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What is Reparative Therapy?

There is a great deal of misunderstanding of what Reparative Therapy is. For some, it means any attempt to counsel someone who is seeking a path away from same-sex attraction, whether that may lead to celibacy or a change in orientation with the potential for marriage. Others understand that it is actually a specific theory of the causation of homosexuality and a way to repair what is thought to be a mis-directed drive of sexual attraction.

The following is an article that gives a good description of this particular type of counseling:


As you can read elsewhere on my blog, (https://sswh.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/elements-of-change-solid-counseling-part-1/ & https://sswh.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/elements-of-change-solid-counseling-part-2/), I am thankful that in the counseling I received, there was not an attempt to pigeon-hole me into one particular type of counseling theory. I agree with Heath Lambert when he points out that not everyone’s life fits into the model that RT uses.

Someone recently asked me what I thought was the “cause” of homosexuality. There may be genetic and hormonal influences, but none which are definitive. (See the research which has been done on the sexual orientation of identical twins, as one example.) And there are influences in our environment, and none of those are definitive, either. (Not everyone who has been through sexual abuse as a child goes on to have same-sex attractions, for example.)

I believe that our sexuality and our sexual orientation is complex, and currently remains a mystery. In answer to the question of what is the “cause” of homosexuality, my reply is to point to the stars, and say that the factors are as numerous as they are.

I do find that Mr. Lambert’s critique falls short in that it is not too difficult to apply Biblical principals to the track that RT takes. I am glad that he does remember to mention that RT may well be helpful for some who have had the kind of upbringing that fits into this particular model.

There has been a movement to make any type of counseling for those seeking to leave homosexuality behind illegal. That is such an absurd idea to me – until I remember that so many people have bought into the line of thought that this kind of counseling is always damaging to individuals with same-sex attractions. This is part of the reason why it is important for those of us who have experienced a fluidity in our orientation – who have noted significant, sustainable change – to speak up and let our stories be known.


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