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Conversion therapy myths harm same-sex attracted individuals (part 1)

Longfin Media/iStock
Longfin Media/iStock

I am the boogeyman. Yes, according to the LGBTQ+ activists and their sympathizers, I am the terror that haunts their dreams.

What am I? I’m a psychotherapist that offers help to individuals with undesired same-sex eroticization and want to explore change in their sexual attractions and behaviors. The activists label me a “conversion therapist,” expecting that to be sufficient to vilify me. 

My supervillain origin story is that God placed a burden on me in college when I saw my peers who struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction and behavior. These men were in a bind. If they shared with our Christian college administration, they ran the risk of being punished for violating the school’s code of conduct. If they sought counseling off-campus, they often got set up with a therapist that claimed to be a Christian, but would not affirm their values and would try to convince them to embrace a gay self-label and explore homosexual relationships. 

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But I couldn’t just ignore this issue. No, instead, I made it my mission to read the books by the leaders of the ex-gay ministry movement, such as Frank Worthen, Andrew Comiskey, Joe Dallas, and others.  And after interning at a counseling practice that specialized in all manner of sexual issues, I launched a support group at my alma mater, which I ran for eight years. The group was comprised of both men with heterosexual sexual addiction and men with unwanted same-sex attraction, all working through pains from the past. We shared boldly and honestly, responding with acceptance, destroying shame, and encouraging each other to move toward healing and growth.

Several years into running this group, I went to graduate school to became a psychotherapist so I could do this type of work full-time. In June 2015, for the heinous crime of helping men with unwanted same-sex attraction, my graduate school kicked me out of the program. I was four weeks away from graduating. They told me I would be a threat to the field of psychotherapy.

Those words follow me like a specter, though I have since completed my degree and received my license as a professional counselor. And I have no shortage of clients, the majority of which are men and women overcoming bondage to unwanted same-sex eroticization. I have no shame about the work I do. I see the good fruit all the time. And so, I’m very open about it on my social media platforms. This has cost me job opportunities and made me the target of frivolous complaints to my old employer and my state board from complete strangers. With the enactment of various “conversion therapy” bans, I constantly face the threat of being outlawed.

My opponents justify their witch hunt against me and my colleagues around the world because they have successfully indoctrinated the world with certain myths about our work. They may even believe these lies themselves, falling victim to their own propaganda. Certainly, the masses, desperate to be seen as compassionate and “on the right side of history,” have gobbled up these myths. They trust the ever so reliable and objective institutions (sarcasm), like both APAs, the ACA, the WHO, etc., who all parrot the same line: that so-called “conversion therapy refers to a range of dangerous and discredited practices aimed at changing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”

This mantra is spawned by at least two myths: the harm myth and the ineffectiveness myth.  The harm myth claims that all forms of counseling (or ministry or self-help, for that matter) to explore changes in sexuality are innately harmful. The ineffectiveness myth is that any attempt to alter sexuality is impossible. Both of these myths are rooted in what I call the “sexual orientation paradigm,” the idea that all humans are categorized by allegedly inborn and unchangeable sexual arousal patterns that are intrinsic to one’s identity. Another myth that is often assumed is the coercion myth, which assumes that people — minors especially — engage in counseling for sexuality only because of external pressure or force.

With these myths firmly in place in our culture’s collective psyche, the privileged class in our post-Sexual Revolution society can easily squash the dissidents. They can justify trampling your rights because they claim to be protecting hapless victims from so-called perpetrators of something they portray as barbaric. The LGBTQ oligarchy has all the institutional power in the USA (and most of the Western world). But as long as they perpetuate the myth of me being a monster and my clients being victims, they can punch down while looking virtuous.

The truth is the tyrants opposing my work are not motivated by compassion. It’s resentment and contempt for the sexual norms and normative sexual development God has established and communicated in Scripture and general revelation. They want to ensure there’s only one pathway for individuals with feelings, ideas, and experiences that differ from the norms of sexuality that God ordained: full affirmation. Any response that encourages — no matter how safe or successful — individuals to pursue alignment of their sexual thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with the higher principles of God’s design and intent for sex and marriage is outright rejected. These ideologues literally believe they are oppressed by normality. 

Yes, my assertion is that the opposition to counseling for same-sex attraction is rooted in and driven by ideology, not by a preponderance of evidence showing that it is intrinsically coercive, harmful, or ineffective to obtain counseling for sexuality change. The truth is the powers that be have no genuine interest in the truth of our clients’ situations, worldview, and motivations for seeking counseling; what we actually do in therapy, nor the outcomes. They’ve already made up their minds decades ago. 

Therefore, they do not want you to know the truth either. And so, there is a war on information and freedom of therapeutic choice and thought. Remove all other options and the field is cleared of competition. Commence with indoctrination in the new sexual orthodoxy.

In July 2019, at the behest of a gay activist from the UK, Amazon purged its site of books it had been selling by Joseph Nicolosi, the founder of authentic Reparative Therapy, as well as books by other well-respected leaders in the ex-gay ministry movement, such as Joe Dallas and Anne Paulk (now Anne Edward). It was a modern-day book burning. This incident inspired me to respond with a video series on my YouTube channel, PsychoBible, called “Conversion Therapy” Myths and Misunderstandings, the basis for this particular op-ed. True to form, YouTube just recently deleted one of the parts of this series, so you would have to go to one of my alternative platforms ( or to watch all the parts. 

I intend to write a few articles dispelling the myths around therapy for sexuality. Maybe we’ll find out I’m not the boogeyman after all. 

Andrew Rodriguez is a licensed professional counselor in Pennsylvania. He's the director of Integrity Christian Counseling and the creator of the YouTube channel PsychoBible, in which he discusses psychology, theology, and sexuality. He's a certified Reintegrative Therapist. He's on the board of Voice of the Voiceless, uplifting the voices of ex-LGBT people. And he does work with ReStory Ministries, equipping churches to address LGBTQ. He's been married to his wife Jessica since 2007.Counseling practice website: PsychoBible: 

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