Saturday, July 09, 2011

Quote of the Day

Note: Truth Wins Out activist John Becker (pictured at right) recently took a hidden camera with him to five therapy sessions at a Christian counseling center run by Marcus Bachmann, husband of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann.

. . . At the start of our second session I went straight to the point: what could I do? Would I ever be able to be completely rid of homosexuality, or merely learn to cope with and manage it? [Clinic counselor Timothy] Wiertzema’s response was that it’s situational. Some people have been able to get rid of it completely over a long time period, others over a shorter time period. Still others are able to get it to “subside,” down to a “manageable” level, but it’s still there in the background. He asked me, “Are you okay with knowing that it might take awhile, and that it might not . . . maybe not happen at all? . . . Obviously, it’s not okay, in a way, but . . .” I said that I wanted to give it a go, that it was better to try than to not try.

Interestingly, this exchange was the only time during all of my sessions at Bachmann & Associates that Wiertzema or anyone else ever brought up the risk of this treatment failing. In later sessions he would say that he “. . .think[s] it’s possible to be totally free of [same-sex attraction]. For sure.” and that “It’s happened! It really has happened to people.” I was never told that every professional medical and mental health association rejects “ex-gay” therapy including the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, and the American Counseling Association, or that the treatment I was seeking was totally unsupported by research. I was never informed about possible alternative treatment options such as gay-affirmative therapy. Nobody ever told me about the potential for harmful side effects like depression and suicidal thoughts. And although I was asked to sign a treatment plan outlining my problem, desired outcome, and treatment strategy, I was never given nor asked to sign any kind of informed consent document that disclosed the above information about “ex-gay” therapy. As such, I believe Bachmann & Associates to be practicing unethically, even by the standards of the American Association of Christian Counselors. This is particularly disconcerting given the fact that Marcus Bachmann’s clinic has received significant funding from the State of Minnesota and the federal government. . . .

– John Becker
"How I Went Undercover at Bachmann's Clinic"
The Advocate
July 9, 2011

Above: Michele and Marcus Bachmann.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
It's Official: APA Opposes "Reparative Therapy"
The Continuum Just Shrank
When Quackery Goes Mainstream
Gay Catholics, Courage and Reparative Therapy
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Courage
Notes from the "Laughable But Tragic" World of Courage
John Townsend Responds to His Critics
The Cowardice of Courage
"Conversion Therapy" and the Pseudo-Science of NARTH
Debunking NARTH (Part 1)
Debunking NARTH (Part 2)
The Many Manifestations of God's Loving Embrace

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