Robert Spitzer endorses sexual identity therapy framework

Dr. Spitzer recently wrote in an email:

I have reviewed the sexual identity framework written by Warren Throckmorton and Mark Yarhouse. This framework provides a very necessary outline to help therapists address the important concerns of clients who are in conflict over their homosexual attractions. The work of Drs. Throckmorton and Yarhouse transcend polarized debates about whether gays can change their sexual orientation. Rather, this framework helps therapists work with clients to craft solutions tailored to their individual situations and personal beliefs and values. I support this framework and hope it is widely implemented.

Robert L. Spitzer, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York City, NY. Co-editor of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental and Emotional Disorders, 3rd Edition and 3rd Edition (Revised).


  1. Braden on June 22, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    This is remarkable.

  2. Anonymous on June 26, 2007 at 11:59 pm

    Warren and Mark,

    I can appreciate and agree with most of what is in this document, but I am greatly disturbed over two parts of it:

    1) It says “An assessment of the consequences of same-sex
    attractions and a potential gay identity to aspects of ethnic, cultural and occupational
    identity as well as to familial attachments is vital. Therapists should be open to the
    possibility that embracing same-sex identity may place other vital aspects of identity at

    — This, to me, seems to suggest that we tell the client that the road of least resistance is the best for them – that if too many people might think negatively about their decision, we should discourage them? Am I reading this incorrectly?

    2) I am also not clear about your area on Adolescents. You seem to want to tell SSA adolescents to hold off on making any decisions about their sexuality, but I wonder, do you also offer this same advice to those who claim to be OSA????

    I actually didn’t come out until I was in college because I grew up in a very conservative environment, but my question for you is, will you treat kids who claim they are heterosexual in the same way? Will you discourage them from making any proclamation about their orientation until they understand their options???? If not, there seems to be some serious bias at play here.

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