From gay to straight: this is how the therapy they want to ban works
Interview with clinical psychologist Dr. Joseph Nicolosi
From gay to straight: this is how the therapy they want to ban works

Forrás: Shutterstock/PuzzlePix

"Conversion therapy" has become a hot topic in recent years; more and more countries are trying to ban any activity that can be said to be aimed at changing one's sexual orientation. Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, founder of the Reintegrative Therapy Association, claims based on scientific research that sexuality can change in both directions. However the method he uses is unique precisely because its primary goal is not this, but the processing of deeper traumas.

YouTube has deleted your channel, where among other things, you presented personal stories about how people's sexual orientation have changed, how people attracted to their own gender became heterosexuals. Have you been given a reason why this is considered to be a hate speech?

-We have not received any explanation. These platforms and BigTech companies simply silence opinions that contradict their narrative.

We believe that everyone should be allowed to freely seek therapy and support to achieve their desired goals. If someone wants to move in a heterosexual direction, who are we to stop them from doing so? Our videos affect the lives of many people, which the far-left activists see as a threat, so instead of dialogue, they react with silence.

According to their narrative, sexual orientation is born with us and cannot be changed…

-That's right. Although even the American Psychological Association has acknowledged that in some case, childhood relationship or sexual trauma can contribute to the development of same-sex attraction in adulthood.

Fotó: Joseph Nicolosi
(Photo: Joseph Nicolosi)

Is there a close connection between the two?

-Those we deal with almost without exception report that they were alienated from their peers of the same se, or that they didn't really have a relationship with their father or that their mother has a neurotic, overdominant personality. They felt that the family environment did not support boyish behavior and the development of masculinity in their childhood. and these experiences negatively influenced their lives later on.

We treat trauma, a change in sexual orientation may be a spontaneous consequence of this but that is not the goal.

Do they have clinical experience with same-sex attracted women? Is their case different from that of men?

-Women also turn to us, they often complain about the lack of a heart-felt, intimate relationship with their mother, they feel that they have not developed the secure bond they wanted as children. During the application of the reintegrative protocol, we help them process these feelings or experiences and as a result, many of them spontaneously decrease or cease their sexual interest to the same sex.

What kind of requests do they contact you with? What do you say, for example, if someone comes to you saying they want to change their sexual orientation?

-We used to say, let's explore what is behind the attraction - this is actually what the reintegrative protocol means, which is well presented in the videos on our website ( We help the client to explore sexual patterns in a neutral, unprejudiced way to understand their compulsive fantasies and in the process, their deeper desires spontaneously come to the surface.

In the process, they themselves - without the intervention of the therapist - realize what unsatisfied needs may be in the background, or which childhood experiences may have caused the feeling of lack or shame which is now mixed with their erotic desires.

The therapist is never in control-  this is client-led therapy.

How is it different from conversion therapy?

- Conversion therapy is a wider, actually not precisely defined concept. It includes procedures or treatments that do not follow general professional codes of ethics, have no regulatory or supervisory syndicate, and are mostly performed by people with inadequate professional qualifications. Their goal is to change sexual orientation.

In the case of reintegrative therapy, the client is in the driver's seat. The specialist treats traumatic experiences using scientifically proven approaches. Sexual feelings, and sometimes sexual orientation can change by itself.

So changing sexuality is not their primary goal.

- Absolutely no. Our goal is to treat traumas using scientifically proven methods.

Fotó: Shutterstock / PuzzlePix
(Photo: Shutterstock / PuzzlePix)

So why the attacks? After all, can they still practice in freedom?

-We currently operate completely freely. But our clients' stories and our own research undermine two fundamental claims of radical leftist ideology.

One is that sexual orientation cannot be changed but is a fixed part of our personality. The other is that childhood traumas have no effect on the development of gender identity.

Today, even progressive sexologists admit that sexual orientation can change - I am thinking of,  for example, the American feminist psychologist Lisa Diamond, who can not be called conservative at all.

