to plan.

Between these two extremes lie countless different conditions withvarying degrees of therapeutic risk. It is normal for therapies to be offered ethically throughout the range, subject to the twin principles of client autonomy and informed consent.

With one exception

Any therapist in the UK offering to help a client to reduce unwanted same-sex attraction can now expect to be struck off the register of their professional body. Why should this be? The primary reason is that all therapies geared to such a goal are now alleged to be ‘harmful’.  ‘Out of Harm’s Way’ investigates the issue of ‘harm’ and the politicisation of UKProfessional Mental Health Bodies.

“We are living in a time when the political agendas of activists within professional associations and governmental agencies have taken precedence over the pursuit of scientifically grounded answers regarding therapeutically aided change in unwanted same-sex attractions and behaviors. By sharing their personal experiences and professional reflections on the issues of harm and ethical care in the provision of change oriented intervention, O’Callaghan and Davidson have provided a helpful corrective to this state of affairs”.

Dr Christopher Rosik, Clinical Psychologist, President of NARTH

“For readers who want to know the real science about the homosexual condition– not the politically acceptable interpretation that one hears from our mental-health associations or the popular media–this publication is definitely a must-read”.

Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D. Clinical Director, Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic

Core Issues is a non-profit Christian ministry supporting men and women with homosexual issues who voluntarily seek change in sexual preference and expression.

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