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(LifeSiteNews) – A just-published large-scale, peer-reviewed study confirms that unwanted same-sex sexual behaviors can be significantly decreased while improving overall psychological well-being.

What’s most interesting about this new research is that therapists did not directly address the same-sex attraction of the male participants. Instead, they employed “Reintegrative Therapy,” a treatment method that seeks to identify and resolve past traumatic memories.

“Rather than using therapy to change sexuality, this therapy treats traumatic memories. Sexuality changes are a byproduct,” explained Dr. Joseph Nicolosi Jr., a licensed clinical psychologist and founder of the Reintegrative Therapy Association, a nonprofit scientific organization. “Actively attempting to change one’s sexuality might interfere with this process. Instead, we encourage clients to resolve memories they identify as being traumatic. As we support them through this journey, we let whatever happens naturally happen.”

Dr. Nicolosi referred to a pilot study published in the Journal of Psychology and Psychotherapy, which explored the successful treatment of binge eating using an identical treatment method. “Most therapists will not offer clients sexual attraction fluidity exploration because they’ve been told there is not enough research into its safety or efficacy. Now we know, thanks to this new research, that such an approach is both safe and effective.”

The landmark study focused on 75 adult males who reported same-sex attractions and chose to explore their “sexual attraction fluidity.”

“My therapist never tried to get me to change my sexuality, or who I was attracted to, but instead helped me to process traumatic memories from my past that had brought me shame and fear,” said a 30-year-old male participant with unwanted same-sex attractions.

“It was difficult to work through my memories, but after some time, I started noticing my attractions beginning to shift,” he continued. “It has been several months since I stopped my Reintegrative Therapy and the changes I experienced have remained. My attractions to other men have decreased significantly, and my attractions to women have increased.”

“I’m thankful for the time I spent processing those experiences, because I know I was not ‘born this way’ and simply destined to have those feelings, no matter what,” he added.

“The findings of this study aren’t surprising to us,” noted Dr. Carolyn Pela, professor and head of the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities at Arizona Christian University. “Supporting the self-determination and autonomy of the client, as practiced by the therapists in this study, is a common factor in beneficial and not harmful psychotherapy. Perhaps honoring the clients’ agenda to explore sexual attraction potential is the difference that made the difference with these participants.”

Legal bans on counseling for unwanted same-sex attraction harm individuals 

As a result of their findings, the study’s authors have directed strong criticism at state legislative bodies, the American Psychological Association, and other mental health associations now officially supporting legislative bans of sexual attraction sexual fluidity exploration (SAFE-T) asserting that:

Recent legislative efforts initiated by politicians and activists have limited or threatened to limit the autonomy and self-determination of individuals desiring sexual attraction fluidity exploration in therapy (SAFE-T), claiming that SAFE-T is ineffective and harmful.

[W]arnings by the American Psychological Association and other mental health associations against clients using SAFE-T are misinformed, unprofessional, and even unethical in terms of meeting the legitimate self-determination needs of clients. Similarly, the past failure of American Psychological Association to instruct those engaged in anti-SAFE-T legislation advocacy that research does not document that SAFE-T is harmful, and that all mainstream psychotherapy has a risk of harm, is no longer acceptable.

A pair of scholarly studies published last spring reached the same conclusion, challenging the long-held politically-charged notion that counseling efforts to help individuals who experience unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA) are harmful.

Together, the three studies may well turn the tide on continued legal efforts in jurisdictions around the country to ban sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) that have been waged in the past decade.

Branded with the pejorative label “conversion therapy,” SOCE have been villainized by special interest groups seeking to bolster the idea that homosexuality is an immutable trait in order to substantiate sweeping changes in laws that have served to erode humanity’s understanding of marriage; allowed a barrage of attacks undermining religious liberty; killed the operation of many Christian social programs, especially adoption and foster care organizations; and justified the purposeful denial of fathers and mothers to a generation of children being raised in same-sex households.