- Indeed, less and less people share the view that sexual identity and attraction are immutable. Many survey shows that, for example, young people are less accepting to this. So it will be very interesting for the younger generation to see how the current state of sex education will influence their way of thinking. Across America, starting in kindergarten, children are taught that there are many genders, sexual orientations, and transitions. Who knows, maybe because of this, society will be more open to treatments and opportunities similar to reintegrative therapy.

Apart from the influence of the school system, what are the mentioned self-identity and attachment problems in the Western societies?

- We could give precise answers to this question if we had more research results on the impact of social media and smartphone use on the parent-child relationship. Technology has developed enormously, which not only confronts children with a completely different World than their parents, but can also have a serious impact on the family life, the development and stability of patterns and relationships.

What determines whether or not someone becomes homosexual after suffering a trauma? Because many people go through serious breaks, but the still do not have attraction to their own sex.

-Our clients do not report traumas in general, but certain types of traumas, ones that are related to the development of their gender identity. Their claim to masculinity was ridiculed by teasing peers, criticized by their father, or undermined by their mother. In particular, if the boy has personality traits that are considered feminine in the eyes of others, or his temperament is inherently more  gentle and more reserved, that is why he falls short in the competition between boys. Some report being afraid of their older brother, even felt them hostile. Others have experienced sexual advances or abuse from older men. These factors usually end up acting together on the development of gender identity, they may become an obstacle or expose the child to traumas related to humiliation.

The therapeutic method is also used for addictions, such as compulsive eating.

Fotó: Joseph Nicolosi
(Photo: Joseph Nicolosi)

Could compulsive or ego-alien sexual behavior have similar roots?

- In every addictive behavior you can discover the dynamics of emotional dysregulation (the inability to control the intensity and duration of negative emotions - editor.) Traumatic childhood experiences exacerbate pre-existing difficulties with emotion regulation and processing traumatic memories can help resolve these emotion regulation problems as well. This is why this method works so effectively, for example, with compulsive eaters too.

What advice do you have for parents - I know you're a father too - how can we raise boys and girls who are also healthy in terms of their sexual identity?

-Most parents, if they think clearly, will instinctively find the right direction and will know that most of the radical ideologies taught in the school system are based on unscientifically based information. For healthy sexual development, it is best to form a proper bond with the child.

Is their method also used for people suffering from gender dysphoria?

-It is mostly used for sexual orientation problems because previous research has proven its effectiveness in this regard. We don't  know yet how it affects gender identity. At the same time, the so-called Pela and Stutton's study examined not only sexual behavior but also sexual identity, so we know that this therapy definitely has some kind of effect in this area as well. By the way, the study showed that the participants who received treatment according to the reintegrative protocol are not only more likely to experience changes in their sexual behavior, but are also much more likely to identify themselves as heterosexual.


Dr. Joseph Nicolosi is a clinical psychologist, the founder of the Reintegrative Therapy Association.

Reintegrative therapy uses proven, evidence-based interventions to treat trauma and addiction. The approach does not depend on the client's sexual orientation or gender. For example, a woman with an eating disorder and a man with sexually compulsive behavior receive the same treatment.

The treatment can only be performed by mental health professionals trained by the Reintegrative Therapy Association. The therapeutic goals are always determined by the client, whose right to self-determination is fully respected by the therapist. The together set up goals can be redefined at any time.

The fact that a change in sexuality also occurs, even though the goal is to treat the trauma, can be the result of several factors. It is important however, that the therapy does not encourage the client to try to change his sexual feelings - in fact, attempts to do so may disrupt the process. The documented mechanisms of sexuality change are not voluntary.

In a study that included a 30-year longitudinal study, the American Psychological Association concluded that childhood sexual abuse is "potentially causally related" to same-sex partner choice.

Large-scale longitudinal researches demonstrate that reintegrative therapy is associated with statistically significant reductions in same-sex attraction, increases in heterosexual attraction and increases in psychological well-being (e.g. reductions of anxiety, depression and suicidal urge).

(Translated by Anett Harmath)

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