Peter Sprigg

There is no magic process to turn homosexuals into heterosexuals. But don’t tell that to Peter Sprigg at Family Research Council — a designated hate group. Today Sprigg writes (at FRC’s blog): “Therapists Addressing Same-Sex Attractions are Joining the SAFE-T Patrol.” Later on we learn from Sprigg that he is referring to; “Sexual Attraction Fluidity Exploration in Therapy—or ‘SAFE-T’.”

We know what is coming from this crap. Some fuckwit is going to intentionally confuse fluidity in sexual orientation with the claimed ability to change sexual orientation through an external influence. In a word (unoriginal as it might be): Bullshit.

The phrase comes from Christopher Rosik, Ph.D at Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity FKA NARTH. Rosik’s PhD, by the way, is from Fuller School of Psychology which is the doctoral program of Fuller Theological Seminary from which Rosik has an MA in religious studies. The subheading of Rosik’s paper is “Creating a clearer impression of professional therapies that allow for
.” Most of the articles that Rosik has written appear in the Journal of Psychology and Christianity. It is published by the Christian Association for Psychological Studies and is not peer reviewed. 

According to Sprigg:

If you follow news about the LGBT movement, you may have heard that there are major efforts underway to ban “conversion therapy.”

There are a number of serious problems with this effort—one of which is that no one who engages in the process of helping people overcome unwanted same-sex attractions refers to it as “conversion therapy.” The use of such an outdated term is proof that critics of change therapy are completely out of touch with (or deliberately distorting) what it actually entails.

Whatever you choose to call it, conversion therapy is a scam. It is also harmful and opposed by every psychiatric, psychological and counseling professional organization. But Sprigg, a Baptist minister, knows more than they do. There are two reasons that people have “unwanted” sexual orientation; Scripture and peer pressure (which is usually the result of scripture). A professional therapist will deal with the individual’s ego and need to conform. He or she will build on ego strengths. In contrast, conversion therapists rely on egocentricity which builds upon weakness.

The Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity (formerly the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) is the leading scientific organization representing professional therapists committed to helping clients with unwanted SSA achieve their goals. The Alliance, which recently held its annual conference in Dallas, has coined a new term to overcome some of the weaknesses and distortions of older labels.

NARTH (by any name) is a religious organization. There is nothing scientific about it. “Professional therapists” is oxymoronic when used in conjunction with any form of conversion therapy. It is unprofessional. Highly unprofessional.

The new term is Sexual Attraction Fluidity Exploration in Therapy—or “SAFE-T” for short. Christopher Rosik, Ph.D., issued a statement explaining some of the rationale (I have added the bullet points, and my own comments are in brackets):

  • [The term SAFE-T] does not imply that categorical change is the goal
    and in so doing create unrealistic expectations for many clients.
  • Nor does it imply that change which is less than categorical in nature cannot be meaningful and satisfying to clients.
  • It also makes clear that SAFE can occur in any number of therapeutic modalities. [In other words, this is not a distinctive type of therapy at all, but rather a goal or topic that can be pursued using a range of therapy types.]
  • Furthermore, by focusing on sexual attractions it avoids the
    implicit assertion that orientation changes or that orientation as an
    immutable reality even exists. [I have noted that “sexual orientation”
    is a vague term that, depending on the context, is sometimes used to
    refer to sexual attractions, behaviors, self-identification, or some
    combination of the three. It is more meaningful to address these
    elements separately.]
  • By stressing therapeutic exploration, the new term accurately
    conveys that the therapist is not being coercive but merely assisting
    individuals in a client-centered examination of their sexual
  • … [T]he acronym SAFE-T immediately challenges portrayals of the
    professional therapy utilized by Alliance clinicians as harmful.

Thus we are presented with a redefinition (for convenience) of sexual orientation. They claim that the term is ambiguous. It is not.

What we have here is religious-oriented reparative therapy repackaged for marketing purposes. There does not exist an intellectually honest comparison of fluidity in sexual orientation to sexual orientation change. What was the word I used earlier? Oh, yeah: Bullshit!

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.