On Monday morning, May 7, I had the privilege of speaking to the Psychiatry Section of the Christian Medical and Dental Association about the Sexual Identity Therapy Framework. The Psychiatry Section of the CMDA always meets at the same time and place as the American Psychiatric Association conference, which met this year in Philadelphia. Thanks to Nadine Nyhus, section Chair, for the invitation.
Most of my time was spent presenting an update on developments regarding the SIT Framework since 2008. In May of that year, I was slated to be a part of symposium during the APA conference on therapeutic issues and same sex attraction. The panel was to be moderated by John Peteet with papers from Bishop Gene Robinson, David Scasta, Albert Mohler and me. The symposium was cancelled after Bishop Gene Robinson backed out. He had become convinced that somehow the panel would support reparative therapy. Of course, nothing could have been further from the truth. However, with his abrupt departure, the panel became the subject of intense controversy with gay advocates demanding that the APA to pull the plug, which they did.
The day after we were scheduled to present in 2008, I presented a talk, along with Rev. Mohler, to the Psychiatry section. My talk Monday picked up where I left off then and included a summary of the 2009 American Psychological Association Task Force Report. As we have pointed out here on this site, the SIT Framework was cited favorably in the APA report as a means of providing sensitive, affirming care for those who present with sexual identity conflicts.
The Power Point presentation I used can be viewed here.
Dr. Mark Yarhouse coauthored an article with Dr. Lee Beckstead that appears in the journal, Counseling and Values, Vol. 56, no. 1-2, October 2011. The article is titled, “Using Group Therapy to Navigate and Resolve Sexual Orientation and Religious Conflicts.”
Here is the abstract:
This article considers the use of group therapy to explore sexual identity questions in light of religious beliefs and values. The authors describe the basis of their group therapy approaches for sexual, religious, and social conflicts that differ from approaches that provide group members only the option of sexual reorientation to an ex-gay identity or adoption of a lesbian, gay, or bisexual identity. The authors come from different backgrounds and discuss how their perspectives and biases can potentially affect group process and outcome. They present guidelines, structure, content, and strategies for their group therapy approaches.
The Sexual Identity Therapy (SIT) Framework is discussed in the journal article as one of several emerging approaches to resolving sexual identity conflicts. Dr. Yarhouse then goes on to write about how he conducts group therapy within the SIT Framework by drawing on cognitive-behavioral, person-centered, and narrative theoretical orientations by focusing on attributional search for sexual identity, navigating religious identity, and facilitating personal congruence. The articles closes with a discussing of the authors’ combined understanding in terms of how their approaches are similar and strategies they recommend for resolving sexual identity conflicts.
Dr. Mark Yarhouse will be presenting at the American Association of Christian Counselors World Conference in Nashville, TN, September 29, 2011. His workshop is on key concepts drawn from his research and clinical experience and tied to how he approaches sexual identity in clinical practice. These concepts include a three-tier distinction (between attractions, orientation and identity), weigthed aspects of identity (e.g., gender identity, biological sex, attractions, behaviors, etc.), and congruence (so that beliefs/values are reflected in behavior/identity). Dr. Trista Carr and Richard Morton will reflect on how they have experienced these concepts in practical ways in their work and ministry, as well as in their own lives.